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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

1 Samuel 20

Verses 1-42


Jonathan helps David escape (20:1-42)

Apparently Jonathan did not know of the number of attempts that his father had made to kill David (20:1-2). When he saw that David was genuinely fearful, he agreed to co-operate with David in finding out Saul’s real intentions once and for all (3-9).
Jonathan’s love for David was genuine. Even though he knew that David, and not he, would be the next king, he showed no sign of jealousy. He asked only that David, on becoming king, remain loyal to him and show kindness to his descendants (10-15). The two swore loyalty to each other and so renewed their covenant (16-17).
David and Jonathan worked out a plan to let David know whether he should remain in Saul’s service or flee for safety. Their sole purpose was to save David’s life. They made no plot against the king, and by keeping their whole plan a tight secret, they ensured that no rumours would arise (18-23).
Even when Saul tried to make Jonathan see that David was a threat to his own future, Jonathan maintained his unselfish loyalty to David (24-31). Saul then accused Jonathan of disloyalty to his family and tried to kill him (32-34). Jonathan now had no doubts about his father’s intentions. With much sadness he and David farewelled each other and David departed (35-42).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 20". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". 2005.