Pastoral Commentary for 1 Samuel 19:1-20:17
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
Jonathan received orders from his father to kill David, but instead he warned David to hide out. Jonathan planned to plead with his father on David's behalf and see if Saul's attitude might change. Jonathan praised David to his father, and Saul pledged to spare David's life. Jonathan went and brought David out of hiding and returned him to the king's service. Once again, however, when the evil spirit God permitted to trouble Saul came upon him, he tried to kill David with his spear. With the help of his wife, Michal, Saul's daughter, David made good his escape. An idol and some goat's hair was substituted for David, and when Saul questioned his daughter about her role in the ruse, she lied and claimed that David had threatened her life if she did not help him escape. David sought out Samuel the prophet and went with him to Naioth where David joined the company of prophets with Samuel. Saul sent men to capture David, but God miraculously intervened to spare David by causing Saul's men to join in the prophesying as well. Twice more the same thing happened until Saul decided to take matters into his own hands. But God was with David, and even caused the spirit of prophecy to fall on Saul. David then fled from Saul's presence and went back to his beloved friend Jonathan. At first Jonathan didn't believe that his father was again seeking David's life. Jonathan agreed to sound out his father regarding David and to inform David of what he learned. In a moving scene, Jonathan renewed his covenant of friendship with David, whom "he loved him as he loved his own soul."