Lament concerning Saul and Jonathan
📕 2 Samuel Chapter 1:17-27
“Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights.. the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, the sword of Saul did not turn unsatisfied…
O daughters of Israel, weep for Saul.. Jonathan lies slain on your heights. “
THE LAMENT OF THE BOW
📝 In 1 Samuel Chapter 31 , it is recorded that the battle between the Philistines and the Israelites had gone worst. Israel lost the battle ; Saul’s three sons were killed and Saul himself was wounded. Later on Saul committed suicide by falling on his sword ( 1Sam 31:4-6 )
📌 The Philistines cut off Saul’s head and took his armour as trophies, as David had Goliath’s ( v 9 ; 1Sam 17:54 ) and hanged Saul’s decapitated body on the city wall ( v 10 )
📝 In today’s reading passage, David was informed about the death of Saul and Jonathan. So David had instructed that the people of Judah be taught the Lament concerning Saul and Jonathan under the title THE LAMENT OF THE BOW ( v 17-18 )
📌 In spite of all that David had suffered at the hands of Saul, he recalls only the best. In his opening lines David calls the people’s attention to the humiliation that has been heaped upon their nation by leaving their king’s dead body ( “.. slain on the heights ” v 19 , 25 )
📌 David describes Saul and Jonathan at the height of their fighting form ( “.. swifter than eagles and stronger than lions” v 22- 23b ) . He recalls the unity of Saul and Jonathan when they were alive, and now they were together in death ( v 23a )
📌 David expresses his profound personal grief and fervent love for Jonathan. By calling Jonathan – “my brother” , David expresses the strength of their relationship, which was bounded by the covenants ( v 26a ; 1Sam 18:3; 20:16;23:18 )
📌 David sings, “Jonathan, your love for me is more wonderful than that of women” ( v 26b ) . It was the sweetest way to describe his friendship with Jonathan.
💞 Beloved Church, a Punjabi poet has said, “Dushman maray te khushi na kariye, sajna vi marjana” ( Let us not rejoice at the death of the enemy. Our dear ones will also die).
🔖 David sets us an even finer example than the above saying. He not only refrains from rejoicing over the death of Saul, he truly grieves the loss of one who had become his enemy.
🔖 David recalls only the good things of the era that has come to an END.
🔖 Let us write KINDNESS in marble and INJURIES in the dust.
Glory to God 🙌
✍🏻 Mark Boje
Arunachal Pradesh, India 🇮🇳