1 Samuel 20:27–34
But on the second day, the day after the new moon, David’s place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has not the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?” Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem. He said, ‘Let me go, for our clan holds a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. So now, if I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away and see my brothers.’ For this reason he has not come to the king’s table.”
Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.” Then Jonathan answered Saul his father, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. And Jonathan rose from the table in fierce anger and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had disgraced him.
Things were nutty before. Now Saul’s nuttiness has gone nuclear. Saul is so anxious to have Jonathan succeed him as king that he’s willing to kill him to make it happen. That sounds like a Yogi Berra-ism.
“I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous.” — Yogi Berra
This is heartbreaking—for Jonathan. He’s so upset, he doesn’t eat.
Do not miss why Jonathan wouldn’t eat. It was because his father had treated him shamefully.
His father had basically cussed him out. The phrase, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman,” hints that he’s illegitimate—that Saul isn’t actually his father. Then he used the word “shame” twice, implying that Jonathan’s actions (letting David’s attend his own family’s feast) shamed himself and his mother.
Then he, at last, gets to the point. “For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.”
But how does Saul know this (or even think it)? Does he know that Samuel anointed David?
Probably. Samuel told him that the LORD has rejected him as king and picked someone else.
And Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.” — 1 Samuel 15:28
So, Samuel must have anointed someone. It’s pretty obvious by this point that it’s David.
Both Saul and Jonathan know that David has been anointed king. But Saul is kicking against the goads.
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” — Acts 26:14b
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These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday ones are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to the DEEP click here: https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community
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Scripture taken from the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.