Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 20

Jonathan tests whether Saul is plotting against David

1 Samuel 20:27-29

Jonathan had just two days to find out whether Saul was plotting to kill David.

At the meal on the first day, there was no opportunity. Abner, Saulís military commander, needed to discuss something with Saul, so Jonathan allowed him to sit next to Saul (see 1 Samuel 20:25 in the King James Bible). Saul did not say anything about David at that meal (20:26).

Saul arranged a second special meal on the next day. As king, he now owned many animals (21:7) and much land (2 Samuel 9:7-10). So although Saul cared little about luxury, he liked to make many sacrifices (13:9-13; 15:21-22). These sacrifices were the animals that he offered to God. They provided the meat for the meals. If meat remained from the first day, Godís law allowed people to eat it on the second day, but not afterwards (Leviticus 7:16-18).

On the second day, it was Saul who first referred to David. He asked Jonathan where David was. However, on this occasion, Saul did not mention Davidís name. He called David Ďthe son of Jesseí. Perhaps Saul chose to refer to David in that way because he did not like the meaning of Davidís name. In Hebrew (the language of Israel), David means Ďthe one whom I loveí. Saul did not love David; he hated David.

Jonathan, of course, did not hesitate to use Davidís name. Jonathan had an attitude of sincere and genuine love towards David (18:3; 20:17). They were close friends.

Jonathan repeated the excuse that David had asked him to give (20:6). Saul did not reply to that excuse. Instead, he immediately became very angry. On this occasion, his anger was against Jonathan because of his friendship with David. He felt as angry against Jonathan as he was against David.

Next part: Saulís anger against Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:30-31)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.