Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Samuel 18:4

Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Contracts;   Covenant;   David;   Dress;   Friendship;   Girdle;   Jonathan;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Clothing;   Dress;   Home;   Jonathan;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Selfishness-Unselfishness;   Stories for Children;   Unselfishness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Arms, Military;   Bow, the;   Covenants;   Garments;   Girdles;   Presents;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Gifts;   Jonathan;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Covenant;   Jonathan;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Friend, Friendship;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Prayer;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Apparel;   Girdle;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Dress;   Girdle;   Jonathan;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Apron;   Cloth, Clothing;   Girdle;   Jonathan;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Dress;   Gift, Giving;   Priests and Levites;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Garments;   Girdle;   Jonathan ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Jonathan;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Arms;   Gifts;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Armor;   Cloak;   David;   Samuel, Books of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Costume;   Jonathan, Jehonathan;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for February 1;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Jonathan stripped himself - Presents of clothes or rich robes, in token of respect and friendship, are frequent in the East. And how frequently arms and clothing were presented by warriors to each other in token of friendship, may be seen in Homer and other ancient writers.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-samuel-18.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

1 Samuel 18:4

And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David.

David invested with royal robes

From the days of Homer and the Trojan wars downwards, this has been the method employed by Orientals to denote the bestowment of dignity and distinction. Not more eagerly coveted is the Order of the Garter, or Bath, or Thistle among ourselves than in ancient times was the gift of royal robes. Any portion, indeed, of a king’s wardrobe or jewel box was greatly prized; but the voluntary donation of dress, and more particularly in the act of being worn, rendered the tribute doubly valuable. Whenever this latter occurred the cherished memento was transmitted as an heirloom from sire to son. It was equivalent to a patent of nobility. (J. R. Macduff, D. D.)

We find in Homer a minute enumeration of the armour Ulysses received in a gift from Meriones, and in the story of Nisus and Euryalus, in the IX OEneid of Virgil, there occurs a duplicate picture of that presented to us in the tent of Saul. (J. R. Macduff, D. D.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "1 Samuel 18:4". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/1-samuel-18.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him,.... As a token of his hearty love and true friendship, and that David might appear at court not in the habit of a shepherd, but in that of a prince:

and gave it to David, and his garments; his other garments besides his robe, and so clothed him from tip to toe, and which fitted him; for as there was a similarity in their souls, and the disposition of them, so in the make and hulk of their bodies, and in the stature of them:

even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle; these he gave him to accoutre himself with, that he might appear as a soldier, as well as like a prince, and as another Jonathan, or rather the same; that they might seem as one, as alike in body, so in garb and habit.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-samuel-18.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David — To receive any part of the dress which had been worn by a sovereign, or his eldest son and heir, is deemed, in the East, the highest honor which can be conferred on a subject (see on Esther 6:8). The girdle, being connected with the sword and the bow, may be considered as being part of the military dress, and great value is attached to it in the East.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-samuel-18.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

As a sign and pledge of his friendship, Jonathan gave David his clothes and his armour . Meil, the upper coat or cloak. Maddim is probably the armour coat (vid., 1 Samuel 17:39). This is implied in the word ועד, which is repeated three times, and by which the different arms were attached more closely to מדּיו . For the act itself, compare the exchange of armour made by Glaucus and Diomedes (Hom. Il . vi. 230). This seems to have been a common custom in very ancient times, as we meet with it also among the early Celts (see Macpherson's Ossian ).

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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/1-samuel-18.html. 1854-1889.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Samuel 18:4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that [was] upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

Ver. 4. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe … and gave it to David, &c.] As a pledge of his dear love, and for a symbol, that now all things were common betwixt them, as it useth to be betwixt dearest friends, and that he would have David looked upon as his Alter Ego.

And his garments, even to his sword, &c.] Love is liberal, and can part with anything. Christ sealed up his great love to his elect by bestowing himself and all his benefits upon them. Neither was it, perhaps, without mystery, saith one, that Saul’s clothes fitted not David, but Jonathan’s fitted him; and these he is as glad to wear, as he was to be disburdened of the other.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-samuel-18.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Samuel 18:4. And Jonathan stripped himself Princes do not only order caffetans to be given to those whom they would honour; they have sometimes presented such persons with their own garments. D'Herbelot informs us, that when sultan Selim, the son of Bajazet, had defeated Canson Gauri, sultan of the Mamelukes of Egypt, he assisted at prayers in a mosque at Aleppo upon his triumphant return to Constantinople; and that the imam of the mosque having added at the close of the prayer these words, "May God preserve Selim Khan, the servant and minister of the two sacred cities of Mecca and Medina!" the title was so very agreeable to the sultan, that he gave the robe which he had on to this imam, and from that time forward the Othoman emperors have always used it in their letters patent, as kings of Egypt. Thus Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David; and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. See Observations, p. 182.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-samuel-18.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Partly as a pledge of his great respect and affection to him; and partly to vindicate David from that contempt which might cleave to him for his former pastoral habit and condition, and to put him into a habit suitable to his present greatness and glory.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-samuel-18.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4.His garments — Rather, his armour, as the word מד is rendered, 1 Samuel 17:39. This, we are immediately told, consisted of his sword, bow, and girdle. The giving of this robe and armour was the seal of the covenant between them.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-samuel-18.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Samuel 18:4. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him — This he did that he might do honour to, as well as show his affection for, David. For it is probable that David was before clothed in a rustic habit, not fit to appear in at court.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-samuel-18.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Girdle, which perhaps was of great value, Job xii. 18. He wished that David should lay aside his shepherd's dress, and appear like himself at court, that all might know how much he loved him. (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-samuel-18.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

and. Mark the Figure of speech Polysyndeton (App-6) in verses: 1 Samuel 18:4-5.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-samuel-18.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe ... and gave it to David. To receive any part of the dress which had been worn by a sovereign, or Iris oldest son and heir, is deemed in the East the highest honour which can be conferred on a subject (see the note at Esther 6:8). The girdle, being connected with the sword and the bow, may be considered as being part of the military dress, and great value is attached to it in the East.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-samuel-18.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) Gave it to David.—It has been suggested that the reason of this gift was to enable his friend David—then poorly clad—to appear at his father’s court in a fitting dress; but this kind of present was usual among friends in those remote ages. Glaucus and Diomed, for instance, exchanged armour of a very different value.

“Now change we arms, and prove to either host

We guard the friendship of the line we boast.

* * * * * *

For Diomed’s brass arms, of mean device,

For which nine oxen paid (a vulgar price),

He gave his own of gold, divinely wrought:

A hundred beeves the shining purchase bought.”

Iliad, vi. 286–295.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-samuel-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
stripped himself
Presents of clothes or rich robes, as tokens of respect or friendship, are frequent in the East.
Genesis 41:42; Esther 6:8,9; Isaiah 61:10; Luke 15:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:7,8
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 1:22 - the bow;  Isaiah 22:21 - clothe;  Ezekiel 23:15 - with girdles

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-samuel-18.html.