2 Samuel 1:26
I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
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(26) Passing the love of women.—By this strong expression, comparing Jonathan’s love for David to that of the faithful wife for her husband, David shows his appreciation of that wonderful affection which had existed between Jonathan and himself under the most untoward circumstances. It was such an affection as could only exist between noble natures and those united in the fear of God. In these last verses of the elegy which relate to Jonathan alone, David has given expression to his own personal sorrow.

1:17-27 Kasheth, or the bow, probably was the title of this mournful, funeral song. David does not commend Saul for what he was not; and says nothing of his piety or goodness. Jonathan was a dutiful son, Saul an affectionate father, therefore dear to each other. David had reason to say, that Jonathan's love to him was wonderful. Next to the love between Christ and his people, that affection which springs form it, produces the strongest friendship. The trouble of the Lord's people, and triumphs of his enemies, will always grieve true believers, whatever advantages they may obtain by them.True friendship, founded on sincere love, so rare, so difficult to be found, so little known among the gay and the great, is one of the richest of Heaven's blessings to man, and when enjoyed, should be regarded as more than a compensation for all of show, and splendor, and flattery that wealth can obtain.

"Though choice of follies fasten on the great,

None clings more obstinate, than fancy fond.

That sacred friendship is their easy prey;

Caught by the wafture of a golden lure,

Or fascination of a high-born smile.

Their smiles, the great, and the coquette, throw out.

For other's hearts, tenacious of their own,

And we no less of ours, when such the bait,

Ye fortune's cofferers? ye powers of wealth!

Can gold gain friendship! Impudence of hope!

As well mere man an angel might beget.

Love, and love only, is the loan for love.

Lorenzo! pride repress; nor hope to find.


24-27. Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, &c.—The fondness for dress, which anciently distinguished Oriental women, is their characteristic still. It appears in their love of bright, gay, and divers colors, in profuse display of ornaments, and in various other forms. The inmost depths of the poet's feeling are stirred, and his amiable disposition appears in the strong desire to celebrate the good qualities of Saul, as well as Jonathan. But the praises of the latter form the burden of the poem, which begins and ends with that excellent prince. For thee, i.e. for the loss of thee. For besides the loss of a true friend, and all the comfort of friendship, which is inestimable, he lost him who both could, and undoubtedly would, have given him a speedy, and quiet, and sure possession of the kingdom; whereas now he met with long and troublesome interruptions.

The love of women, i.e. that love wherewith they love their husbands or children; for their affections are usually more vehement and ardent than men’s.

I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan,.... So he was, not only by nation and religion, but by affinity, having married the sister of Jonathan; and still more so by affection and friendship, he being a friend of David's, that stuck closer to him than a brother, and who loved him as his own soul; he was distressed for him, not on account of his spiritual and eternal state, which he doubted not was happy, but for the manner of his death, his loss of him, and want of his pleasant conversation, of his counsel and advice, and assistance in his present circumstances:

very pleasant hast thou been unto me; in their friendly visits of, and conversation with, one another; many a pleasant hour had they spent together, but now must see each other's faces no more in this world:

thy love to me was wonderful; as indeed he might well say, being towards one of a mean extract in comparison of his, to one who was not his own brother, but a brother-in-law; and to one that was a rival to the crown he was heir to, and would take it before him: and who ran the risk of losing his father's affection, and even his life, for espousing his cause: see 1 Samuel 18:1,

passing the love of women; either that which they are loved with by men, or that with which they love their husbands and children; which is generally the strongest and most affectionate. The Targum is,"more than the love of two women,''than his two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail; so Kimchi; meaning that he was more strongly and affectionately loved by Jonathan than by them, who yet might love him very well too.

I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of {m} women.

(m) Either toward their husbands or their children.

Verse 26. - Thy love to me was wonderful. Never was there a purer friendship than that of Jonathan for David. It began just after the combat with Goliath, when the young prince, instead of seeing in David a rival, who had equalled his own feat of valour, took him to his heart, put upon him his own robe and armour, and thus presented him to the army as his friend and brother. Nor did his father's hatred of David, nor the knowledge that David was to inherit the kingdom, interfere with his love. He remained a dutiful son to his father, and accepted his inferior position with magnanimity, without once seeing in David cause for blame; and it surpassed the love of women, because, to requite their devotion, they look for protection and homage, the more delightful because it is paid by the strong to the weak. But here the lives of the two friends could not combine in one happy fusion of mutual union. Their hearts were bound together, but a hard fate, of which they were fully aware, made the ruin of the one the certain result of the happiness of the other. Nevertheless, Jonathan, with everything to lose, and David with everything to gain, remained true and loyal friends. 2 Samuel 1:26The second strophe (2 Samuel 1:25 and 2 Samuel 1:26) only applies to the friendship of Jonathan:

25 Oh how are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle!

Jonathan (is) slain upon thy heights!

26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan:

Thou wast very kind to me:

Stranger than the love of woman was thy love to me!

2 Samuel 1:25 is almost a verbal repetition of 2 Samuel 1:19. צר (2 Samuel 1:26) denotes the pinching or pressure of the heart consequent upon pain and mourning. נפלאתה, third pers. fem., like a verb הל with the termination lengthened (vid., Ewald, 194, b.), to be wonderful or distinguished. אהבתך, thy love to me. Comparison to the love of woman is expressive of the deepest earnestness of devoted love.

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