Sunday School Insights: David and Jonathan

Larry Hunt Bible Commentary // German Woodcut of Jonathan and David

Our Sunday night Bible study group came across this passage in 1 Samuel 20:

“Come,” Jonathan said, “let’s go out into the field.” 

While we were considering this verse, my friend Greg noticed that his Bible cross-referenced it to Genesis 4:8, which reads,

“Now Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let’s go out to the field.'”

Apparently, the wording of this sentence is identical in Hebrew, which implies that the author of 1 Samuel wants us to be aware of the beautiful irony in Jonathan’s actions.  When Cain invites his brother into the field, he is plotting to murder him because of his all-consuming jealousy.  Jonathan, on the other hand, invites his spiritual brother, David, into the field to help him escape being murdered, and he does this in spite of the fact that he knows full well that David will be king in his place some day.  There is not the slightest hint of jealousy, simply the genuine, selfless love that Cain should have felt for his younger brother.


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