|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:1-10 The trials David met with, prepared him for future advancement. Thus the Lord deals with those whom he prepares unto glory. He does not put them into immediate possession of the kingdom, but leads them to it through much tribulation, which he makes the means of fitting them for it. Let them not murmur at his gracious appointment, nor distrust his care; but let them look forward with joyful expectation to the crown which is laid up for them. Sometimes it appears to us that there is but a step between us and death; at all times it may be so, and we should prepare for the event. But though dangers appear most threatening, we cannot die till the purpose of God concerning us is accomplished; nor till we have served our generation according to his will, if we are believers. Jonathan generously offers David his services. This is true friendship. Thus Christ testifies his love to us, Ask, and it shall be done for you; and we must testify our love to him, by keeping his commandments.
Verse 10. - Who shall tell me? or what if, etc. The if is an insertion of the A.V. Really David's question is very involved and ungrammatical, as was natural in his excited state. It may be translated, "Who will tell me (or, how shall I know) what rough answer thy father will give thee?" But some Jewish authorities render, "Who will tell me if so be that thy father give thee a rough answer?"
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then said David to Jonathan, who shall tell me?.... The disposition of Saul's mind towards him, whether he gave a kind answer to the report of Jonathan concerning him:
or what if thy father answer thee roughly? or hard words, as the Targum, whether he answers in a kind, loving, and smooth manner, or whether in a rough and angry one: the question is here, how he should be informed of this, since especially, if in the latter, it would not be safe for Jonathan to come himself to him, nor could he well trust the message with any other. Abarbinel thinks, that the first of these expressions is by way of question, who should declare to him his father's will and intention, whether good or bad: and the latter by way of outcry, woe unto me, if thy father should answer thee roughly; I greatly fear he will chide thee for my sake; my heart will be filled with sorrow if thou shouldest suffer reproach and rebuke on my account.
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