Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 20

David and Jonathan remain loyal

1 Samuel 20:8-11

It was becoming clear that Saulís plan to kill David was an extremely serious matter. Its results would be terrible, not just for David, but for the whole nation. Everyone in Israel would suffer while their king was behaving in such a wicked manner. His actions would divide the nation, its army, and even his own family.

Even David and Jonathan, although they were the closest friends, would be on opposite sides. It would be wrong for Jonathan, who was Saulís son, to fight against his father (Deuteronomy 5:16; Leviticus 20:9). However, Jonathan had also made a serious promise in front of God to remain friends with David (18:3). In fact, even David himself believed strongly that he (David) must not oppose Saul (24:6).

It seemed absolutely impossible for David and Jonathan to perform their duties to Saul and still to remain friends. Perhaps that is why David asked Jonathan to kill him. If David was guilty of some crime, then Jonathan could punish him. It would be better for a good man to punish David with death, than for a wicked king to murder him.

Jonathan, of course, refused. David was not guilty. Jonathan offered to warn David if he really was in danger. In their very difficult situation, the two men would have to learn to trust God more. God would show them how to deal with their troubles. Jonathan seemed confident about that.

During their troubles, both David and Jonathan would remain completely loyal to each other as friends. They also would remain loyal to Saul, their king; and they would remain loyal to God. 1 Samuel chapters 20 to 31 describe how they achieved this.

Next part: Jonathan explains his covenant with David (1 Samuel 20:12-13)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.