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1Sa 20:1 David fled from Naioth in Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, What have I done? What is my iniquity? What is my sin before your father-
David was clearly upset that Saul's oath before Yahweh not to kill him had been broken so unashamedly (1 Sam. 19:6). He quotes the words of Jacob in Gen. 31:36; perhaps not because the surrounding context was relevant, but because God's word and Biblical precedent was ever on David's mind. See on 1 Sam. 20:13. This all recalls "You seek to kill me... which of you convicts me of sin?" (Jn. 8:37,40,46). Again, we see clearly David as a type of Christ.

That he seeks my life?-
Saul sought the life of David (s.w. 1 Sam. 20:1; 22:23; 23:15; 25:29; 2 Sam. 4:8). In the Psalms, David frequently imprecates judgment upon those who sought his life (s.w. Ps. 35:4; 38:12; 40:14; 54:3; 63:9; 70:2; 71:13; 86:14). He loved Saul, the life of Saul was precious in David's sight, indeed the historical records seem to emphasize David's patient love of Saul; and yet in the Psalms he gives vent before God to his anger with Saul and desire to see Saul punished and judged by God. This is absolutely true to human experience; we may act with great patience and apparent love toward those who abuse us, and yet within we fume about it. The lesson of David is that we are to pour out those feelings to God in prayer, leaving Him to judge.  

1Sa 20:2 He said to him, Far from it; you shall not die. Look, my father does nothing either great or small without disclosing it to me, so why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so-
In the type of Christ, this is Jn. 7:20. We see the complexity of the situation, psychologically. Jonathan loves David more than he does his father Saul, but he also doesn't want to believe that his father is an inveterate liar who would take Yahweh's Name in vain by making an oath and then breaking it (1 Sam. 19;6). Clearly his father did do things without disclosing them to Jonathan. But he is in denial at how bad his father really was towards David, the man and brother he dearly loved and respected. We see precisely the same kinds of apparently contradictory behaviours in relationships all around us. As observers we may see how people are obviously naive to believe others... but within those relationships, vision is not at all so clear. It was all so interwoven, just as relationships are today, resulting in people doing things or trusting people when to onlookers, this is ridiculously unwise and naive. The record here has absolutely every verisimilitude to real life and is absolutely psychologically credible.


1Sa 20:3 But David took an oath and said, Your father knows well that I have found favour in your eyes, so he says, ‘Don’t let Jonathan know this, or he will be grieved’; but truly as Yahweh lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death-
As Saul had sworn by Yahweh not to kill David (1 Sam. 19:6), so David swears in response that Saul does want to kill him. The way Saul had broken that oath was clearly distressing to David. Yet David's faith in the message of Samuel that he would become king is now at maximum stretch. He feels Saul is about to kill him, and gives in further to these feelings when he says he will surely be killed by Saul (1 Sam. 27:1).


1Sa 20:4 Then Jonathan said to David, Whatever your soul desires, I will do it for you-
Jonathan recognizes that what David has said in :3 is true, and as noted on :2, he realizes that indeed he is just refusing to see evil in his father. His loyalties were torn between David and Saul, and now by saying this he comes down on the side of David. "Soul" is the word for "life" in :1, and Jonathan surely means 'Whatever it takes to save your life, I will do'. As noted on :3, we might wish to see at this point more faith by both of them in Samuel's prophetic word that David shall become king. Their faith in that word went up and down, with 1 Sam. 23:17 being a high point in it.


1Sa 20:5 David said to Jonathan, Look, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to dine with the king; but let me go so that I can hide myself in the field until the third day at evening-
This dining was presumably to keep a peace offering and eat together of the sacrifice. Saul for all his unspirituality continued an outward semblance of religious obedience and peace with God- as we can through partaking in the breaking of bread (the Christian equivalent of the peace offering), whilst harbouring obsessive hatred against our brethren in our hearts.


1Sa 20:6 If your father misses me at all then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me to run to Bethlehem, his city, for it is the yearly sacrifice there for all the family’-
This was a lie, as David was in the field (:5). It raises the question as to whether a lie is acceptable at times. We think of the Hebrew midwives in Egypt and Rahab, whose lie was an act of faith.


1Sa 20:7 If he says, ‘Very well’, your servant will have peace; but if he is angry, then know that evil is determined by him-
The reference to "peace" is appropriate if as suggested on :6 a peace offering celebration is in view. This is appropriate language given that context, and confirms us in believing that we are reading the actual words spoken by men millennia ago.


1Sa 20:8 Therefore deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of Yahweh. But if there is iniquity in me, kill me yourself; why should you bring me to your father?-
As discussed further on :9, there is an element of doubt now in David as to Jonathan's loyalty. He reminds him that their covenant that he should be king was before Yahweh. And he entertains the fear that Jonathan might bring David to Saul to be murdered by him; again, a lack of faith in the prophetic word that he would become king. See on :4. We note too that David calls Jonathan his master, recognizing that his life is completely in Jonathan's hands.


1Sa 20:9 Jonathan said, Never! If I should know that evil were determined against you by my father, wouldn’t I tell you?-
We are reading a realistic record of the conversation between two friends, one of whom has conflicted loyalties, and the other naturally fears the integrity and trust in the relationship is thereby under threat. For :8 appears to be David somewhat doubting Jonathan, and Jonathan responds with passion, coming down on David's side with his loyalty.


1Sa 20:10 Then David said to Jonathan, Who will tell me if your father answers you roughly?-
Clearly the two of them were not to be seen together. And it seems Jonathan had not even one trusted servant who could take a message to David; they had to somehow meet so that Jonathan could tell David in person. This is a tacit reflection of the anti-David feelings amongst the courtiers of Saul.


1Sa 20:11 Jonathan said to David, Come, let us go out into the field. They both went out into the field-
Presumably they had this conversation in the field because they were scared of being overheard; see on :10. They also wanted to map out exactly the place where they would meet for Jonathan to share the news with David.


1Sa 20:12 Jonathan said to David, By Yahweh, the God of Israel, when I have sounded out my father, by this time tomorrow or the third day, if he is favourable toward you I will send and tell you-

- see on 1 Sam. 18:1-3. AV "Jonathan said unto David, O Lord God of Israel...". He was aware that he was speaking to Yahweh, or before Yahweh, when speaking to David. And we should be likewise aware. Jonathan is seeking to allay the understandable fears of David, that Jonathan would sacrifice his loyalty to David for the sake of that to his father Saul. But Jonathan swears before Yahweh that his loyalty has come down solidly on David's side.


1Sa 20:13 Yahweh deal with me severely, if my father intends evil against you and I don’t disclose it to you so that I can send you away safely. May Yahweh be with you, as He has been with my father-
The last phrase reflects the continued struggle of feeling within Jonathan, torn as he was between loyalty to Saul and David. Perhaps he is putting in other words the Biblical comment that the Spirit departed from Saul and came to David; God's providential working to make Saul king was transferred to David, and Jonathan here recognizes that. But the Hebrew seems to imply that Yahweh had been with Saul and would continue to be with him. This surely bespeaks a lack of appreciation of the seriousness of Saul's apostasy. Despite Saul commanding Jonathan by clear pronouncement to kill David (1 Sam. 19:1 Hebrew), Jonathan assures David that Saul is not really intending to kill him; the implication is that he felt David's fear of Saul was somewhat exaggerated (1 Sam. 20:1,2). David gently pointed out, in the spirit of Christ, that Jonathan did not realize how deceptive Saul was (1 Sam. 20:3). Saul gave the impression that he 'delighted' in David (1 Sm. 18:22), using the very same word as in 1 Sam. 19:2: "Jonathan... delighted  much in David". In other words, Saul and our surrounding world can appear to have the same attitude to David / Jesus as ourselves. The massive difference between the world's attitude to Christ and our own should become more and more apparent to us, despite the external similarities between us and them. Jonathan's familiarity with his father led him to overlook the manic danger which he posed for David, although at other times Jonathan seems to have faced up to it squarely. Our sense of the seriousness of sin likewise tends to blow hot and cold. 


1Sa 20:14 But while I live, show me the grace of Yahweh so that I will not be killed-
Jonathan here reverts to a stronger faith in the prophetic word that David would indeed be king. He imagined that this would typically involve the slaying of the family of the former king. David feared Jonathan would betray him to death at the hands of Saul; Jonathan feared David would kill him when he became king. It is all so absolutely credible as a psychological narrative, although at this point Jonathan appears to have more faith in the prophetic word of David becoming king than David himself does.

1Sa 20:15 Also, do not cut off your kindness from my house forever, not even when Yahweh has cut off all the enemies of David from the surface of the earth-
Jonathan through faith in Samuel's prophetic word is sure that David will become king, and he sees this as requiring the cutting off of Saul and all David's enemies. He may use 'cutting off' in the sense of cutting off their descendants and family name, and he begs David to show mercy to his own line. As David is nervous of his friend Jonathan, so Jonathan here and in :42 seems also to have almost feared that David would take revenge or punish him in some way, on account of his close relationship with his sinful father. It must have seemed impossible to Jonathan, living at a  time of kinship-based revenge, to believe that ultimately David would not react strongly against Saul's hatred of him. And we too, ever conscious of our sinful associations, struggle to reassure ourselves of the  love of Christ that passes knowledge, just as Jonathan must have looked deeper and deeper into the malice-less love of his friend David. 


The covenant between Jonathan and David was an eternal one ("for ever", 1 Sm. 20:15; 23:17), and was reconfirmed during their brief meetings together, during which they earnestly looked ahead to the Kingdom (1 Sam. 23:17). And as we are all too painfully aware, our friendship with the Lord Jesus reflects the frustration of the Jonathan / David relationship, the accumulated tension of being unable to express their spiritual communication with each other, the pain of physical distance, Jonathan not knowing David's geographical location, having to live up to appearances and expectations in the David-hating court of his bitter father, struggling for the courage to stand up for his best friend.  The sheer human pain of it all is so thoroughly revealed to the sensitive reader of the records. There is a purpose in this: it is to take us further in appreciating the true nature of our relationship with Christ. 


1Sa 20:16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Yahweh will require it at the hand of David’s enemies-
Jonathan proposed it, but David agreed to it. Jonathan accepts that Saul his father would have their behaviour against David "required" of them, at the hands of David. But the covenant was that Jonathan and his family would be spared.

1Sa 20:17 Jonathan made David swear again, for the love that he had for him, for he loved him as he loved his own soul-
We might think that the motive for Jonathan requiring David's oath was more for the sake of his own security. But we are told here that the motive was love for David. Hence LXX "And Jonathan sware again to David". A double oath before Yahweh was the strongest kind of oath they could enter between them. Jonathan's love for David was based upon his respect for him and conviction that he would rightly be the next king instead of himself. It's as if in the tension of the storyline, with both sides distrusting the other despite their friendship, the Divine narrator steps in to assure us of Jonathan's absolute sincerity for David.


1Sa 20:18 Then Jonathan said to him, Tomorrow is the new moon and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty-
This implies that David regularly sat at the new moon peace offering feasts with Saul. Despite all the bitterness Saul felt toward him, he went through the motions of eating at the same religious table with him, in the name of celebrating our common peace with God. Those who complain of insincerity at the communion meal, with brethren hating brethren as they sit there, must realize that there is nothing new under the sun. Faithful men have passed this way before.


1Sa 20:19 When you have waited three days, go down quickly to the place where you hid yourself when this started, and stay by the stone Ezel-
Ezel is literally 'to go' and may refer to a stone set up as a signpost. LXX "heap of stones".


1Sa 20:20 I will shoot three arrows to the side of it as though I shot at a mark-
This whole intricate plan was because Jonathan lacked a single faithful friend or messenger through whom he could communicate with David. He had to do so himself directly. We see here his very difficult situation within the household of Saul, and the extent of opposition to David there.


1Sa 20:21 Then I will send the boy saying, ‘Go, find the arrows!’. If I tell the boy ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them’, then come, for you are safe, as Yahweh lives-
As noted on :20, Jonathan lacked even one faithful messenger. He couldn't even trust this "boy"; see on :39.


1Sa 20:22 But if I say this to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you’, then go your way, for Yahweh has sent you away-
The plan was originally that Jonathan and David would not meet each other. But such was their love for each other, that we see that they did briefly embrace. It has all the makings of a wonderful story with every bit of psychological credibility, and the closer we analyze it we are left with no doubt that what we are reading actually happened. Histories and records of the time all tend to embellish events with so much extra that it is hard to know what really was said or done. But the Biblical record shows such powerful internal evidence of being what it claims to be, the inspired word of God.


1Sa 20:23 Concerning the matter which you and I have spoken of, behold, Yahweh is between you and me forever-
Jonathan is at pains to persuade David of his loyalty, as well as continuing to harbour just a slight fear that in the day of David's exaltation, he might be tempted still to wipe out the entire family of Saul including Jonathan and his family.


1Sa 20:24 So David hid himself in the field, and when the new moon had come, the king sat down to eat-
I have suggested that eating at the new moon festival meant eating the peace offering, which Saul hypocritically did.


1Sa 20:25 The king sat on his seat by the wall as usual and Jonathan sat opposite and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty-
The Divine cameraman zooms in close up. "As usual" again shows that these peace offering feasts, the rough equivalent to the breaking of bread service under the new covenant, were held regularly. And David was usually in attendance at them, despite Saul's obvious insincerity towards him. See on :18. The fact Abner and not Jonathan sat by Saul's side, with Jonathan opposite Saul, would suggest a distance between them, with Abner now hoping to be next in line to the throne after Saul; an honour which Jonathan had resigned to David.


1Sa 20:26 Nevertheless Saul didn’t say anything that day, for he thought, Something has happened to him. He is not clean. Surely he is not clean-
This reinforces the suggestion that the new moon feast was a religious feast, and the eating together was eating the peace offering, even though Samuel wasn't present to bless it. We note too how David was well known for his observation of the Mosaic law; for it was not allowed to eat the peace offering whilst unclean (Lev. 7:20,21).


1Sa 20:27 On the next day after the new moon, the second day, David’s place was empty again. Saul said to Jonathan his son, Why didn’t the son of Jesse come to eat, either yesterday or today?-
In the type of Christ, this looks ahead to Jn. 7:11. If David had been unclean, he would have been clean by sundown. If the excuse of :28 was true, it should have been presented at the start. Jonathan therefore clearly comes over as lying. "The son of Jesse" may suggest Saul found it hard to frame the word "David", meaning "beloved"- of God.


1Sa 20:28 Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem-
As noted on :27, this was obviously a lie as the excuse would have been given at the start of the feast. Jonathan's lie could be justified, but he might as well have been honest with Saul, and explained that David was frightened of Saul because of his erratic behaviour against him.


1Sa 20:29 He said, ‘Please let me go, for our family has a sacrifice in the city. My brother has commanded me to be there. Now, if I have found favour in your eyes, please let me go away and see my brothers’. That is why he has not come to the king’s table-
This would have restimulated Saul's memories of his daughter Michal saying that David had asked her "Let me go away...". He would have felt both his children were lying to him because of their greater loyalty to David. Jonathan's lie was really without any credibility, for nobody in Israel, let alone a Saul supporter like David's brother, would have demanded David's presence at home rather than with Saul at the palace.


1Sa 20:30 Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, You son of a perverse rebellious woman, don’t I know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the confusion of your mother’s nakedness?-
David loved Saul, his daughters and his son Jonathan; and later David was to marry Saul's wives. These wives were given into David's bosom (2 Sam. 12:8); in other words, they were really close in their relationship; so close, 2 Sam. 12:8 implies, that David had no real emotional need to take Bathsheba. Even while Saul was alive there was probably some attraction chemistry going on between David and those women. This may well be reflected in Saul's fury with Jonathan, which hints at least two things: firstly, Saul had a bad relationship with his wife; and secondly, he suspected some kind of unfaithfulness in her with David, perhaps only on a mental level. His paranoia would have led him to suspect all his wives of unfaithfulness. Saul perhaps feared that when David became king and he was deposed, then David would marry his wives, including Jonathan's mother. Just as Absalom took David's wives and lay with them as a sign of his taking of power from David. Even if this were to be how David exercised his kingship, Saul was struggling against the prophetic word which said David was to replace him as king. 



1Sa 20:31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth you will not be established, nor your kingdom. Therefore now send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die!-
Saul assumed that Jonathan was to replace him as king, and assumed Jonathan would want this. He was deeply aware of Samuel's words that Saul's kingdom was not to be established, and was to be given to David. And yet he reasons as if this is not going to happen. This is typical of man's denial of the truth of God's word.

All of us in Christ experience a massive sense of paradox. We live and work in this world, doing the things of this world in our daily occupations, yet in the more important side of our lives we have this high spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus and the Almighty Sovereign of this universe. This is - or ought to be- part of our hour by hour experience in this life. A little imagination of Jonathan's situation soon shows that our dilemma was exactly matched by his experience. He was the King's son, heavily taken up with the day to day running of the Kingdom, clearly tipped to succeed the King, and possibly take over as regent on Saul's retirement. Saul effectively says as much during his explosion at Jonathan for befriending David. So there was Jonathan, going up the ladder towards Kingship, when he had no real interest in this, and when he had firmly decided that David would be king, not himself , when the Kingdom was established (1 Sam. 23:17). There must be hundreds of Christians-come-high flying executives worldwide who can identify completely with this scenario.  

The bitterness underlying Saul's words in 1 Sam. 20:30,31 indicates a certain element of love-hate in Jonathan's relationship with Saul. We can sense this in the record of 1 Sam. 14, when Jonathan overcame the Philistine garrison whilst his father cowered away in nervous faithlessness. How jealous Saul must have been! Jealousy was one of Saul's characteristics, and it is subconsciously a major feature of the world's aggression towards us; for the world is  passively aggressive (cp. Gen. 3:15), if only we manifest Christ as we should. Saul almost seems to have contrived his command not to eat on pain of death in order to incriminate his son, whom he knew would not have heard his prohibition. The way in which he says that even if it were Jonathan who had eaten, then he must die (1 Sam. 14:39), seems to suggest that Saul was actually looking for an excuse to kill Jonathan. This love-hate relationship between Jonathan and Saul is exactly typical of ours with the world and our own flesh.  

 
1Sa 20:32 Jonathan answered Saul his father, Why should he be put to death? What has he done?-
We notice that when Saul tried to put Jonathan to death when he had done no wrong, Jonathan accepted it (1 Sam. 14:43). But he protests strongly when his father treats David the same way. This reflects his deep humility, accepting his own death as he felt a sinner even if innocent of what he was accused of. But he stands up for David, as we should for the Lord Jesus. The answer to Jonathan's question was "Because Saul is jealous of him". When people are pressed to answer the hard questions which they cannot answer, they often become aggressive. And this is just what happened here (:33). Again and again, the record has every psychological verisimilitude and reality.


1Sa 20:33 Saul cast his spear at him to strike him. By this Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death-
Saul was potentially enabled to free Israel from the Philistines, but he failed to have the personal faith required. The main victories against them were by Jonathan (1 Sam. 13,14) and David. And this explains his great jealousy against them both, even planning to slay Jonathan at least twice (1 Sam. 14:39; 20:33). See on 1 Sam. 14:45.

A sensitive heart will constantly be looking to the Lord Jesus for inspiration. For its hard to maintain the intensities of which we have written. Consider how Jonathan suffered the same suffering as did David, in that Saul tried to kill him with a javelin. Jonathan felt the shame of David, and grieved for him. David is set up in the record as a type of Jesus, and Jonathan as a type of those with whom Jesus has made a covenant after His defeat of sin on the cross [cp. the fight with Goliath]. Jonathan lived in an environment which was bitterly opposed to David; yet he stuck up for him, at the risk of embarrassment and opposition, and certain damage to his own prospects; as we should in this wicked world. As Saul cast a javelin at David, so he did at Jonathan (1 Sam. 20:33); as we should fellowship the sufferings of David's greater son. Saul's hate of David resulted in Jonathan being "grieved for David, because his father had done him shame" (1 Sam. 20:34). Is this not our response to our world in its' ceaseless blasphemy of Christ?  


1Sa 20:34 So Jonathan arose 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 treated him shamefully-
If as suggested this feast was a kind of peace offering celebration, this refusal to eat with them on the second day was a sign of refusing religious fellowship with his own father. To eat with someone, or not do so, was a major statement in ancient society. It was as good as quitting relationship with Saul. See on :33.

The Hebrew implies Jonathan felt shamed for the sake of the shame put on David, and was angry because of it. This again bears the hallmark of psychological credibility; for there's a definite link between shame and anger. Take a man whose mother yelled at him because as a toddler he ran out onto the balcony naked, and shamed him by her words. Years later on a hot Summer evening the man as an adult walks out on a balcony with just his underpants on. An old woman yells at him from the yard below that he should be ashamed of himself. And he's furiously angry with her- because of the shame given him by his mother in that incident 20 years ago. Shame and anger are clearly understood by God as being related, because His word several times connects them: "A fool's anger is immediately known; but a prudent man covers his shame" (Prov. 12:16); A king's anger is against a man who shames him (Prov. 14:35). Job's anger was related to the fact that he felt that ten times the friends had shamed him in their speeches (Job 19:3). Frequently the rejected are threatened with both shame and anger / gnashing of teeth; shame and anger are going to be connected in that awful experience. They will "curse [in anger]... and be ashamed" (Ps. 109:28). The final shame of the rejected is going to be so great that "they shall be greatly ashamed... their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten" (Jer. 20:11). Seeing they will be long dead and gone, it is us, the accepted, who by God's grace will recall the terrible shame of the rejected throughout our eternity. Their shame will be so terrible; and hence their anger will likewise be. Because Paul's preaching 'despised' the goddess Diana, her worshippers perceived that she and they were somehow thereby shamed; and so "they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians" (Acts 19:27,28). It's perhaps possible to understand the wrath of God in this way, too. For His wrath is upon those who break His commands; and by breaking them we shame God (Rom. 2:23); we despise his desire for our repentance (Rom. 2:4).


1Sa 20:35 In the morning Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little boy went with him-
As noted on :39, Jonathan was driven to use a child because he didn't want to use anyone who might just guess something was going on in this apparent archery practice.


1Sa 20:36 He said to his boy, Run, find now the arrows which I shoot. As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him-
This apparent missed shot was to give Jonathan the excuse to shout out words to the boy which were really addressed to David.  


1Sa 20:37 When the boy had come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called after the boy, Isn’t the arrow beyond you?-
The boy ran to where the arrows had fallen, near the target. But the arrow shot beyond him was purposeful, so that he could shout the words of :38 which were really intended for David.


1Sa 20:38 Jonathan called after the boy, Go quickly! Hurry! Don’t delay! Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows and came to his master-
These words were intended to be heard by David, who was to not delay in fleeing. But Jonathan's love for David led him to change plans at the last minute; which is completely imaginable in such a relationship and emotional moment. The whole ruse with the archery practice had been in order to relay these words to David. But then the plans change- and Jonathan meets David face to face, because love overpowers him.


1Sa 20:39 But the boy didn’t know anything. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter-
As noted earlier, this whole intricate plan was because Jonathan lacked a single faithful friend or messenger through whom he could communicate with David. He had to do so himself directly, and it was critical that even "the boy" didn't perceive what was going on. We see here his very difficult situation within the household of Saul, and the extent of opposition to David there.


1Sa 20:40 Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy, and said to him, Go, take them to the city-
As discussed on :38, this was a change of plan at the last minute.


1Sa 20:41 As soon as the boy had gone David got up from the south side of the stone, fell on his face to the ground and bowed himself three times. They kissed one another and wept one with another, and David wept the most-
They agree that if Jonathan shoots arrows well beyond David, then David should flee. Obviously they did not intend to meet if this were the case; otherwise there would have been no point in the arrangement about the arrows. David did need to flee, so Jonathan shot the arrows beyond him. Yet  somehow Jonathan and David took a chance and crept towards each other. David went towards Jonathan, somehow hoping that he would meet him. And Jonathan went to find David, hoping against hope that he wouldn't  flee immediately, as they had arranged. This explains the intensity of their meeting together: "they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded" (AV). "Until David exceeded" defies complete translation and interpretation. It clearly does not mean that David cried until he stopped crying. David "exceeded" in that he went somewhere beyond; Strong defines the Hebrew word as meaning 'to be made larger in the mind'. In a sense David broke down emotionally, and yet on another level he went beyond, into a level of relationship which was beyond normal emotional experience. In like manner he commented that his love for Jonathan was beyond the love of women; the love of David for Jonathan pointed forward to that special emotional and spiritual bond in Christ which passes the human experience of love (Eph. 3:19).  


1Sa 20:42 Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, because we have both sworn in the name of Yahweh, saying, ‘Yahweh shall be between me and you, and between my seed and your seed, forever’. David arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city
-
See on 1 Sam. 23:16,18. We are of course invited to see the two friends returning to such different lives. David to the outlaw life of the free scrubland, and Jonathan walked alone uphill back to the court life, fraught as it was with political tensions, anger and frustration. Both lives were equally serving Yahweh, and many servants of God in different situations have reflected upon this truth. We are all called to different situations.