Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 20

Saul tries to kill Jonathan

1 Samuel 20:32-34

This argument between Saul and Jonathan happened in public, before a meal where Saulís most important officials were guests.

Jonathan only intended to test whether Saul was plotting against David. However, Saul replied immediately in a very angry manner. He insulted Jonathan in a very nasty manner because of his friendship with David. At once, the situation became very serious.

Still, Jonathan continued to defend David. He insisted that David was an innocent man. Saul hated David without any proper reason.

Davidís experiences at this time help us to understand several of the Psalms that he wrote. (For example, see Psalm 59.) Christians believe that many of Davidís Psalms refer to Christ. Christís enemies, like Davidís enemies, hated him without any proper reason (Psalm 59:4; 1 Peter 2:22-24). David wrote by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:29-31; 1 Peter 1:10-11); but he also wrote from his own experience.

As Jonathan spoke on Davidís behalf, Saul could no longer control his anger. It seems that he always kept a spear (a pole with a sharp metal head) by him. Suddenly, Saul took the spear and he tried to kill Jonathan with it. On previous occasions, Saul had tried to kill David in the same manner (18:11; 19:10).

Jonathan managed to avoid the spear, but he too was very angry. He was angry, not that Saul had tried to kill him, but about Saulís attitude towards David. For that reason, Jonathan left the meal; he refused to eat anything from that meal.

Next part: Jonathan tells David to escape (1 Samuel 20:35-39)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.