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Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 20

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-42

1 Samuel 20:5 . The new moon, a day of feasting and trumpets, accompanied with the exercises of devotion. Numbers 10:16.

1 Samuel 20:6 . Run to Bethlehem. It was not very far from Saul’s residence, and only four miles from Jerusalem.

1 Samuel 20:17 . Jonathan caused David to swear again. He knew that David would be king; and though he asked nothing for himself, yet he asked for his children, and for his seed for ever: 1 Samuel 20:42. David, according to his covenant, sought out Mephibosheth, a lame son of Jonathan, and treated him as a prince. See more on 2 Samuel 16:0.

1 Samuel 20:21 . I will send a lad. Jonathan durst not let it be known that he had seen David.

1 Samuel 20:40 . Gave his artillery. Hebrews כלי keley, instruments; the bow and arrows.


The fidelity of Jonathan to David runs through the whole of this chapter. This lovely prince knew, either by David’s anointing, or by a sort of divine intuition, that David would certainly be king, and that all his enemies would be cut off. He therefore wisely included his posterity in the covenant. A hint to christians, to place all their children in the hands of God, and to select holy men for their guardians.

Jonathan did all in his power to soften the anger of Saul, and to divert him from his bad purpose. Herein he is a model to us, in compromising feuds and disputes. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

But a prince, a prophet, a youth whose heart was fraught with every virtue, driven to exile among the heathen, ever accounted unclean; excites great interest in the heart. He leaves his country, and a young princess, the wife of his bosom; he leaves his parents and kin, exposed to the melancholy hatred of the king. But oh, more lovely still, he seeks first the oracle of God. Christian, learn of David to get more religion in all thy peregrinations, that he may bring thee also back to the promised crown.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 20". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/1-samuel-20.html. 1835.
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