King Saul was both jealous and afraid of David. Saul had allowed these wrong thoughts to become so strong that he now wanted to kill David. He even gave orders to his officials and to Jonathan, his son, that they must kill David.
However, Jonathan was Davidís friend (18:1-4). Jonathan immediately went to David to warn him. They arranged a place where David could hide. Jonathan would speak to Saul on Davidís behalf, then Jonathan would bring news to David there.
Davidís hiding place is called a Ďfieldí in most Bible translations. Really however, it was the open country round Saulís town, Gibeah. Probably, Saul and Jonathan often walked there; Jonathan would not need any special reason to go there. It was also the place where Jonathan improved his skill with his bow and arrows (20:20).
In one particular place in that area, there was a large stone. That stone had a name, Ezel, which means Ďdepartureí (20:19). Perhaps someone had set up that stone to remember a past event. That stone was probably the place where David and Jonathan agreed to meet.
Jonathan was not just the kingís son; he was also one of Saulís most important advisers (20:2). Since early in Saulís rule, Jonathan had shared the command of Israelís army with Saul (13:2). Jonathan only promised David that he would speak to Saul about David. However Jonathanís words in 1 Samuel 19:4-5 show that really, he was trying to change Saulís opinion about David.
Next part: Jonathan persuades Saul (1 Samuel 19:4-6)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.