Pristine Grace

1 Sam 20:11-17, (GILL)
11  And Jonathan said unto David, come, and let us go out into the field,.... That they might more fully, and freely, and familiarly talk of this affair between them, without any danger of being overheard by the servants of Saul, as they were in his palace, where they now were:

and they went out both of them into the field; which belonged to Gibeah.

12  And Jonathan said unto David, O Lord God of Israel,.... Or by the Lord God of Israel, I swear unto thee; for this is the form of the oath, as Jarchi and Kimchi observe:

when I have sounded my father about tomorrow any time, [or] the third [day]; searched, inquired, and found out how his disposition is:

and, behold, [if there be] good toward David; if he is well disposed to him, as may appear by speaking respectfully of him, or kindly inquiring after him, and by being satisfied with the account given him:

and I then send not unto thee, and show it thee; then let the vengeance of God fall upon me in some remarkable manner or another, as follows; or "shall I not then send unto thee, and show it thee" [t]? certainly I will; that is, I will send a messenger to thee to acquaint thee with it, who shall tell it, and cause thee to hear it, as from myself.

[t] Kyla xlva za alw "an non tune mitterem?" Junius & Tremellius; "nonne tunc mittam ad te?" so some in Vatablus.

13  The Lord do so and much more to Jonathan,.... Recompense evil more than can be thought of and expressed, should he neglect to inform David of the good disposition of Saul unto him:

but if it please my father [to do] thee evil; if he seems determined upon it to take away thy life:

then I will show it thee; not by a messenger, by whom it would not be safe to communicate it, lest by that means Saul would know where he was, and come and slay him; but Jonathan would come himself, and acquaint him with it:

and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace; give him leave, and advise him to depart, and provide for his own safety, adding his blessing on him, and prayer for him:

and the Lord be with thee, as he hath been with my father; in the beginning of his reign, giving him counsel and advice in all things, and victory over his enemies, succeeding and prospering him in whatsoever he engaged in; the Targum is,

"the Word of the Lord be for thy help, &c.''

Jonathan seemed to be fully apprized that David was to succeed in the kingdom.

14  And thou shalt not only, while yet I live, show me the kindness of the Lord,.... Such kindness as is well pleasing in the sight of God, and imitate what he shows to men, and which was covenanted, promised, and agreed to in the presence of the Lord, when David and Jonathan entered into covenant with each other; this Jonathan did not doubt of, and therefore did not make this a request:

that I die not; he had no fear nor dread on his mind, should David come to the throne while he was alive, that he would take away his life; which was usually done by tyrants and usurpers, when there were any that had a fairer title, and better claim to the throne than they.

15  But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever,.... His family should partake of it as well as himself:

no, not when the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David, everyone from the face of the earth; Saul and his sons, and everyone that should oppose his settlement in the kingdom: Jonathan's meaning is, that the covenant between them should not be only between them personally, but include their posterity, as follows.

16  So Jonathan made [a covenant] with the house of David,.... Not with David himself only, which was now renewed, but with his family also:

[saying], let the Lord even require [it] at the hand of David's enemies; take vengeance on Jonathan, or on any of his posterity, should they break this covenant, by showing themselves enemies to David, and his crown; and, on the other hand, also on David, and his posterity, should they not show kindness to Jonathan and his seed, according to the tenor of this covenant.

17  And Jonathan caused David to swear again,.... Or Jonathan added to make David swears [u]; having sworn himself to make a covenant of friendship with David and his family, he moved and insisted on it, that David should swear to keep covenant with him, and his family:

because he loved him; it was not so much for the good and safety of his offspring that he made this motion, and was so desirous of renewing and enlarging his covenant with David, as it was his strong love and affection for him; being on that account desirous that there might be the strictest friendship imaginable retained between the two families; or he made him swear by his love to him, as some understand it, which is not so likely; the former sense is better, for he himself sware by the Lord, 1Sa 20:12;

for he loved him as his own soul; or "with the love of his soul" [w]; with the most cordial affection, with a truly hearty and sincere love, see 1Sa 18:1.

[u] Poyw "et addidit", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; so the Tigurine version. [w] wvpn tbha "secundum dilectionem animae suae", Pagninus; "amore sui ipsius", Junius & Tremellius.

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