David recognizes that Saul has set himself to kill David. Jonathan, Saul’s son and apparent heir to the throne of Israel must choose between his father and David. Jonathan recognizes his fathers’ delusion and establishes an oath with David in 1 Samuel 20:42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn, the two of us, an oath in the name of Yahweh, saying, “Yahweh will be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring forever”. Saul sits with his back to a tree and a sword in his hand and believes everyone has collaborated against him as he says in 1 Samuel 22:8 “For all of you have conspired against me, and no one discloses to me … that my son commissioned my servant against me to ambush me as has been done this day!” This is real trouble for David, his family, and everyone that has any interaction with him. Nothing will convince Saul that he is not being conspired against by David.
Show Loyal Love to Your Servant
Do Not Cut Off Your Loyal Love From My Family
1 Samuel 20:12–19
Saul had not been able to carry out his plan to capture David because in 1 Samuel 19:23 “the Spirit of God came upon him also”. But David was sure that Saul intended to kill him. So, Jonathan agrees to inquire of Saul in
1 Samuel 20:12 Then Jonathan said to David, “Yahweh the God of Israel is my witness that I will question my father by this time the day after tomorrow. And look, if he is well disposed toward you, will I not send word to you and disclose it to you?
But Jonathan also knows that when the judgement of the Lord is involved, the family line is affected as it was with Eli in
1 Samuel 2:31 Look, days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of the house of your ancestor so that no one in your house will live to old age.
Jonathan knows that as Eli and his sons were cut off, the Lord will deal with David’s enemies. Jonathan promises he will disclose Saul’s plans to David if David will spare Jonathan’s life in 1 Samuel 20:12-15 then in 1 Samuel 20:17 Jonathan “made David swear an oath” that as the Lord deals with his enemies in
1 Samuel 20:16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May Yahweh call the enemies of David to account.”
David will not hold his fathers error against him and his family after him in
1 Samuel 20:15 And do not cut off your loyal love from my family forever, not even when Yahweh exterminates each of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.”
He Earnestly Asked Permission To Go
Yahweh Will Be Between Me and You Forever
1 Samuel 20:30–42
Jonathan is Saul’s son, Saul’s heir, the next in line for the throne according to the natural way of men. It would be natural for Jonathan to support his fathers actions and to honor and be obedient to all his father asks of him and this was also in Jonathan’s personal interest in
1 Samuel 20:31 For as long as the son of Jesse is alive on the earth, you and your kingdom will not be established! So then, send and bring him to me, for he will surely die!”
But Jonathan also knows David and that David is a faithful servant of the Lord and also of Jonathan’s father Saul. Jonathan has a dilemma, how can he serve the Lord and be honest and upright in his own life and fulfill his duty to his father and his friend? Jonathan has recognized that his father is wrong since in
1 Samuel 19:1 “Now Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants about killing David”
David is hiding, and Jonathan has agreed a signal to communicate Saul’s intent. Was Saul really intending to kill David? Yes, Saul had said in 1 Samuel 20:31 “he will surely die”. So, Jonathan sends the message and he and David meet one last time before David flees from Saul’s decree. Before David leaves, Jonathan reminds him of their oath and assures him in
1 Samuel 20:42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn, the two of us, an oath in the name of Yahweh, saying, “Yahweh will be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring forever.” Then he got up and left, and Jonathan went into the city.
There Is Only Holy Bread
1 Samuel 21:1–9
He Felt Severely Threatened
All of You Have Conspired Against Me
1 Samuel 22:1–11
David has fled, and his family goes with him in 1 Samuel 22:1. Others join in 1 Samuel 22:2 but David knows his family is in danger so David seeks refuge from his great grand mothers people in
1 Samuel 22:3 And David went up from there to Mizpah of Moab. He said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother stay with you until I know what God will do for me.”
While Moab and Israel were enemies, and particularly, “The king of Moab was an enemy of Saul (1 Sa 14:47) … and the great-grandson of Ruth, of course, was related to the family of Jesse. David, therefore, had less anxiety in seeking an asylum within the dominions of this prince than those of Achish, because the Moabites had no grounds for entertaining vindictive feelings against him, and their enmity, to Saul rendered them the more willing to receive so illustrious a refugee from his court”.1
But look at Saul’s condition. He is sitting with his back to a tree with a sword in his hand in
1 Samuel 22:6 Now Saul heard that David and the men who were with him had been located. Saul was sitting at Gibeah under the tamarisk tree at Ramah. Now his spear was in his hand and all his servants were stationed around him.
Then, Saul speaks to all of his men in
1 Samuel 22:8 For all of you have conspired against me, and no one discloses to me the making of an agreement between my son and the son of Jesse! None of you have had sympathy for me or disclosed to me that my son commissioned my servant against me to ambush me as has been done this day!”
Saul suffers from what today we might call, according to webmd.com, “Delusional disorder, previously called paranoid disorder, (which) is a type of serious mental illness called a psychotic disorder. People who have it can’t tell what’s real from what is imagined … (it is an) unshakable beliefs in something that isn’t true … But that doesn’t mean they’re completely unrealistic … (these are) situations that could happen in real life, like being … conspired against … (however) in reality, the situations are either not true at all or highly exaggerated”.2
No one can convince Saul that David has not conspired against him and it seems, that anyone coming in contact with David is also a conspirator!
- 1 Samuel 20:12–19 Do Not Cut Off Your Loyal Love From My Family
- 1 Samuel 20:30–42 Yahweh Will Be Between Me and You Forever
- 1 Samuel 22:1–11 All of You Have Conspired Against Me
- 1 Samuel 20:1-42
- 1 Samuel 21:1-15
- 1 Samuel 22:1-11
- 1. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 189). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
- 2. Delusional Disorder. (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2019, from https://www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/guide/delusional-disorder