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Bible Highlights: 2 Samuel 1-2-3 > Theocratic Ministry School

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2 SAMUEL 1:10


“So I stood over him and put him to death, for I knew that he could not survive after he had fallen down wounded. Then I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and I brought them here to my lord.””

*** it-1 p. 361 Bracelet ***
The armlet or bracelet for the upper arm (Heb., ʼets•ʽa•dhahʹ) was worn by monarchs as one of their insignia of regal authority or sovereign power. The bracelet King Saul of Israel wore upon his arm may have had such significance.—2Sa 1:10; see ORNAMENTS.

2 SAMUEL 1:17


“Then David chanted this dirge over Saul and his son Jonʹa•than”

*** it-2 p. 454 Music ***
Chanting might be said to be halfway between singing and speaking. In pitch it is rather monotonous and repetitious, with the emphasis being on rhythm. While chanting continues to be quite popular in some of the world’s leading religions, its use in the Bible appears to be limited to dirges, as in the case of David chanting a dirge over the deaths of his friend Jonathan and of King Saul. (2Sa 1:17; 2Ch 35:25; Eze 27:32; 32:16) Only in a dirge or lamentation would the chanting style be preferable to either the melody of music or the modulation and oral emphasis of pure speech.—See DIRGE.

2 SAMUEL 1:18


“and said that the people of Judah should be taught the dirge called “The Bow,” which is written in the book of Jaʹshar:”

*** it-1 p. 355 Book ***
Book of Jashar. This book is cited at Joshua 10:12, 13, which passage deals with the appeal of Joshua for the sun and the moon to stand still during his fight with the Amorites, and at 2 Samuel 1:18-27, setting forth a poem, called “The Bow,” a dirge over Saul and Jonathan. It is thought, therefore, that the book was a collection of poems, songs, and other writings. They were undoubtedly of considerable historical interest and were widely circulated among the Hebrews.

2 SAMUEL 1:21


“You mountains of Gil•boʹa, May there be no dew or rain upon you, Nor fields producing holy contributions, Because there the shield of mighty ones was defiled, The shield of Saul is no longer anointed with oil.”

*** it-1 p. 170 Arms, Armor ***
Shields were oiled to make them pliable and moisture resistant, to keep the metal from rusting, or to make them smooth and slippery. (2Sa 1:21)

2 SAMUEL 1:23


“Saul and Jonʹa•than, beloved and cherished during their life, And in death they were not separated. Swifter than the eagles they were, Mightier than the lions.”

*** it-2 p. 102 Jonathan ***
In the opening notice of Jonathan, he courageously and successfully led a thousand poorly armed men against the Philistine garrison at Geba. In response the enemy collected at Michmash. Secretly Jonathan and his armor-bearer left Saul and his men and approached the enemy outpost. By this act alone Jonathan displayed his valor, his ability to inspire confidence in others, and yet his recognition of Jehovah’s leading, for his actions depended on a sign from God. The two bold fighters struck down about 20 Philistines, which led to a full-scale battle and victory for Israel. (1Sa 13:3–14:23) As the fighting was proceeding, Saul rashly swore a curse on anyone eating before the battle ended. Jonathan was unaware of this and he ate some wild honey. Later, when confronted by Saul, Jonathan did not shrink back from dying for having partaken of the honey. Yet he was redeemed by the people, who recognized that God was with him that day.—1Sa 14:24-45.
These exploits clearly prove that Jonathan was a courageous, capable, and manly warrior. He and Saul well deserved being described as “swifter than the eagles” and “mightier than the lions.” (2Sa 1:23) He was skilled as an archer. (2Sa 1:22; 1Sa 20:20) His manly qualities may have especially endeared him to Saul. It is apparent that they were very close. (1Sa 20:2) This did not, though, overshadow Jonathan’s zeal for God and loyalty to his friend David.

2 SAMUEL 1:26


“I am distressed over you, my brother Jonʹa•than; You were very dear to me. More wonderful was your love to me than the love of women.”

*** w90 11/15 pp. 11-12 par. 6 “The Greatest of These Is Love” ***
6 Then there is the Greek word phi•liʹa, denoting affection (with no sexual overtones) between friends, as between two mature men or women. We have a fine example of this in the love that David and Jonathan had for each other. When Jonathan was killed in battle, David mourned him, saying: “I am distressed over you, my brother Jonathan, very pleasant you were to me. More wonderful was your love to me than the love from women.” (2 Samuel 1:26) We also learn that Christ had special fondness for the apostle John, known as the disciple “for whom Jesus had affection.”—John 20:2.

*** w89 1/1 pp. 25-26 pars. 10-12 United Under a Banner of Love ***
10 Apparently, that was the last meeting between David and his loyal companion Jonathan. Later, when both Jonathan and Saul were slain in battle with the Philistines, David composed a dirge, “The Bow.” In it he expressed respect for Saul as Jehovah’s anointed but climaxed his song with the words: “Jonathan slain upon your high places! I am distressed over you, my brother Jonathan, very pleasant you were to me. More wonderful was your love to me than the love from women. How have the mighty ones fallen and the weapons of war perished!” (2 Samuel 1:18, 21, 25-27) David was then anointed for the second time, as king over Judah.
Modern-Day Parallels
11 Since “all Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching,” what do we learn from the account about David and Jonathan? (2 Timothy 3:16) We note that there is a love “more wonderful . . . than the love from women.” True, “the love from women” can be pleasant and fulfilling when Jehovah’s laws concerning marriage are honored. (Matthew 19:6, 9; Hebrews 13:4) But David and Jonathan exemplified a finer aspect of love, in line with the commandment: “Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. And you must love Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your vital force.”—Deuteronomy 6:4, 5.
12 David and Jonathan were united in expressing that love as they fought to clear Jehovah’s name of all the reproach that His enemies cast upon it. In doing this, they also cultivated ‘intense love for each other.’ (1 Peter 4:8) The companionship that they enjoyed in this respect went even beyond the command at Leviticus 19:18: “You must love your fellow as yourself.” Indeed, it foreshadowed the kind of love indicated in Jesus’ “new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” Jesus’ love was self-sacrificing not only in his complete submission to Jehovah’s will but also in his willingness even to “surrender his soul in behalf of his friends.”—John 13:34; 15:13.

*** it-1 p. 369 Brother ***
In fact, mutual affection and interest, not common parentage, prompted David to call Jonathan his brother. (2Sa 1:26)

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