|2 Samuel 1 |
1 Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and after David had stayed two days in Ziklag;
2 It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes torn, and earth on his head; and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and prostrated himself.
3 David said to him, "From where have you come?" And he said to him, "I have escaped out of the camp of Israel."
4 David said to him, "What was the outcome of this matter? I pray you, tell me." And he answered, "The army has fled from the battle, and many of the army have also fallen and are dead; Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead."
5 David said to the young man that told him, "How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?"
6 And the young man who told him said, "As I happened by chance to come upon mount Gilboa, I saw Saul leaning on his spear; and the chariots and horsemen had followed closely after him.
7 When he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. And I answered, 'Here am I.'
8 And he said to me, 'Who are you? And I answered him, 'I am an Amalekite.'
9 He said to me again, 'Stay, I beg of you, and slay me. I am suffering greatly because I am still alive.'
10 So I stood upon him and slew him because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen [on his sword]; and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord."
11 Then David took hold on his clothes and tore them; and all the men that were with him did likewise.
12 They mourned, and wept, and fasted until evening; for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel because they had been killed by the sword.
13 And David said to the young man who told him, "Where are you from?" And he answered, "I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite."
14 And David said to him, "How is it that your were not afraid to stretch forth your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?"
15 And David called one of the young men, and said, "Go near, and fall upon him." And he struck him so that he died.
16 And David said to him, "Your blood is upon your head for your mouth has testified against you, saying, 'I have slain the LORD's anointed.'"
17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan, his son:
18 (And he ordered the children of Judah be taught this lament of the bow, which is written in the book of Jasher.)
19 "The beauty of Israel has been slain upon your high places; how have the mighty fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
21 You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain upon you, nor fields of offerings; for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.
22 From the blood of the slain, from the flesh of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, and the sword of Saul did not return empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
24 You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, and with other delights; who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.
25 How have the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, you were slain in your high places.
26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; you have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of a woman.1
27 How have the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war have perished!"
1 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; you have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of a woman. Note! David speaks of a pure, brotherly love that surpasses the love of a man for a woman. What man has known a love for a spiritual brother that surpasses the love for a woman? Only a man filled with God's spirit, filled with his love, the greatest gift of all. As Jesus prayed for his disciples and those who would follow their words and teachings; for them to be filled with the same love that the Father had bestowed on Jesus himself:
I have declared to them your name, and will declare it, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. John 17:26
And Christ further declared that this godly love, surpassing anything seen in the world, would be the mark of his disciples, so the world would know them:
I recall when I was searching for evidence in Christian history for something close to what was described in the Bible, in love and power. I came across a book, called Early Quaker Writings, not written by Quakers, where they mentioned that the early Quaker men wrote letters to one another, expressing their love for each other — something they said was unique in all their historical research. That was the tip off for me to dig deeper into the early Quaker record. The great early Quaker, Francis Howgill, used these exact words, (Your love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of a woman), in his eulogy to his beloved dead brother Edward Burrough. Such a statement is a reflection of the Christian love that all the brothers and sisters in Christ felt for one another — a pure, clean, holy love that evidenced their true Christianity. When you add their love for each other, to their persecutions, and consider the power they exhibited — the authenticity of their promise of their faith is without question. And so, therefore, is their promise of perfection and purity, for the grace that brings salvation shows one's sins, and the same takes them away.
I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another.
Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another.
By this shall all know that you are My disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35