|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:1-5 The friendship of David and Jonathan was the effect of Divine grace, which produces in true believers one heart and one soul, and causes them to love each other. This union of souls is from partaking in the Spirit of Christ. Where God unites hearts, carnal matters are too weak to separate them. Those who love Christ as their own souls, will be willing to join themselves to him in an everlasting covenant. It was certainly a great proof of the power of God's grace in David, that he was able to bear all this respect and honour, without being lifted up above measure.
Verse 1. - When he had made an end of speaking. This conversation took place as soon as the pursuit of the Philistines and the collecting of the spoil were over. There would then be a muster of the Israelites, and Abner would naturally present the youthful champion to the king, who is represented as having virtually forgotten him, and as anxious to learn his history; nor had his stay been long enough for Abner to remember him. As this conversation is narrated as an introduction to the account of Jonathan's friendship for David, the last four verses of ch. 17. ought to be prefixed to ch. 18. A new beginning commences with them, in which we are told of the commencement of this friendship, of the growth of Saul's hatred, and of the trials which befell David, proceeding on the king's part from bad to worse, till at last he was driven away and compelled to lead the life of an outlaw. But by his envy, cruelty, and bad government Saul was alienating the minds of the people from him, and preparing the way for his own downfall and David's ultimate triumph. The episode of Jonathan's love is as beautiful as Saul's conduct is dark, and completes our admiration for this generous and noble hero. The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David. These kindred spirits had so much in common that, as David with modest manliness answered the king's questions, an intense feeling of admiration grew up in the young warrior's heart, and a friendship was the result which ranks among the purest and noblest examples of true manly affection. The word rendered knit literally means knotted, tied together firmly by indissoluble bonds.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul,.... In answer to his questions about his descent and family, and doubtless more things were talked of than are recorded:
that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David: he won his heart, made a conquest of his affections, these went out towards him, and cleaved unto him; such were the comeliness of his person, his graceful mien and deportment, his freedom and fluency of expression, his courage and undauntedness, joined with prudence, modesty, and integrity, that they strongly attached him to him:
and Jonathan loved him as his own soul; not only according to the excellency of David's soul, and the greatness of it, as that deserved respect and love, as Abarbinel suggests, but he loved him as he loved himself. There was a similarity in their persons, in their age, in the dispositions of their minds, in their wisdom, courage, modesty, faithfulness, and openness of soul, that attracted them to each other, that they became as another self; as one soul, as Aristotle speaks (r) of true friends: instances of very cordial friendship are given by Plutarch (s), as in Theseus and Pirithous, Achilles and Patroclus, Orestes and Pylades, Pythias and Damon, Epaminondas and Pelopidas; but none equal to this.
(r) Ethic. l. 9. c. 4, 9. So Porphyr. de Vita Pythagor. (s) Apud Patrick in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1Sa 18:1-4. 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 Jonathan.
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