And the people said unto Saul
Hearing such words, and filled with grief, pity, and sympathy for Jonathan, as Josephus F11 observes:
shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel?
no, he shall not; what, such a man as he die, who, under God, has been the instrument of so great deliverance, who first began it himself with one man only with him, and has proceeded in it to the finishing of it?
this shall not be so; they speak of it with the utmost abhorrence and detestation, as a shocking piece of cruelty and ingratitude, unheard of, and not to be paralleled:
as the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the
as Saul swore he should die, they also swear he should not, expressing their firm resolution to stand by him, and preserve his life; and so far should it be from him to have his life taken away, that an hair of his head should not be touched, or the least injury done to his person; for though they had yielded a ready obedience to all the orders and commands of Saul, which were distressing to themselves, they were determined to oppose him in this case of his son:
for he hath wrought with God this day;
God has been with him, assisted him to do great things for Israel, and therefore should not die for a thing so trivial; and it being not done in disobedience to his father, nor in contempt of him, but through pure ignorance, as some of them well knew; so the Targum,
``for it is known before the Lord, that in ignorance he did it this day:''so the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not;
not by force, but by their resolution and importunity; or "redeemed" him F12, by exposing their own lives to danger in opposing their king, and by their petitions to him for him; and, as Josephus says F13, by their prayers to God for him, that his fault might be forgiven.
F11 Antiqu. l. 6. c. 6. sect. 4.
F12 (wdpy) "redemerunt", Pagninus, Montanus
F13 Ut supra, (Antiqu. l. 6. c. 6.) sect. 5.