Jonathan Loves David.
1. the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of
David—They were nearly of an age. The prince had taken little
interest in David as a minstrel; but his heroism and modest, manly
bearing, his piety and high endowments, kindled the flame not of
admiration only, but of affection, in the congenial mind of
2. Saul would let him go no more home—He
was established as a permanent resident at court.
3. Then Jonathan and David made a
covenant—Such covenants of brotherhood are frequent in the
East. They are ratified by certain ceremonies, and in presence of
witnesses, that the persons covenanting will be sworn brothers for
4. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was
upon him, and gave it to David—To receive any part of the
dress which had been worn by a sovereign, or his eldest son and
heir, is deemed, in the East, the highest honor which can be
conferred on a subject (see on Es 6:8). The
girdle, being connected with the sword and the bow, may be considered
as being part of the military dress, and great value is attached to it
in the East.
Saul Envies His Praise.
6. the women came out of all cities of
Israel—in the homeward march from the pursuit of the
Philistines. This is a characteristic trait of Oriental manners. On the
return of friends long absent, and particularly on the return of a
victorious army, bands of women and children issue from the towns and
villages, to form a triumphal procession, to celebrate the victory,
and, as they go along, to gratify the soldiers with dancing,
instrumental music, and extempore songs, in honor of the generals who
have earned the highest distinction by feats of gallantry. The Hebrew
women, therefore, were merely paying the customary gratulations to
David as the deliverer of their country, but they committed a great
indiscretion by praising a subject at the expense of their
9. Saul eyed David—that is, invidiously,
with secret and malignant hatred.
1Sa 18:10-12. Seeks to Kill
10. on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God
came upon Saul—This rankling thought brought on a sudden
paroxysm of his mental malady.
he prophesied—The term denotes one
under the influence either of a good or a bad spirit. In the present it
is used to express that Saul was in a frenzy. David, perceiving the
symptoms, hastened, by the soothing strains of his harp, to allay the
stormy agitation of the royal mind. But before its mollifying influence
could be felt, Saul hurled a javelin at the head of the young
there was a javelin in Saul's hand—Had
it been followed by a fatal result, the deed would have been considered
the act of an irresponsible maniac. It was repeated more than once
ineffectually, and Saul became impressed with a dread of David as under
the special protection of Providence.
1Sa 18:13-16. Fears Him for
His Good Success.
13. Therefore Saul removed him from
him—sent him away from the court, where the principal
persons, including his own son, were spellbound with admiration of the
young and pious warrior.
made him captain over a thousand—gave
him a military commission, which was intended to be an honorable exile.
But this post of duty served only to draw out before the public the
extraordinary and varied qualities of his character, and to give him a
stronger hold of the people's affections.
1Sa 18:17-21. He Offers Him
His Daughter for a Snare.
17. Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter
Merab, her will I give thee to wife—Though bound to this
already [1Sa 17:25],
he had found it convenient to forget his former promise. He now holds
it out as a new offer, which would tempt David to give additional
proofs of his valor. But the fickle and perfidious monarch broke his
pledge at the time when the marriage was on the eve of being
celebrated, and bestowed Merab on another man (see on 2Sa 21:8); an indignity as well as a wrong, which was
calculated deeply to wound the feelings and provoke the resentment of
David. Perhaps it was intended to do so, that advantage might be taken
of his indiscretion. But David was preserved from this snare.
20. Michal Saul's daughter loved
David—This must have happened some time after.
they told Saul, and the thing pleased
him—Not from any favor to David, but he saw that it would be
turned to the advancement of his malicious purposes, and the more so
when, by the artful intrigues and flattery of his spies, the loyal
sentiments of David were discovered.
25. The king desireth not any dowry—In
Eastern countries the husband purchases his wife either by gifts
or services. As neither David nor his family were in circumstances to
give a suitable dowry for a princess, the king intimated that he would
be graciously pleased to accept some gallant deed in the public
a hundred foreskins of the
Philistines—Such mutilations on the bodies of their slain
enemies were commonly practised in ancient war, and the number told
indicated the glory of the victory. Saul's willingness to accept a
public service had an air of liberality, while his choice of so
difficult and hazardous a service seemed only putting a proper value on
gaining the hand of a king's daughter. But he covered unprincipled
malice against David under this proposal, which exhibited a zeal for
God and the covenant of circumcision.
26. the days were not expired—The period
within which this exploit was to be achieved was not exhausted.
27. David … slew of the Philistines two
hundred men—The number was doubled, partly to show his
respect and attachment to the princess, and partly to oblige Saul to
the fulfilment of his pledge.
29. Saul was yet the more afraid of
David—because Providence had visibly favored him, by not only
defeating the conspiracy against his life, but through his royal
alliance paving his way to the throne.