But also you shall not cut off your kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the LORD has cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Samuel 20:15. Thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house — The covenant they had made was not merely personal, but reached to their posterity, and was to be kept even when David should have the greatest power, and there were none to oppose his will. These verses seem strongly to indicate that Jonathan knew of David’s being anointed to the kingdom! How unspeakable a generosity is here shown by Jonathan to stipulate for his own life, and the lives of his posterity, with that man whose life, humanly speaking, was now in his power!
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.Thy kindness; he saith not, the kindness of the Lord, as before, because the covenant between them seem to have been only personal, and not comprehending their posterity. And therefore as Jonathan speaks confidently of his own preservation by virtue of that covenant; so he here lays this additional obligation upon David, that he would extend his kindness to all his progeny.
When the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David; which he will certainly do without exception of Saul my father, and those of his children who have joined, or shall join, with him in his hostilities and cruelties against David. And by this word
enemies he implies the reasonableness of his request, because Jonathan was none of that number, and therefore not to be treated as such.
no, not when the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David, everyone from the face of the earth; Saul and his sons, and everyone that should oppose his settlement in the kingdom: Jonathan's meaning is, that the covenant between them should not be only between them personally, but include their posterity, as follows.But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the LORD hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1 Samuel 20:2. "But (כּי after a previous negative assertion) if I certainly discover that evil is determined by my father to come upon thee, and I do not tell it thee," sc., "may God do so to me," etc. The words are to be understood as an asseveration on oath, in which the formula of an oath is to be supplied in thought. This view is apparently a more correct one, on account of the cop. ו before לא, than to take the last clause as a question, "Shall I not tell it thee?"
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