|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:1-10 How forcible are right words! Saul was, for a time, convinced of the unreasonableness of his enmity to David; but he continued his malice against David. So incurable is the hatred of the seed of the serpent against that of the woman; so deceitful and desperately wicked is the heart of man without the grace of God, Jer 17:9.
Verse 1. - Saul spake to Jonathan his son...that they should kill David. The translation of the last clause is untenable; it really means "about killing David," and so both the Septuagint and the Syriac render it. The descent of men once full of noble impulses, as was the case with Saul, into open crime is gradual, and with many halts on the way. Saul first gave way to envy, and instead of struggling against his bad feelings, nourished them. Then, when scarcely accountable for his actions, he threatened David's life; and next, with growing malice, encouraged him in dangerous undertakings, in the hope that in one of them he might be slain. And now he goes one step farther. He talks to Jonathan and his officers concerning the many reasons there were for David's death; argues that without it there will be no security for himself and his dynasty; represents David probably as a traitor, with secret purposes of usurping the throne; and reveals what hitherto had been but the half-formed wishes of his heart. But even now, probably, he still spoke of David's death as a painful necessity, and had many misgivings in his own mind. But he was really encouraging himself in crime, and by cherishing thoughts of murder he was gradually descending towards the dark abyss into which he finally fell.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Saul spake to Jonathan his son,.... Who was heir to his crown; and though he knew he loved David, and was in strict friendship with him, yet he might hope, that as his succession to the kingdom was in danger, as he thought, and that David was his rival in it, his mind would be alienated from him; and that he would listen rather to a father than a friend, and would see where his true interest lay, and abandon David, yea, seek his ruin, which Saul was intent upon
and to all his servants; who yet pretended to love David, and as he himself said they did, and some of them might; with these he might rather hope to succeed, as they were attached to him, and might be secretly enemies of David, and therefore to these, as well as to his son, he spake, and gave his orders:
that they should kill David; as if he was a traitor, and an usurper of his throne, and one that had a design upon that, and upon his life; finding he could do nothing by the schemes, and snares, and stratagems, he used in a private manner, he grew outrageous and furious, and openly declared his views, and laid his injunctions on his son and servants to take away David's life, as a very dangerous person to his crown and government.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1Sa 19:1-7. Jonathan Discloses His Father's Purpose to Kill David.
1. Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David—The murderous design he had secretly cherished he now reveals to a few of his intimate friends. Jonathan was among the number. He prudently said nothing at the time, but secretly apprised David of his danger; and waiting till the morning, when his father's excited temper would be cooled, he stationed his friend in a place of concealment, where, overhearing the conversation, he might learn how matters really stood and take immediate flight, if necessary.
1 Samuel 19:1 Parallel Commentaries
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