Daily Tanach Thursday Shmuel 1 Chapter 20: Dovid and Yehonason plot what to do regarding the threat from Shaul

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 20: Dovid and Yehonason plot what to do regarding the threat from Shaul

1.      Dovid runs away from Shaul:

  • Dovid ran away from Navos which was in Rama.

2.      Dovid and Yehonason debate the threat from Shaul:

  • He approached Yehonason and told him: What have I done, and what is my sin and iniquity towards your father that he desires to kill me?
  • Yehonason replied: Heaven forefend for him to kill you. My father would not do neither a large or small decision without revealing it to me, and why would my father conceal this matter from me today, and thus it must be incorrect.
  • Dovid replied: I swear that your father knows that I have found favor in your eyes, and he hence refuses to inform you of his decision and desire to kill me, lest you becomes saddened. However, I swear by the life of G-d and by your life that there is only one step between me and death.
  • So Yehonason said to Dovid: Tell me what you desire me to do and I will do so.

3.      Dovid comes up with a plan to discover Shaul’s true feelings about him:

  • Dovid asks Yehonason to discover his fathers true feelings of him: Dovid said to Yehonason: “Tomorrow is Rosh Chodesh, and I am accustomed to sit with the king, to eat. You shall send me [i.e. give me permission to not show up to the meal], and I will hide in the field until the evening of the third day. If your father asks of me, tell him that Dovid asked you to run home to Beis Lechem, as they are having their annual family sacrificial feast there at this time. If Shaul says “Good,” then it is a good sign for me your servant [that he does not desire to kill me[1]], however, if he becomes angry, then you should know that evil has been decided by him [to kill me[2]]. Do kindness with me your servant, as we have entered a covenant of Hashem together. If I have sinned, then you shall kill me rather than bring me to your father.
  • Yehonason responded: Heaven forefend [for you to suspect me that I would discover my father’s feelings of you and not inform you[3]]. For if I will discover that my father has decided to do evil to you, I will surely tell you.
  • Dovid said to Yehonason: Who will inform me if your father answers harshly [and truly desires my death]?
  • Yehonason responds to Dovid that he will inform him of his father’s feelings: Yehonason responded to Dovid: Let us go out to the field. And so both of them went out to the field. Yehonason said to Dovid: [I swear[4]] by Hashem the G-d of Israel, that I shall inquire from my father at this time on the third day, and if he is good to you Dovid, I will send for you to let you know. Now, so shall do G-d to me and even more if [I discover that] my father is good with you [and I do not tell you through a messenger[5], Hashem shall curse me[6]]. Now, if my father wishes to do to you bad, then I shall reveal it to you directly [as it would be dangerous for me to do so through a messenger[7]], and I will send you away, and you will go in peace, and may Hashem be with you [in your reign of the monarchy which I know is destined to you[8]] as He was with my father. I shall not ask of you [for any favors when you become king[9]] while I am still alive, [however] you will do kindness of Hashem with my household after I die. You shall never cease from doing kindness with my household forever, not even when Hashem cuts off your enemies from upon the face of the earth.

[1] Rashi 20:7

[2] Rashi 20:7

[3] Rashi 20:9

[4] Rashi 20:12

[5] See Rashi 20:13 and Pirush Mahariy Karo and Rabbeinu Yeshaya 20:12 and 20:13

[6] Pirush Mahariy Karo 20:13 and Rabbeinu Yeshaya 20:12

[7] Rashi and all Mefarshim 20:13

[8] Metzudos Dovid 20:14

[9] See Rashi 20:14; and Metzudos Dovid ibid

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