First Samuel 19 – 20

1 Samuel 19

Saul became enraged and commanded that David should be killed.

1 Samuel 19:1 And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David.

But Saul’s son Jonathan who had made a covenant of friendship with David reported the matter to David.

19:2 But Jonathan Saul’s son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself: 19:3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee.

Jonathan intercedes with his father for David and Saul relents.

19:4 And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good: 19:5 For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause? 19:6 And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.

Jonathan sought to bring peace between Saul and his friend David.

19:7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan shewed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as in times past.

Then another occasion arose to inflame the jealousy of Saul. By now we should be able to see that Satan was inflaming Saul to destroy David.

Satan uses men and inspires them to fulfill his agenda, but Almighty God is fully able to work all things out for his glory and the good of all those who love him enough to do his will.

The closer we are to God the more Satan will fear us and the more he will attack or try to tempt us to turn aside.

19:8 And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter; and they fled from him. 19:9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played [music] with his hand.

Saul thrust his javelin against David and David eluded the thrust which penetrated the wall, and David hid himself and later escaped in the night.

19:10 And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin: but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.

David runs home where Michal his wife bids him flee for she knows her father.

19:11 Saul also sent messengers unto David’s house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David’s wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain. 19:12 So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.

Michal then delays the assassins

19:13 And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth. 19:14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick. 19:15 And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him. 19:16 And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster.

David flees to Samuel at Naioth; while Michal justifies herself to Saul.

19:17 And Saul said unto Michal, Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go; why should I kill thee? 19:18 So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth. 19:19 And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.

Saul then sent assassins to Naioth and God defended David, overcoming Saul’s agents by the Holy Spirit.  God Spirit does not dwell within the unrepentant, but God’s Spirit can certainly inspire an action in an unconverted person so that God’s will is done; we see this with Cyrus who God inspired.

19:20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.

The same thing happened a second and a third time

19:21 And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.

Then Saul went himself and was also taken by the Spirit of God. This reveals that God’s Spirit can WORK with and inspire a person without being IN that person.

God can use anyone for his purposes; however his Spirit is only given to dwell within the sincerely repentant who commit to zealously live by every Word of God and to go and sin no more! (Acts 5:32)

19:22 Then went he [Saul] also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah. 19:23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.

19:24 And he stripped off his clothes [he removed his royal robes to his undergarments]  also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

1 Samuel 20

Jonathan meets with David to warn him. Consider the depth of the love of Jonathan for God and for David.  Jonathan quite probably knew that David would replace him as king because of the sins of his father Saul, yet Jonathan still loved David and in no way sought to destroy or supplant him like Saul did.

1 Samuel 20:1 And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life? 20:2 And he said unto him, God forbid; thou shalt not die: behold, my father will do nothing either great or small, but that he will shew it me: and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so.

David replied that Saul knows of the friendship between himself and Jonathan and will surely keep these matters secret from Jonathan.

20:3 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. 20:4 Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee.

David then said that tomorrow is the new moon which is a Feast of the Lord [for feasting on the special new moon sacrifices]; and that he will hide away from Saul today, tomorrow the new moon day; and then on the third day Jonathan should bring him news.

Before Hezekiah the moon cycle was exactly 12 thirty day months making a 360 day year, then the solar/lunar cycle changed and after Hezekiah the Sanhedrin [the 70] set the new moons at Jerusalem and also set the new year from Jerusalem. They did not go searching across the nation but set the new year by the barley in the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem where it would be cut when the nation was to be gathered at Jerusalem for the Feast.  See the Calendar articles for more.

There is no mystery in how Saul, David and Israel knew it would be the New Moon the next day since before about the eighth century B.C. the moon rode the sky in the precise 30 day cycles of original creation; the new moon would have begun at the end of the 30th day every month. 

The change in the moon’s cycle to an average of twenty-nine and one half days did not take place until about the eighth century B. C.

Originally there were 12 thirty day months in a solar year, this changed later and they had to be much more careful about establishing the new moon and began to intercalate to keep the months in line with the solar year.

Early civilizations around the world used calendars with months of 30 days and years of 360 days. These calendars functioned well until sometime in the 8th century B.C. when suddenly it became necessary to change them. Then most civilizations around the world began to modify their calendars to allow for 5 extra days for the year and 6 fewer days for a lunar year of 12 full months; a modern lunar year is 354 days (12 months x 29.5 days).

The number of days in a year change was marked by the second King of Rome, Numa Pompilius, and by his Jewish contemporary, King Hezekiah. Later other civilizations adopted the new 365 day solar year as well. These events are linked by some with the shadow on the sundial going back 10 degrees in the days of Hezekiah.

There was a change in the number of days in a solar year and in the lunar month in about the 8th century B.C. which made setting the new moon more difficult and necessitated the intercalation of a 13th month every so often to keep the lunar year in line with seasons and the solar year about the time of Hezekiah.

This Biblical Calendar continued after that through the days of Jesus Christ until the apostate modern Rabbinic Calendar was finalized; changing from the scriptural first light of the new moon to begin months,  to start the Rabbinic months with the darkness of conjunctions in 1178 A.D.

20:5 And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even. 20:6 If thy father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.

David believed that Saul was set to kill him when he came to the new moon feast; and therefore Saul would be very angry to find David not present.

20:7 If he say thus, It is well; thy servant shall have peace: but if he be very wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him.

The two men then remember their covenant and pledged their friendship anew.

20:8 Therefore thou shalt deal kindly with thy servant; for thou hast brought thy servant into a covenant of the LORD with thee: notwithstanding, if there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father? 20:9 And Jonathan said, Far be it from thee: for if I knew certainly that evil were determined by my father to come upon thee, then would not I tell it thee?

Then David asked how he will be told, what if Saul is angry with Jonathan as well?

20:10 Then said David to Jonathan, Who shall tell me? or what if thy father answer thee roughly? 20:11 And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field.

Jonathan and David again pledge their loyalty and friendship.

Consider that Jonathan is being disloyal to his father and to the king, in order to be loyal to David and to what is right before God.  Jonathan lives by the Word of God and not by the word of the king.

In this story Saul as king of physical Israel, pictures the bad leaders in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia who are leading the brethren away from any zeal for the Word of God to follow after themselves; teaching that they are God’s shepherds and that the people must follow them, thus leading them astray.

Saul is a type of apostasy from God the Father and Jesus Christ, while David and Jonathan are a type of the deep, deep, passionate love and faithfulness between God the Father and Jesus Christ and their faithful friends.

Remember that anyone who says that he loves Jesus and then refuses to DO what the Word of God teaches and commands; is NO FRIEND of Jesus Christ!

The called out to God the Father and Jesus Christ must always put God the Father and Jesus Christ and every Word of God FIRST; before and above the words of any men.

20:12 And Jonathan said unto David, O LORD God of Israel, when I have sounded my father about to morrow any time, or the third day, and, behold, if there be good toward David, and I then send not unto thee, and shew it thee; 20:13 The LORD do so and much more to Jonathan: but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and the LORD be with thee, as he hath been with my father.

Jonathan, understanding that David will be king in his place someday asks David to show him kindness when he is exalted; because Jonathan loved him and spared his life.

Jonathan knows that God will destroy all the enemies of David and that David will be king.

Friends, in this story David is an allegory of Jesus Christ enduring much persecution to be given the kingdom by God the Father; and Jonathan is an allegory of the faithful love of Christ’s friends.

John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. [Jesus Christ inspired the whole Word of God]  15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Oh, that we are as faithful to our friend Jesus Christ, as Jonathan was to David:  To be absolutely true blue dependable friends to follow Christ, to please him and to keep the Word and ways of God in Christ-like zeal without any hint of compromise, to love him in deeds as well as in words!

If we are as faithful to the whole Word of God and to the New Covenant of our baptismal commitment as Jonathan was to David; we shall surely dwell with the mercy and loving kindness of the LORD of our covenant forever!

1 Samuel 20:14 And thou shalt not only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the LORD, that I die not: 20:15 But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the LORD hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth.

Jonathan made a covenant with David; accepting that David would be king and pledging that Jonathan would follow and serve David forever.

This is the same covenant that we make with Jesus Christ at our baptism; that he is our King and that we will serve him fully, faithfully; and with the passion of the deepest strongest love forever.

Oh, the foolishness and ignorance of those selfish souls who say they love Jesus and then reject any zeal to live by every Word of God, to please him and to love him in words and deeds.

20:16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the LORD even require it at the hand of David’s enemies. 20:17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

Jonathan then instructs David in how he should be contacted

20:18 Then Jonathan said to David, To morrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty. 20:19 And when thou hast stayed three days, then thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself when the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone Ezel.

20:20 And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark. 20:21 And, behold, I will send a lad, saying, Go, find out the arrows. If I expressly say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee, take them; then come thou: for there is peace to thee, and no hurt; as the LORD liveth. 20:22 But if I say thus unto the young man, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee; go thy way: for the LORD hath sent thee away.

Jonathan again says that his covenant with David is a vow before God forever. Even so our baptismal covenant commitment is an eternal vow of love and commitment to serve the coming King of the world.

20:23 And as touching the matter which thou and I have spoken of, behold, the LORD be between thee and me for ever.

David waited but I expect that David knew the answer, and that this was for the sake of Jonathan so that he might know full well the depth of his father’s hatred. In this situation Saul was a type of Satan who is full of fear, frustration and anger that he will lose his kingdom to one better than himself.

20:24 So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat meat.

The new moon sacrificial feast begins and Saul thinks that perhaps David is not present because of uncleanness. Yes, God did command us to observe the new moons and to be physically and spiritually clean.

20:25 And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, and David’s place was empty. 20:26 Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean.

On the second day of the month Saul asks Jonathan why David is not present.  For if David was unclean for the feast he should have showed up the day after the new moon feast.

20:27 And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David’s place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day?

Jonathan then gives an answer.

20:28 And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem: 20:29 And he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favour in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he cometh not unto the king’s table.

Saul erupts in fury against Jonathan; informing him that he is giving away the kingdom to David. Here we see clearly that Saul understood that David would be given the kingdom and that his hatred of David was political.

20:30 Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness? 20:31 For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.

Jonathan then demands to know what David has done to deserve to die; and Saul makes his intentions very clear.

20:32 And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done? 20:33 And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David.

Jonathan left the table because he, the supposed crown prince, had been humiliated before the nobles by the king; Jonathan grieving also for his father’s apostasy and Saul’s commitment to destroy David.

20:34 So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.

Jonathan then goes to the appointed place and warns David of Saul’s determination to kill him.

20:35 And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him. 20:36 And he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 20:37 And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee? 20:38 And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan’s lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master. 20:39 But the lad knew not any thing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter.

Jonathan sent his servant away and stayed to speak with David.

20:40 And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city.

Jonathan knew that God had given his, Jonathan’s, kingdom to David, because of the sins of his father Saul!

Oh, how Jonathan loved God and was willing to give up ‘his’ kingdom to love and obey God’s judgment, and for the love of his friend David!

20:41 And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.

20:42 And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.

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