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"Jonathan began to love [David] as his own soul." ???


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"Jonathan began to love [David] as his own soul."—1 Sam. 18:1. 

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Jonathan and David

Some 20 years later, the Philistine champion Goliath taunted the Israelite army, but David slew him. Although Jonathan was likely 30 years David’s senior, the two had much in common.* The courage that Jonathan displayed at Michmash was evident also in David. More than all else, David had the same faith in Jehovah’s saving power, enabling him to face Goliath fearlessly when all other Israelites shrank from the challenge. So it was that “Jonathan’s very soul became bound up with the soul of David, and Jonathan began to love him as his own soul.”—1 Samuel 17:1–18:4.

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Although David’s prowess made King Saul see him as a rival, no trace of jealousy darkened Jonathan’s countenance. He and Davidbecame very close friends, and it is likely that in their confidential talk, Jonathan learned about David’s anointing to be Israel’s next king. Jonathan respected God’s decision.

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When King Saul spoke to his son and servants about killing David, Jonathan warned David. Jonathan convinced Saul that he had nothing to fear from David. Why, David had not sinned against the king at all! Had David not risked his life in facing Goliath? Jonathan’s impassioned plea for his wronged friend placated Saul. However, the king soon reverted to murderous scheming and made further attempts on David’s life, forcing him to flee.—1 Samuel 19:1-18.

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Jonathan stood by David. The two friends met to plan what was to be done. Loyal to his friend and still striving to be loyal to his father, Jonathan said to David: “It is unthinkable! You will not die.” However, David told Jonathan: “There is just about a step between me and death!”—1 Samuel 20:1-3.

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Jonathan and David worked out a plan to test Saul’s intentions. If David’s absence from the king’s table was noticed, Jonathan was to tell his father that David had asked to be excused to take part in a family sacrifice. If Saul reacted angrily, that was a sign of ill will toward David. Jonathan blessed him and implicitly acknowledged his future kingship, saying: “May Jehovah prove to be with you, just as he proved to be with my father.” The two swore loyalty to each other and decided how Jonathan would let David know about the outcome of the test.—1 Samuel 20:5-24.

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When Saul saw that David was absent, Jonathan explained that David had begged him: “If I have found favor in your eyes, let me slip away, please, that I may see my brothers.” Jonathan was not afraid to admit that David had his favor. The king was furious! He insulted Jonathan and ranted that David was a threat to his son’s succession as king. Saul demanded that Jonathan bring David to him as one destined to die. Jonathan retorted: “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” In a fit of rage, Saul hurled his spear at his son. Jonathan escaped unharmed but was deeply hurt at heart respecting David.—1 Samuel 20:25-34.

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What loyalty Jonathan displayed! In purely human terms, he had little to gain and much to lose from his friendship with David. Yet, Jehovah had ordained that David would succeed Saul as king, andwhat God had purposed was for Jonathan’s own good and that of others.

A Tearful Parting ?

Jonathan met David secretly to give him the news. It was clear that David could never again set foot in Saul’s court. The two men wept and embraced. Then David went into hiding.—1 Samuel 20:35-42.

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Jonathan saw the fugitive just once more, when David was hiding from Saul “in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh.” It was then that Jonathan encouraged David with the words: “Do not be afraid; for the hand of Saul my father will not find you, and you yourself will be king over Israel, and I myself shall become second to you; and Saul my father also has knowledge to that effect.” (1 Samuel 23:15-18) Soon thereafter, Jonathan and Saul died in a battle against the Philistines.—1 Samuel 31:1-4.

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All who love God would do well to contemplate the course pursued by Jonathan. Do you face a conflict of loyalties? Then remember that Saul urged Jonathan to seek his own interests. Jonathan, however, honored Jehovah with heartfelt submission and reverence and rejoiced that the one whom God chose would be Israel’s next king. Yes, Jonathan supported David and was loyal to Jehovah.

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Jonathan had admirable qualities. Imitate them! Then people will be able to say of you as they did of Jonathan: “It was with God that he worked.”—1 Samuel 14:45.

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2007685?q=david+and+jonathan&p=par

 

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"Jonathan began to love [David] as his own soul."—1 Sam. 18:1.  ????? Jonathan and David Some 20 years later, the Philistine champion Goliath taunted the Israelite army, but David slew

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