1 Samuel 20:11
And Jonathan said to David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
20:11-23 Jonathan faithfully promises that he would let David know how he found his father affected towards him. It will be kindness to ourselves and to ours, to secure an interest in those whom God favours, and to make his friends ours. True friendship rests on a firm basis, and is able to silence ambition, self-love, and undue regard for others. But who can fully understand the love of Jesus, who gave himself as a sacrifice for rebellious, polluted sinners! how great then ought to be the force and effects of our love to him, to his cause, and his people!The new moon, or beginning of each month, was celebrated with especial sacrifices and blowing of trumpets (marginal references.) The feast was kept with great solemnity as "a day of gladness," and we may presume that the "peace offerings" offered on the occasion furnished the tables of those that offered. 1Sa 20:11-23. Their Covenant Renewed by Oath.

11. Jonathan said to David, Come, let us go into the field—The private dialogue, which is here detailed at full length, presents a most beautiful exhibition of these two amiable and noble-minded friends. Jonathan was led, in the circumstances, to be the chief speaker. The strength of his attachment, his pure disinterestedness, his warm piety, his invocation to God (consisting of a prayer and a solemn oath combined), the calm and full expression he gave of his conviction that his own family were, by the divine will, to be disinherited, and David elevated to the possession of the throne, the covenant entered into with David on behalf of his descendants, and the imprecation (1Sa 20:16) denounced on any of them who should violate his part of the conditions, the reiteration of this covenant on both sides (1Sa 20:17) to make it indissoluble—all this indicates such a power of mutual affection, such magnetic attractiveness in the character of David, such susceptibility and elevation of feeling in the heart of Jonathan, that this interview for dramatic interest and moral beauty stands unrivalled in the records of human friendship.

Lest they should be overheard. And Jonathan said unto David, come, and let us go out into the field,.... That they might more fully, and freely, and familiarly talk of this affair between them, without any danger of being overheard by the servants of Saul, as they were in his palace, where they now were:

and they went out both of them into the field; which belonged to Gibeah.

And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11–23. David and Jonathan renew their covenant

11. into the field] To escape observation they leave the city, in which the conversation has been held hitherto.Verses 11-13. - Let us go out into the field. David's question had shown Jonathan that there were grave difficulties in their way, and so he proposes that they should walk into the country, to be able to talk with one another more freely, and concert measures for the future. And there Jonathan binds himself with a solemn oath, if Saul's intentions be good, to send a trusty messenger to inform David, but if there be danger, then to come and tell David himself. O Lord God. With a few MSS. we must supply the usual formula of an oath: "As Jehovah the God of Israel liveth." About tomorrow any time, or the third day. This cumbrous translation arose out of the mistaken idea that the word rendered tomorrow could only be used in that limited sense. Strictly it signifies the morning, and is applicable to any morrow. Jonathan fixes one time, and one only, and the passage should be rendered, "By this time on the third morrow." The meeting was to be on the morrow after the second day of the festival, and so on the third morrow after the conversation. The whole may be translated, "As Jehovah the God of Israel liveth, when by this time on the third morrow I have searched my father, and, behold, there be good for David, if then I send not to thee, and uncover thy ear, Jehovah do so and much more to Jonathan." The alternative case is then put, and if the news be evil, Jonathan undertakes himself to be the messenger, and David is to provide for his safety by flight. The concluding prayer that Jehovah might be with David as he had been with Saul contains the same presentiment of David attaining to great power and dignity which is more directly expressed in the following verses. When Jonathan answered, "What thy soul saith, will I do to thee," i.e., fulfil every wish, David made this request, "Behold, to-morrow is new moon, and I ought to sit and eat with the king: let me go, that I may conceal myself in the field (i.e., in the open air) till the third evening." This request implies that Saul gave a feast at the new moon, and therefore that the new moon was not merely a religious festival, according to the law in Numbers 10:10; Numbers 28:11-15, but that it was kept as a civil festival also, and in the latter character for two days; as we may infer both from the fact that David reckoned to the third evening, i.e., the evening of the third day from the day then present, and therefore proposed to hide himself on the new moon's day and the day following, and also still more clearly from 1 Samuel 20:12, 1 Samuel 20:27, and 1 Samuel 20:34, where Saul is said to have expected David at table on the day after the new moon. We cannot, indeed, conclude from this that there was a religious festival of two days' duration; nor does it follow, that because Saul supposed that David might have absented himself on the first day on account of Levitical uncleanness (1 Samuel 20:26), therefore the royal feast was a sacrificial meal. It was evidently contrary to social propriety to take part in a public feast in a state of Levitical uncleanness, even though it is not expressly forbidden in the law.
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