And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Gave it to David.—It has been suggested that the reason of this gift was to enable his friend David—then poorly clad—to appear at his father’s court in a fitting dress; but this kind of present was usual among friends in those remote ages. Glaucus and Diomed, for instance, exchanged armour of a very different value.
“Now change we arms, and prove to either host
We guard the friendship of the line we boast.
* * * * * *
For Diomed’s brass arms, of mean device,
For which nine oxen paid (a vulgar price),
He gave his own of gold, divinely wrought:
A hundred beeves the shining purchase bought.”
Iliad, vi. 286–295.1 Samuel 18:4. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him — This he did that he might do honour to, as well as show his affection for, David. For it is probable that David was before clothed in a rustic habit, not fit to appear in at court.
and gave it to David, and his garments; his other garments besides his robe, and so clothed him from tip to toe, and which fitted him; for as there was a similarity in their souls, and the disposition of them, so in the make and hulk of their bodies, and in the stature of them:
even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle; these he gave him to accoutre himself with, that he might appear as a soldier, as well as like a prince, and as another Jonathan, or rather the same; that they might seem as one, as alike in body, so in garb and habit.And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. Jonathan stript himself, &c.] Jonathan gave David (1) his mĕîl or long outer robe for ordinary wear (see on 1 Samuel 2:19); (2) his military dress (1 Samuel 17:38) and girdle: (3) even his sword, and the famous bow which was his special weapon (2 Samuel 1:22). The act was at once a ratification of their compact and a pubic mark of honour. See Genesis 41:42; Esther 6:8. We may compare the exchange of armour between Glaucus and Diomede when they met before Troy, as a pledge of old family friendship (Hom. Il. VI. 230).1 Samuel 17:55-58. The account of the relation into which David was brought to Saul through the defeat of Goliath is introduced by a supplementary remark, in 1 Samuel 17:55, 1 Samuel 17:56, as to a conversation which took place between Saul and his commander-in-chief Abner concerning David, whilst he was fighting with the giant. So far, therefore, as the actual meaning is concerned, the verbs in 1 Samuel 17:55 and 1 Samuel 17:56 should be rendered as pluperfects. When Saul saw the youth walk boldly up to meet the Philistine, he asked Abner whose son he was; whereupon Abner assured him with an oath that he did not know. In our remarks concerning the integrity of this section we have already observed, with regard to the meaning of the question put by Saul, that it does not presuppose an actual want of acquaintance with the person of David and the name of his father, but only ignorance of the social condition of David's family, with which both Abner and Saul may hitherto have failed to make themselves more fully acquainted.
(Note: The common solutions of this apparent discrepancy, such as that Saul pretended not to know David, or that his question is to be explained on the supposition that his disease affected his memory, have but little probability in them, although Karkar still adheres to them.)
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