1 Samuel 20:1-15

David and Jonathan

1 Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?”
2 “Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!”
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.”
4 Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”
5 So David said, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon feast, and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow.
6 If your father misses me at all, tell him, ‘David earnestly asked my permission to hurry to Bethlehem, his hometown, because an annual sacrifice is being made there for his whole clan.’
7 If he says, ‘Very well,’ then your servant is safe. But if he loses his temper, you can be sure that he is determined to harm me.
8 As for you, show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into a covenant with you before the LORD. If I am guilty, then kill me yourself! Why hand me over to your father?”
9 “Never!” Jonathan said. “If I had the least inkling that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn’t I tell you?”
10 David asked, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?”
11 “Come,” Jonathan said, “let’s go out into the field.” So they went there together.
12 Then Jonathan said to David, “I swear by the LORD, the God of Israel, that I will surely sound out my father by this time the day after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you, will I not send you word and let you know?
13 But if my father intends to harm you, may the LORD deal with Jonathan, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away in peace. May the LORD be with you as he has been with my father.
14 But show me unfailing kindness like the LORD’s kindness as long as I live, so that I may not be killed,
15 and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family—not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”

1 Samuel 20:1-15 Meaning and Commentary


David fleeing from Naioth came to Jonathan, and acquainted him with his circumstances, and entreated his favour, 1Sa 20:1-8; which Jonathan promised, and renewed the covenant with him, 1Sa 20:9-17; a scheme was formed between them, by which David might know whether Saul was reconciled to him, and he might come to court, 1Sa 20:18-23; which being tried, Jonathan found it was not safe for him to appear, 1Sa 20:24-34; of which he gave notice by the signals agreed on, 1Sa 20:35-40; and they took their leave of one another with strong expressions of affection and attachment to each other, 1Sa 20:41,42.

Cross References 17

  • 1. 1 Samuel 24:9
  • 2. 1 Samuel 22:23; 1 Samuel 23:15; 1 Samuel 24:11; 1 Samuel 25:29; Psalms 40:14; Psalms 54:3; Psalms 63:9; Psalms 70:2
  • 3. Deuteronomy 6:13
  • 4. S Numbers 10:10; Numbers 28:11
  • 5. S 1 Samuel 19:2
  • 6. ver 28
  • 7. 1 Samuel 17:58
  • 8. Deuteronomy 12:5; S 1 Samuel 1:3
  • 9. 1 Samuel 10:27; 1 Samuel 25:17
  • 10. S 1 Samuel 18:11
  • 11. S 1 Samuel 18:3; 1 Samuel 23:18
  • 12. 2 Samuel 14:32
  • 13. 1 Samuel 19:3
  • 14. S Ruth 1:17; 1 Samuel 3:17
  • 15. S 1 Samuel 16:18; S 1 Samuel 18:12">1 Samuel 18:12; Joshua 1:5; 1 Samuel 17:37; 1 Samuel 18:12">1 Samuel 18:12; 1 Chronicles 22:11,16
  • 16. S Genesis 40:14
  • 17. 1 Samuel 24:21; 2 Samuel 9:7
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