1 Samuel 20:7
If he say thus, It is well; your servant shall have peace: but if he be very wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him.
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20:1-10 The trials David met with, prepared him for future advancement. Thus the Lord deals with those whom he prepares unto glory. He does not put them into immediate possession of the kingdom, but leads them to it through much tribulation, which he makes the means of fitting them for it. Let them not murmur at his gracious appointment, nor distrust his care; but let them look forward with joyful expectation to the crown which is laid up for them. Sometimes it appears to us that there is but a step between us and death; at all times it may be so, and we should prepare for the event. But though dangers appear most threatening, we cannot die till the purpose of God concerning us is accomplished; nor till we have served our generation according to his will, if we are believers. Jonathan generously offers David his services. This is true friendship. Thus Christ testifies his love to us, Ask, and it shall be done for you; and we must testify our love to him, by keeping his commandments.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. 5. David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to-morrow the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat—The beginning of a new month or moon was always celebrated by special sacrifices, followed by feasting, at which the head of a family expected all its members to be present. David, both as the king's son-in-law and a distinguished courtier, dined on such occasions at the royal table, and from its being generally known that David had returned to Gibeah, his presence in the palace would be naturally expected. This occasion was chosen by the two friends for testing the king's state of feeling. As a suitable pretext for David's absence, it was arranged that he should visit his family at Beth-lehem, and thus create an opportunity of ascertaining how his non-appearance would be viewed. The time and place were fixed for Jonathan reporting to David; but as circumstances might render another interview unsafe, it was deemed expedient to communicate by a concerted signal. Then be sure, Heb. know thou; for indeed David knew well enough that Saul designed to kill him.; but he useth this course for Jonathan’s information and satisfaction, and for his own greater vindication, if he did wholly withdraw himself from Saul, and from his wife; which he foresaw he should be forced to do. If he say thus, it is well,.... It is very well, it is very good and right in him to do so:

thy servant shall have peace; it will be a token that the wrath of the king was removed, and that his mind was well disposed towards David, and things had taken an happy turn, and would issue in his peace and prosperity:

but if he be very wroth; with Jonathan for giving leave, and with David for going away:

then be sure that evil is determined by him; that he has a settled obstinate malice in his heart, which is become implacable and inveterate, and confirmed in him; and that it is a determined point with him to slay David if possible, which he hoped to have an opportunity of doing at that time in which he was disappointed, and caused such wrath in him.

If he say thus, It is well; thy servant shall have peace: but if he be very wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him.
After the occurrence which had taken place at Naioth, David fled thence and met with Jonathan, to whom he poured out his heart.

(Note: According to Ewald and Thenius, this chapter was not written by the author of the previous one, but was borrowed from an earlier source, and 1 Samuel 20:1 was inserted by the compiler to connect the two together. But the principal reason for this conjecture - namely, that David could never have thought of sitting at the royal table again after what had taken place, and that Saul would still less have expected him to come - is overthrown by the simple suggestion, that all that Saul had hitherto attempted against David, according to 1 Samuel 19:8., had been done in fits of insanity (cf. 1 Samuel 19:9.), which had passed away again; so that it formed no criterion by which to judge of Saul's actual feelings towards David when he was in a state of mental sanity.)

Though he had been delivered for the moment from the death which threatened him, through the marvellous influence of the divine inspiration of the prophets upon Saul and his messengers, he could not find in this any lasting protection from the plots of his mortal enemy. He therefore sought for his friend Jonathan, and complained to him, "What have I done? what is my crime, my sin before thy father, that he seeks my life?"

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