1 Samuel 20:1-21:9

  1. What was David’s purpose in seeking Jonathan?
    What request did Jonathan in turn make of David?
    What components of true friendship does the relationship of these two men illustrate?
  2. What characteristic of true ‘loyal love’ (20:14) does this passage reveal?
    Compare it with:
    (a) 1 Cor.13:4-7, and
    (b) your own life.
  3. When human need and ceremonial obligations conflict as in 21:6, what guidance do we find here as to the right course to take?
    Cf. Matt.12:3-8.


  1. 20:6. Such were the standards of morality that even the best of the people seemed to have no scruples in using lies and deception to save life.
    See 19:17; 20:28, 29; 21:2. But note how deceit brought down Saul’s wrath upon Jonathan (20:30), just as it brought disaster upon Ahimelech and his associates (22:18, 19).
  2. 20:14. Cf. 2 Sam. 9:3.
  3. 20:23, 42. The idea of God being between two convenant partners to watch and to judge is illustrated by Gen. 31:49, 53.
  4. 20:26. Saul thought that ceremonial uncleanness accounted for David’s absence from the feast. See Lev. 7:19, 20.
  5. 21:7. ‘Detained before the Lord’: perhaps because of a vow.