Acts 13:22-23 says, “After removing [King Saul], He raised up David to be their king. He also testified about him and said, ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do My will.’ From this man’s seed, in keeping with His promise God brought to Israel a Savior – Yeshua.”[1] The following passage relates to the covenantal love we are to have with Yeshua. [Matt. 10:37] “He who loves father or mother more than Me isn’t worthy of Me, and he who loves son or daughter more than Me isn’t worthy of Me.”

[Read 1 Sam. 20] This Chapter . . .

“contains a preponderance of definite, forceful, strident and emotionally charged language …The finite verb is strengthened or emphasized by a preceding infinitive absolute of the same stem no fewer than seven times in verses 1-21; both David and Jonathan frequently invoke the L_RD’s name in solemn oath, self-imprecation or blessing; the partners repeatedly protest, implore, and react in the strongest of terms; and frequently punctuate their statements with the deictic hinneh, “behold.” (Samuel and the Deuteronomist, pp.191, 264 nn. 10-13)” [2]

The basic outline of the passage is as follows:

  1. David convinces Jonathan that Saul is wanting to kill him (vs. 1-4)
    1. Jonathan does not fully believe David.
  2. David gives Jonathan a plan to help him confirm that Saul wants to kill him. (vs. 5-7)
  3. David and Jonathan confirm their mutual covenant friendship. (vs. 8-17)
    1. “Come let us go into the field” sound very similar to Cain and Abel, but with a different result.
    2. Jonathan wants the covenant to extend to his entire family, which it does eventually do through Mephibosheth.
    3. Jonathan knows that David will be the next king.
  4. Jonathan repeats the plan back to David. (vs. 18-23)
  5. David hides while Jonathan carries out the plan. (vs. 24-34)
    1. David hides for 3 days in the field.
    2. Saul dishonours David, by dishonouring Jonathan
  6. Jonathan returns to the field to inform David. (vs. 35-40)
  7. David and Jonathan say their farewells and reconfirm the covenant. (vs. 41-42)

This passage was actually very difficult for me to go through. The depth of covenant friendship that David and Jonathan shared, is something I could not at first seem to grasp. I read through the passage multiple times, but still could not figure out how to cover it, until I went back to the L_rd in prayer. In our Men’s Bible study on Wednesday we went over John chapter 5. In verses39-40, Yeshua says: “You search the Scriptures because you suppose that in them you have eternal life. It is these that testify about Me. Yet you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life!” So I asked the L-rd how this passage referred to Yeshua, and I was reminded of the last conversation that Yeshua had with His disciples in John chapters 13 thru 17.

Just like David, Yeshua had been telling His disciples that He was about to die, and just like Jonathan, they would not believe Him. [John 13:33-38] Just as Jonathan and David reaffirmed the covenant friendship between them, so Yeshua used this time to reaffirm the new covenant that was between Himself and all who trusted in Him. [Luke 22:19-22]

David told Jonathan how he could demonstrate his love and experience what he himself had gone through with Saul. Yeshua told us in [John 15:18-25] that we would be treated in the same way that He was, because we represent him here on Earth. Also notice that Yeshua quotes several prophetic Psalms and applies them to Himself (13:18 quotes Ps. 41:10; 15:25 quotes Ps. 39:19 & 69:5) all of these Psalms were written by David, and demonstrate how David’s life experiences were a foreshadowing of Yeshua. In Sam. 20:32-34 we saw that the spear that was intended for David was thrown at Jonathan, David’s covenant friend. The commentary stated that, “for  all intents and purposes, Jonathan and David were indistinguishable to Saul as he exploded in “foul-mouthed anger” and “not having David as his target as on two previous occasions, tried to pin David’s surrogate Jonathan to the wall with his spear.[3] In the same way, when we come into covenant with Yeshua we become His “surrogate” here on Earth.

We should expect the same treatment that He received, especially when we speak up for Him, defend His reputation (not our own), and declare Him as “the way, the truth, and the life! No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) This statement has become the cardinal sin in our secular, humanistic society. Yeshua is the only way, the only truth, and the only way to the Father!

How does David and Jonathan’s covenant friendship parallel our relationship with Yeshua?

  • We have a covenantal friendship between ourselves and Yeshua. Just as He intercedes (to intervene on behalf of another) for us (Rom 8:34) so also should we stand in on behalf of Yeshua. (Matt. 10:33)
  • Yeshua told us that we can demonstrate our covenantal love to Him, by loving one another in the same why. (John 13:34)
  • When we “stand in” for Yeshua, we can expect to be treated just as He was treated. (John 15:21)

[1]Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are taken from the Tree Of Life Version (TLV), 2014.

[2]Frank E. Gaebelein, 1 Samuel. (12 Vols.; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary; Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1992), 3:719.

[3] Frank E. Gaebelein, 1 Samuel. (12 Vols.; The EBC; Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1992), 3:724.