Lesson 2: Jonathan
All Scripture passages here are from the NET Bible; used by permission.
1 Samuel 14:1-14
14:1 Then one day Jonathan son of Saul said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to the Philistine garrison that is opposite us.” But he did not let his father know. 14:2 Now Saul was sitting under a pomegranate tree in Migron, on the outskirts of Gibeah. The army that was with him numbered about six hundred men. 14:3 Now Ahijah was carrying an ephod. He was the son of Ahitub, who was the brother of Ichabod and a son of Phineas, son of Eli, the priest of the LORD in Shiloh. The army was unaware that Jonathan had left. 14:4 Now there was a steep cliff on each side of the pass through which Jonathan intended to go to reach the Philistine garrison. One cliff was named Bozez, the other Seneh. 14:5 The cliff to the north was closer to Micmash, the one to the south closer to Geba. 14:6 Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised men. Perhaps the LORD will intervene for us. Nothing can prevent the LORD from delivering, whether by many or by a few.” 14:7 His armor bearer said to him, “Do everything that is on your mind. Do as you’re inclined. I’m with you all the way!” 14:8 Jonathan replied, “All right! We’ll go over to these men and fight them. 14:9 If they say to us, ‘Stay put until we approach you,’ we will stay right there and not go up to them. 14:10 But if they say, ‘Come up against us,’ we will go up. For in that case the LORD has given them into our hand – it will be a sign to us.” 14:11 When they made themselves known to the Philistine garrison, the Philistines said, “Look! The Hebrews are coming out of the holes in which they hid themselves.” 14:12 Then the men of the garrison said to Jonathan and his armor bearer, “Come on up to us so we can teach you a thing or two!” Then Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up behind me, for the LORD has given them into the hand of Israel!” 14:13 Jonathan crawled up on his hands and feet, with his armor bearer following behind him. Jonathan struck down the Philistines, while his armor bearer came along behind him and killed them. 14:14 In this initial skirmish Jonathan and his armor bearer struck down about twenty men in an area that measured half an acre.
1 Samuel 14:15-46
14:15 Then fear overwhelmed those who were in the camp, those who were in the field, all the army in the garrison, and the raiding bands. They trembled and the ground shook. This fear was caused by God. 14:16 Saul’s watchmen at Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin looked on as the crowd of soldiers seemed to melt away first in one direction and then in another. 14:17 So Saul said to the army that was with him, “Muster the troops and see who is no longer with us.” When they mustered the troops, Jonathan and his armor bearer were not there. 14:18 So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring near the ephod,” for he was at that time wearing the ephod. 14:19 While Saul spoke to the priest, the panic in the Philistines’ camp was becoming greater and greater. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand!” 14:20 Saul and all the army that was with him assembled and marched into battle, where they found the Philistines in total panic killing one another with their swords. 14:21 The Hebrews who had earlier gone over to the Philistine side joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 14:22 When all the Israelites who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines had fled, they too pursued them in battle. 14:23 So the LORD delivered Israel that day, and the battle shifted over to Beth Aven. 14:24 Now the men of Israel were hard pressed that day, for Saul had made the army agree to this oath: “Cursed be the man who eats food before evening! I will get my vengeance on my enemies!” So no one in the army ate anything. 14:25 Now the whole army entered the forest and there was honey on the ground. 14:26 When the army entered the forest, they saw the honey flowing, but no one ate any of it, for the army was afraid of the oath. 14:27 But Jonathan had not heard about the oath his father had made the army take. He extended the end of his staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb. When he ate it, his eyes gleamed. 14:28 Then someone from the army informed him, “Your father put the army under a strict oath saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food today!’ That is why the army is tired.” 14:29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has caused trouble for the land. See how my eyes gleamed when I tasted just a little of this honey. 14:30 Certainly if the army had eaten some of the enemies’ provisions that they came across today, would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?” 14:31 On that day the army struck down the Philistines from Micmash to Aijalon, and they became very tired. 14:32 So the army rushed greedily on the plunder, confiscating sheep, cattle, and calves. They slaughtered them right on the ground, and the army ate them blood and all. 14:33 Now it was reported to Saul, “Look, the army is sinning against the LORD by eating even the blood.” He said, “All of you have broken the covenant! Roll a large stone over here to me.” 14:34 Then Saul said, “Scatter out among the army and say to them, ‘Each of you bring to me your ox and sheep and slaughter them in this spot and eat. But don’t sin against the LORD by eating the blood.” So that night each one brought his ox and slaughtered it there. 14:35 Then Saul built an altar for the LORD; it was the first time he had built an altar for the LORD. 14:36 Saul said, “Let’s go down after the Philistines at night; we will rout them until the break of day. We won’t leave any of them alive!” They replied, “Do whatever seems best to you.” But the priest said, “Let’s approach God here.” 14:37 So Saul asked God, “Should I go down after the Philistines? Will you deliver them into the hand of Israel?” But he did not answer him that day. 14:38 Then Saul said, “All you leaders of the army come here. Find out how this sin occurred today. 14:39 For as surely as the LORD, the deliverer of Israel, lives, even if it turns out to be my own son Jonathan, he will certainly die!” But no one from the army said anything. 14:40 Then he said to all Israel, “You will be on one side, and I and my son Jonathan will be on the other side.” The army replied to Saul, “Do whatever you think is best.” 14:41 Then Saul said, “O LORD God of Israel! If this sin has been committed by me or by my son Jonathan, then, O LORD God of Israel, respond with Urim. But if this sin has been committed by your people Israel, respond with Thummim.” Then Jonathan and Saul were indicated by lot, while the army was exonerated. 14:42 Then Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan!” Jonathan was indicated by lot. 14:43 So Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” Jonathan told him, “I used the end of the staff that was in my hand to taste a little honey. I must die!” 14:44 Saul said, “God will punish me severely if Jonathan doesn’t die!” 14:45 But the army said to Saul, “Should Jonathan, who won this great victory in Israel, die? May it never be! As surely as the LORD lives, not a single hair of his head will fall to the ground! For it is with the help of God that he has acted today.” So the army rescued Jonathan from death. 14:46 Then Saul stopped chasing the Philistines, and the Philistines went back home.
1 Samuel 18:1-15
18:1 When David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan and David became bound together in close friendship. Jonathan loved David as much as he did his own life. 18:2 Saul retained David on that day and did not allow him to return to his father’s house. 18:3 Jonathan made a covenant with David, for he loved him as much as he did his own life. 18:4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with the rest of his gear, including his sword, his bow, and even his belt. 18:5 On every mission on which Saul sent him, David achieved success. So Saul appointed him over the men of war. This pleased not only all the army, but also Saul’s servants. 18:6 When the men arrived after David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women from all the cities of Israel came out singing and dancing to meet King Saul. They were happy as they played their tambourines and three-stringed instruments. 18:7 The women who were playing the music sang, “Saul has struck down his thousands, but David his tens of thousands!” 18:8 This made Saul very angry. The statement displeased him and he thought, “They have attributed to David tens of thousands, but to me they have attributed only thousands. What does he lack, except the kingdom?” 18:9 So Saul was keeping an eye on David from that day onward. 18:10 The next day an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul and he prophesied within his house. Now David was playing the lyre that day. There was a spear in Saul’s hand, 18:11 and Saul threw the spear, thinking, “I’ll nail David to the wall!” But David escaped from him on two different occasions. 18:12 So Saul feared David, because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul. 18:13 Saul removed David from his presence and made him a commanding officer. David led the army out to battle and back. 18:14 Now David achieved success in all he did, for the LORD was with him. 18:15 When Saul saw how very successful he was, he was afraid of him.
1 Samuel 19:1-7 and chapter 20
19:1 Then Saul told his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David. But Saul’s son Jonathan liked David very much. 19:2 So Jonathan told David, “My father Saul is trying to kill you. So be careful tomorrow morning. Find a hiding place and stay in seclusion. 19:3 I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are. I will speak about you to my father. When I find out what the problem is, I will let you know.” 19:4 So Jonathan spoke on David’s behalf to his father Saul. He said to him, “The king should not sin against his servant David, for he has not sinned against you. On the contrary, his actions have been very beneficial for you. 19:5 He risked his life when he struck down the Philistine and the LORD gave all Israel a great victory. When you saw it, you were happy. So why would you sin against innocent blood by putting David to death for no reason?” 19:6 Saul accepted Jonathan’s advice and took an oath, “As surely as the LORD lives, he will not be put to death.” 19:7 Then Jonathan called David and told him all these things. Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he served him as he had done formerly.
(1 Samuel chapter 20) 20:1 David fled from Naioth in Ramah. He came to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my offense? How have I sinned before your father? For he is seeking my life!” 20:2 Jonathan said to him, “By no means are you going to die! My father does nothing large or small without making me aware of it. Why would my father hide this matter from me? It just won’t happen!” 20:3 Taking an oath, David again said, “Your father is very much aware of the fact that I have found favor with you, and he has thought, ‘Don’t let Jonathan know about this, or he will be upset.’ But as surely as the LORD lives and you live, there is about one step between me and death!” 20:4 Jonathan replied to David, “Tell me what I can do for you.” 20:5 David said to Jonathan, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and I am certainly expected to join the king for a meal. You must send me away so I can hide in the field until the third evening from now. 20:6 If your father happens to miss me, you should say, ‘David urgently requested me to let him go to his city Bethlehem, for there is an annual sacrifice there for his entire family.’ 20:7 If he should then say, ‘That’s fine,’ then your servant is safe. But if he becomes very angry, be assured that he has decided to harm me. 20:8 You must be loyal to your servant, for you have made a covenant with your servant in the LORD’s name. If I am guilty, you yourself kill me! Why bother taking me to your father?” 20:9 Jonathan said, “Far be it from you to suggest this! If I were at all aware that my father had decided to harm you, wouldn’t I tell you about it?” 20:10 David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?” 20:11 Jonathan said to David, “Come on. Let’s go out to the field.” When the two of them had gone out into the field, 20:12 Jonathan said to David, “The LORD God of Israel is my witness. I will feel out my father about this time the day after tomorrow. If he is favorably inclined toward David, will I not then send word to you and let you know? 20:13 But if my father intends to do you harm, may the LORD do all this and more to Jonathan, if I don’t let you know and send word to you so you can go safely on your way. May the LORD be with you, as he was with my father. 20:14 While I am still alive, extend to me the loyalty of the LORD, or else I will die! 20:15 Don’t ever cut off your loyalty to my family, not even when the LORD has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth 20:16 and called David’s enemies to account.” So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David. 20:17 Jonathan once again took an oath with David, because he loved him. In fact Jonathan loved him as much as he did his own life. 20:18 Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed, for your seat will be empty. 20:19 On the third day you should go down quickly and come to the place where you hid yourself the day this all started. Stay near the stone Ezel. 20:20 I will shoot three arrows near it, as though I were shooting at a target. 20:21 When I send a boy after them, I will say, “Go and find the arrows.” If I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; get them,’ then come back. For as surely as the LORD lives, you will be safe and there will no problem. 20:22 But if I say to the boy, “Look, the arrows are on the other side of you,’ get away. For in that case the LORD has sent you away. 20:23 With regard to the matter that you and I discussed, the LORD is the witness between us forever!” 20:24 So David hid in the field. When the new moon came, the king sat down to eat his meal. 20:25 The king sat down in his usual place by the wall, with Jonathan opposite him and Abner at his side. But David’s place was vacant. 20:26 However, Saul said nothing about it that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to make him ceremonially unclean. Yes, he must be unclean.” 20:27 But the next morning, the second day of the new moon, David’s place was still vacant. So Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why has Jesse’s son not come to the meal yesterday or today?” 20:28 Jonathan replied to Saul, “David urgently requested that he be allowed to go to Bethlehem. 20:29 He said, ‘Permit me to go, for we are having a family sacrifice in the city, and my brother urged me to be there. So now, if I have found favor with you, let me go to see my brothers.’ For that reason he has not come to the king’s table.” 20:30 Saul became angry with Jonathan and said to him, “You stupid traitor! Don’t I realize that to your own disgrace and to the disgrace of your mother’s nakedness you have chosen this son of Jesse? 20:31 For as long as this son of Jesse is alive on the earth, you and your kingdom will not be established. Now, send some men and bring him to me. For he is as good as dead!” 20:32 Jonathan responded to his father Saul, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 20:33 Then Saul threw his spear at Jonathan in order to strike him down. So Jonathan was convinced that his father had decided to kill David. 20:34 Jonathan got up from the table enraged. He did not eat any food on that second day of the new moon, for he was upset that his father had humiliated David. 20:35 The next morning Jonathan, along with a young servant, went out to the field to meet David. 20:36 He said to his servant, “Run, find the arrows that I am about to shoot.” As the servant ran, Jonathan shot the arrow beyond him. 20:37 When the servant came to the place where Jonathan had shot the arrow, Jonathan called out to the servant, “Isn’t the arrow further beyond you?” 20:38 Jonathan called out to the servant, “Hurry! Go faster! Don’t delay!” Jonathan’s servant retrieved the arrow and came back to his master. 20:39 (Now the servant did not understand any of this. Only Jonathan and David knew what was going on.) 20:40 Then Jonathan gave his equipment to the servant who was with him. He said to him, “Go, take these things back to the city.” 20:41 When the servant had left, David got up from beside the mound, knelt with his face to the ground, and bowed three times. Then they kissed each other and they both wept, especially David. 20:42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for the two of us have sworn together in the name of the LORD saying, ‘The LORD will be between me and you and between my descendants and your descendants forever.’”
1 Samuel 23:1-18
23:1 They told David, “The Philistines are fighting in Keilah and are looting the threshing floors.” 23:2 So David asked the LORD, “Should I go and strike down these Philistines?” The LORD said to David, “Go, strike down the Philistines and deliver Keilah.” 23:3 But David’s men said to him, “We are afraid while we are still here in Judah! What will it be like if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” 23:4 So David asked the LORD once again. But again the LORD replied, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 23:5 So David and his men went to Keilah and fought the Philistines. He took away their cattle and thoroughly defeated them. David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah. 23:6 Now when Abiathar son of Ahimelech had fled to David at Keilah, he had brought with him an ephod. 23:7 When Saul was told that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand, for he has boxed himself into a corner by entering a city with two barred gates.” 23:8 So Saul mustered all his army to go down to Keilah and besiege David and his men. 23:9 When David realized that Saul was planning to harm him, he told Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod!” 23:10 Then David said, “O LORD God of Israel, your servant has clearly heard that Saul is planning to come to Keilah to destroy the city because of me. 23:11 Will the leaders of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down as your servant has heard? O LORD God of Israel, please inform your servant!” Then the LORD said, “He will come down.” 23:12 David asked, “Will the leaders of Keilah deliver me and my men into Saul’s hand?” The LORD said, “They will deliver you over.” 23:13 So David and his men, who numbered about six hundred, set out and left Keilah; they moved around from one place to another. When told that David had escaped from Keilah, Saul called a halt to his expedition. 23:14 David stayed in the strongholds that were in the desert and in the hill country of the desert of Ziph. Saul looked for him all the time, but God did not deliver David into his hand. 23:15 David realized that Saul had come out to seek his life; at that time David was in Horesh in the desert of Ziph. 23:16 Then Jonathan son of Saul left and went to David at Horesh. He encouraged him through God. 23:17 He said to him, “Don’t be afraid! For the hand of my father Saul cannot find you. You will rule over Israel, and I will be your second in command. Even my father Saul realizes this.” 23:18 When the two of them had made a covenant before the LORD, David stayed on at Horesh, but Jonathan went to his house.