1 Samuel 20:22
But if I say thus to the young man, Behold, the arrows are beyond you; go your way: for the LORD has sent you away.
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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 stone Ezel - It is not mentioned elsewhere, except possibly in 1 Samuel 20:41, where see the note. 19. when thou hast stayed three days—either with your family at Beth-lehem, or wherever you find it convenient.

come to the place where thou didst hide thyself when the business was in hand—Hebrew, "in the day," or "time of the business," when the same matter was under inquiry formerly (1Sa 19:22).

remain by the stone Ezel—Hebrew, "the stone of the way"; a sort of milestone which directed travellers. He was to conceal himself in some cave or hiding-place near that spot.

Take this for an intimation of God’s providence, that thou shouldst keep away from the court. But if I say thus unto the young man, behold, the arrows are beyond thee,.... Being shot to a greater distance than where the young man was:

go thy way, for the Lord hath sent thee away; then he was to depart directly, without staying to have any conversation with Jonathan, which would not be safe for either of them, and so make the best of his way into the country, and escape for his life; for so it was ordered by the providence of God, that he must not stay, but be gone immediately: the signals were these, that if things were favourable, then he would shoot his arrows on one side of the lad, and David might come out and show himself at once; but if not, he would shoot them beyond him, by which he might know that he must flee for his life.

But if I say thus unto the young man, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee; go thy way: for the {i} LORD hath sent thee away.

(i) The Lord is the author of your departure.

22. the young man] The stripling, as in 1 Samuel 17:56.

the Lord hath sent thee away] Bids thee depart. Jonathan is prepared to recognise the Divine Will in the banishment of David from Saul’s court. God had another school in which the future king must be trained.Thus Jonathan concluded a covenant with the house of David, namely, by bringing David to promise kindness to his family for ever. The word בּרית must be supplied in thought to יכרת, as in 1 Samuel 22:8 and 2 Chronicles 7:18. "And Jehovah required it (what Jonathan had predicted) at the hand of David's enemies." Understood in this manner, the second clause contains a remark of the historian himself, namely, that Jonathan's words were really fulfilled in due time. The traditional rendering of וּבקּשׁ as a relative preterite, with אמר understood, "and said, Let Jehovah take vengeance," is not only precluded by the harshness of the introduction of the word "saying," but still more by the fact, that if אמר (saying) is introduced between the copula vav and the verb בּקּשׁ, the perfect cannot stand for the optative בּקּשׁ, as in Joshua 22:23.
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