1 Samuel 19:6
And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan: and Saul swore, As the LORD lives, he shall not be slain.
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(6) And Saul hearkened.—The moving eloquence of Jonathan touched Saul’s heart, and for a brief space something of the old noble spirit influenced the king, and he swore he would not attempt his life.

1 Samuel 19:6-9. Saul sware, As the Lord liveth — And, without all doubt, he intended what he said, feeling a real change in himself for the present. “God,” says Mr. Henry, “inclined the heart of Saul to hearken to the voice of Jonathan.” From this, however, and other similar instances, it appears that Saul was of a hasty, precipitate temper; and that he had too little reverence for an oath. And as he swore inconsiderately, so, he as quickly and inconsiderately broke his oath; which may be a lesson to us never to take an oath upon any occasion, but with the greatest seriousness and an inward veneration, 1 Samuel 19:8-9. And there was war again — The battles of which were only between parties, for David commanded no more than a thousand men, 1 Samuel 18:13. And if the whole army of the Philistines had been gathered together, Abner would have commanded the army of Israel against them; for he was captain of the host. David went out and fought with the Philistines — So David continues his good services, though they were ill requited. They who are ill paid for doing good, yet must not be weary of well-doing, remembering how bountiful a benefactor God is, even to the evil and unthankful. The evil spirit was upon Saul — David’s successes against the Philistines revived his envy, and the devil watched the opportunity as he had done before. And David played with his hand — He did not omit his duty to Saul, though he knew his danger.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.The days were not expired - David was so rapid in his attack upon the Philistines that he was able to bring the required dowry within the time, and to receive his wife (Michal), before the time had expired within which he was to receive Merab. 4-7. Jonathan spake good of David—He told his father he was committing a great sin to plot against the life of a man who had rendered the most invaluable services to his country and whose loyalty had been uniformly steady and devoted. The strong remonstrances of Jonathan produced an effect on the impulsive mind of his father. As he was still susceptible of good and honest impressions, he bound himself by an oath to relinquish his hostile purpose; and thus, through the intervention of the noble-minded prince, a temporary reconciliation was effected, in consequence of which David was again employed in the public service. This great change is not to be ascribed to any true repentance for his sin against David, or any better affection which he now had to him; but merely to his own worldly interest, because he was convinced by Jonathan’s discourse that he could not kill him without great inconvenience and shame to himself. And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan,.... Not only heard him out what he had to say, but was affected with it, and wrought upon by it, and was convicted for the present that he was wrong in seeking the life of David, and therefore would desist from it; the Lord working upon his mind by what Jonathan said, and inclined him to listen to it, and act accordingly:

and Saul sware, as the Lord liveth, he shall not be slain; this oath he added to what he said to Jonathan, for the confirmation of it; and which was taken either with a real intention to keep it, though that intention did not long continue; or with a view to deceive Jonathan, that he might acquaint David with it, and so prevent his flight and escape, and that he might the more easily fall into his hands; but the former seems rather to be the case.

And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul {c} sware, As the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.

(c) Whatever he pretended outwardly, yet his heart was full of malice.

6. Saul sware] Sincerely no doubt for the time, but with no real repentance for his murderous design.The occasion for the practical manifestation of this enmity was the success of David in all his engagements with the Philistines. As often as the princes of the Philistines went out (sc., to war with Israel), David acted more wisely and prosperously than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was held in great honour. With this general remark the way is prepared for the further history of Saul's conduct towards David.
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