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Sunday, April 6 2014
1 Samuel 20: David and Jonathan
"Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever"
David (from the Hebrew name pronounced daw-veed) and Jonathan (from the Hebrew name pronounced ye-hon-atan - there is no "j" sound in Hebrew i.e. in Hebrew, "Jerusalem" is actually pronounced yer-oo-shaw-lay-im) experienced one of the greatest friendships recorded in the Scriptures. Although there was a substantial age difference between them (David was a boy when he killed Goliath, while Jonathan at that time was a young man - a battle commander in the king's army; see 1 Samuel 14: Jonathan's Sweet Victory), their friendship became like brothers should be when David went to live in King Saul's house, with his son Jonathan, after his victory over Goliath (see 1 Samuel 17: The Battle Of David And Goliath and 1 Samuel 18: The Rise Of David).
As David grew into a young man, he served King Saul very well - so much so that Saul grew jealous and hateful of him. Eventually, Saul turned on his patriotic servant and tried to kill him (see 1 Samuel 19: The Parting of David and Saul). Jonathan, at first, refused to believe it.
"20:1 And David fled from Naioth in Ramah [see Naioth In Ramah], and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life?
David and Jonathan then devised a test to provide Jonathan with the evidence that David already knew all too well. It was the beginning of the month (see The New Moon Calendar); the custom was to observe it with a formal dinner with the king. David's deliberate absence would reveal to Jonathan his father's true intent toward David.
"20:5 And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even. 20:6 If thy father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family. 20:7 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. 20:8 Therefore thou shalt deal kindly with thy servant; for thou hast brought thy servant into a covenant of the LORD with thee: notwithstanding, if there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father?
It happened just as David knew that it would. It was a sad and shocking experience for Jonathan, who nevertheless remained in his father's service for the few remaining years of his life. It would be one of the last times that David and Jonathan saw each other. The civil war was about to begin (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Civil War), while at the same time wars with the Philistines were being fought. The civil war would end when Jonathan died with his father in battle against the Philistines (see the Fact Finder question below).
"20:24 So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat meat. 20:25 And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul's side, and David's place was empty. 20:26 Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean. 20:27 And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day?
Fact Finder: Did Saul die with the physical armour that he tried to give to David for his battle with Goliath? What happened to Goliath's armour too?
This Day In History, April 6
646 BC: The earliest total solar eclipse recorded by humans was made, by the Greeks (see also The Sun In History And Prophecy).
46 BC: Julius Caesar defeated Caecilius Metellus Scipio and Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Younger) at the battle of Thapsus (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
402: Alaric, chief of the Visigoths (a Germanic people), after invading Italy was defeated at Pollentia by Roman General Flavius Stilicho. The Germanic people eventually superseded the original the Roman Empire as the "Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1199: King Richard I (Richard the Lion-hearted) of England died at age 41 from an infected arrow wound that he suffered during the siege of the castle of Chaluz in France.
1250: During the Seventh Crusade (see also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy), the Ayyubids of Egypt captured King Louis IX of France at the Battle of Fariskur.
1320: Scots reaffirmed their independence with the Declaration of Arbroath.
1385: John, the Master of the Order of Aviz, became king John I of Portugal.
1453: The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed II ("Mehmed the Conqueror") began his siege of Constantinople (the city was named after the Roman Emperor Constantine; see also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy). The Ottoman Empire (centered in Turkey) occupied the land of Israel for centuries until it was liberated by British forces at the end of the First World War (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate and Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).
1652: Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck established a resupply station that eventually became Cape Town, South Africa.
1663: King Charles II signed the Carolina Charter ("Carolina" is from Carolus, the Latin form of Charles).
1748: The ruins of Pompei, Italy, were discovered.
1814: Napoleon abdicated in favor of his young son, but Russia, Prussia, Austria and Britain reject it; the French senate didn't recognize the child's title and called the Bourbon Louis XVIII to the throne instead. Napoleon then abdicated unconditionally and was sent into exile on the island of Elba.
1868: Mormon leader Brigham Young, 67, married his 27th, and last, wife. In all, his wives bore him 47 children.
1909: Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reached the North Pole.
1917: The U.S. declared war on Germany and entered the First World War (1916-1918). The war began the previous year, in 1916.
1939: Britain signed a military alliance with Poland. The Second World War began a few months later, in September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1965: The launch of "Early Bird," the first communications satellite in geosynchronous orbit i.e. with a counter-orbit of 24 hours so that it stays in the same position over the earth.
1998: Pakistan developed ballistic missiles for its nuclear arsenal.