Jonathan and David Part

Text: Deuteronomy 13:1-11

Reflection and Question: Jonathan finally grasps that Saul will kill David if he does not flee. It is not surprising, given their devotion to one another, that the parting here is highly emotional. My friend Rev. Tom Fairley, honorably retired minister and a serious Hebrew scholar, is adamant that there is also a passionate, physical edge to David’s feelings here, which is lost in the English translation. Tom insists that our English versions fail to convey the intensity of this moment expressed in the Hebrew. By contrast, the Oxford Annotated New Revised Standard Version of the Bible only indicates “uncertainty” about the translation of the Hebrew in this passage. What does your study of this story reveal to you about the relationship between these two men?

Prayer: Holy God, we rely upon the writers and translators of Scripture to convey to us Your Will and Word. Give us the minds to grasp the full meaning of this story, and the hearts to fulfill our covenants as faithfully as David and Jonathan do here. Amen.

This meditation is based on the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).