1 Samuel 20:3

3 But David took an oath and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.’ Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.”

Read 1 Samuel 20:3 Using Other Translations

And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.
But David vowed again, saying, "Your father knows well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he thinks, 'Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.' But truly, as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death."
Then David took an oath before Jonathan and said, “Your father knows perfectly well about our friendship, so he has said to himself, ‘I won’t tell Jonathan—why should I hurt him?’ But I swear to you that I am only a step away from death! I swear it by the LORD and by your own soul!”

What does 1 Samuel 20:3 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Samuel 20:3

And David sware moreover, and said
To assure Jonathan of the truth of it, that he did most certainly seek after his life, of which, as he had no doubt himself, by an oath he endeavoured to remove any that might be in Jonathan, who was not willing to believe his father could be guilty of so foul a crime:

thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes:
that he was high in his favour, that he had a great value for him, and he had a large share in his love and friendship, and that was the reason why he hid from him his base intentions:

and he saith, let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved;
as he would be, both for the evil his father would be guilty of, and the danger David, his beloved friend, would be in:

but truly, [as] the Lord liveth, and [as] thy soul liveth, [there is]
but a step between me and death;
as appeared by his casting a javelin at him, ( 1 Samuel 18:11 ) , sending messengers to his own house to slay him, ( 1 Samuel 19:11 ) , and others to Naioth to seize him, ( 1 Samuel 19:20 ) , and coming himself thither with an intention to kill him, ( 1 Samuel 19:22 1 Samuel 19:23 ) , and in each of these instances he had a narrow escape for his life; and this he declared in the most solemn manner by an oath, for the confirmation of the truth of it to Jonathan.

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