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The Friendship of David and Jonathan
4. Thy soul] a pathetic periphrasis for ’thou.’
5. The new moon] Many nations of antiquity appear to have observed the day of the new moon as a religious festival. For its observance in Israel cp. 2 Kings 4:23; Isaiah 1:13; Amos 8:5 (where it is coupled with the sabbath) Numbers 10:10. Numbers 10:25 and Numbers 10:27 imply that David, like Abner, ate regularly at Saul’s table.
6. A yearly sacrifice] This refers to the ordinary annual festival of the family. Such family festivals were very widespread both among European and Semitic peoples.
8. A covenant of the lord] i.e. in which God had been invoked as a witness and the breach of which He would punish.
12. About to morrow any time] RV ’about this time tomorrow.’ Or the third day] probably a gloss.
14, 15. That I die not: but also] LXX has an attractive reading: ’If I die, thou shalt not cut off thy kindness’: cp. 2 Samuel 9:1
16. At the hand of David’s enemies] David’s enemies are a euphemism for David himself. Jonathan shrinks from invoking retribution on his friend or suggesting in so many words the possibility of bis breaking the covenant.
19. Thou shalt go down quickly] LXX reads ’Thou shalt be greatly missed,’ and the whole clause means ’thou shalt be greatly missed on the third day.’ The business] i.e. some matter well known to David and Jonathan. The stone Ezel] LXX ’this mound.’
25. Jonathan arose, and Abner sat] Jonathan gave up his rightful place and Abner took it.
26. He is not clean] i.e. some ceremonial defilement has happened to him which prevents him from sharing in the festival: cp. John 18:28.
30. Mother’s nakedness] She would become the wife of the new king: cp. 2 Samuel 12:8.
41. Out of a place toward the south] LXX ’from beside the mound.’
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 20". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Easter