1 Samuel 20:36
And he said to his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
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(36) He shot an arrow beyond him.—This was the sign agreed on if all was over for David at the court of Saul. Expositors are in a little difficulty, though, here, as only one arrow is mentioned, whereas “three” had to be shot according to the terms of the understanding. We cannot imagine, as some have suggested, that “Jonathan shortened the affair, and shot only once, considering that there was danger in delay,” and that every moment was of consequence; had there been such need of haste, the parting scene would have been cut even shorter. It is better, with Keil, to assume that the “singular” here stands in an indefinite general way, the author not thinking it needful, after what he had before said, to state that Jonathan shot three arrows one after another.

20:35-42 The separation of two such faithful friends was grievous to both, but David's case was the more deplorable, for David was leaving all his comforts, even those of God's sanctuary. Christians need not sorrow, as men without hope; but being one with Christ, they are one with each other, and will meet in his presence ere long, to part no more; to meet where all tears shall be wiped from their eyes.The greatest insult and most stinging reproach that can be cast upon an Oriental is to reproach his parents or ancestors (see Job 30:8). Saul means to intimate that Jonathan was stubborn from his mother's womb. 36. he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot—The direction given aloud to the attendant was the signal preconcerted with David. It implied danger. No text from Poole on this verse. And he said unto his lad, run, find out now the arrows which I shoot,.... He no doubt told him the mark which he should shoot at, the stone Ezel, and bid him look out about that for them:

and as the lad ran; before he had got to the mark:

he shot an arrow beyond him: or it; beyond the lad, or beyond the mark he shot at; purposely shooting with great strength, that he might exceed, and thereby give notice to David how things stood, which was the sign agreed on.

And he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
Saul was greatly enraged at this, and said to Jonathan, "Son of a perverse woman (נעות is a participle, Niph. fem. from עוה) of rebellion," - i.e., son of a perverse and rebellious woman (an insult offered to the mother, and therefore so much the greater to the son), hence the meaning really is, "Thou perverse, rebellious fellow," - "do I not know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own shame, and to the shame of thy mother's nakedness?" בּחר, to choose a person out of love, to take pleasure in a person; generally construed with בּ pers., here with ל, although many Codd. have בּ here also. "For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the earth, thou and thy kingdom (kingship, throne) will not stand." Thus Saul evidently suspected David as his rival, who would either wrest the government from him, or at any rate after his death from his son. "Now send and fetch him to me, for he is a child of death," i.e., he has deserved to die, and shall be put to death.
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