Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 20

Saulís anger against Jonathan

1 Samuel 20:30-31

David was expecting that his excuse would make Saul angry (20:7). However, he and Jonathan had perhaps not realised how angry Saul would become.

Some Bible translations try to translate 1 Samuel 20:30 in a polite manner. However, Saul had no desire to be polite. In his anger, he insulted his son Jonathan with the worst possible words.

It would not upset Jonathan enough if Saul merely insulted Jonathan himself. So, Saul insulted Jonathanís mother. She was Ahinoam, Saulís loyal wife (14:50). However, Saul insulted her as if she had never been loyal to him. He described her as a wicked, evil woman. None of this was probably true, but it would have upset Jonathan deeply.

Although other people were present, Saul continued to insult Jonathan. By his friendship with David, Jonathan had brought shame on himself. Jonathanís mother should be ashamed, as if men had seen her naked body. Jonathan and all Saulís guests would have felt great shock to hear such words.

Then, for the first time, Saul explained in public why he wanted to kill David. Saul knew that David would be Israelís king. That had been Saulís belief for a long time (18:8). Samuel had told Saul that God had chosen a new king for Israel (15:28).

Saul was trying to kill David because Saul opposed Godís plan to make David king. Saul was trying to keep the rule of Israel for himself and his family. So, Saul was trying to control God.

Next part: Saul tries to kill Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:32-34)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.