<<son of King Saul>>

He defeated the Philistines yet in the end was defeated and killed by them (1 Sam 14:1,13,14, 31:8; 2 Sam 1:4). Jonathan did not compromise his loyalty to Saul his father and King, or to David his close friend although sometimes there were conflicting demands.

His story is told in 1 Samuel chapters 13-31; 2 Samuel chapters 1-9. He died in 1010 BC.

Lessons from his life: * A deep friendship developed with David, and they remained loyal to each other under difficult family pressures and problems (1 Sam 18:1-4; 2 Sam 1:26).  This was not a homosexual relationship as some have suggested, as this was strictly forbidden in Israel (Lev 18:22, 20:13). Pressure and problems either destroy or strengthen relationships.

* He was a courageous soldier who believed that regardless by many or few, God would give them the victory over their ungodly enemy (1 Sam 13:2-4, 14:1-6).  God doesn’t expect us to be silly or presumptuous yet He does expect us to trust Him and boldly attack the enemy; not to be intimidated by his tactics and made ineffective.

* Saul wanted David destroyed (1 Sam 19:1-7).  Jonathan spoke up and reminded Saul of David’s valued contribution.  Jonathan was a peacemaker and helped his father gain a proper perspective on the situation which Saul acknowledged as the truth and the matter was temporarily resolved.  Do we speak up for others when they are wrongly judged?

* Jonathan again stood up for David and was the subject of his father’s hostility (1 Sam 20:30-33).   These two kindred friends realised they must separate physically because of Saul’s determination to kill David, yet remained friends in heart, united in the agreement to be kind to each other’s descendants.  It appears they only met once more (1 Sam 23:16).  They encouraged each other in their faith in God and shared their innermost thoughts – the marks of true friends.

See also: David, friends/friendship, relationships, Saul.