1 Samuel 20:36
And he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
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(36) He shot an arrow beyond him.—This was the sign agreed on if all was over for David at the court of Saul. Expositors are in a little difficulty, though, here, as only one arrow is mentioned, whereas “three” had to be shot according to the terms of the understanding. We cannot imagine, as some have suggested, that “Jonathan shortened the affair, and shot only once, considering that there was danger in delay,” and that every moment was of consequence; had there been such need of haste, the parting scene would have been cut even shorter. It is better, with Keil, to assume that the “singular” here stands in an indefinite general way, the author not thinking it needful, after what he had before said, to state that Jonathan shot three arrows one after another.

20:35-42 The separation of two such faithful friends was grievous to both, but David's case was the more deplorable, for David was leaving all his comforts, even those of God's sanctuary. Christians need not sorrow, as men without hope; but being one with Christ, they are one with each other, and will meet in his presence ere long, to part no more; to meet where all tears shall be wiped from their eyes.The greatest insult and most stinging reproach that can be cast upon an Oriental is to reproach his parents or ancestors (see Job 30:8). Saul means to intimate that Jonathan was stubborn from his mother's womb. 36. he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot—The direction given aloud to the attendant was the signal preconcerted with David. It implied danger. No text from Poole on this verse.

And he said unto his lad, run, find out now the arrows which I shoot,.... He no doubt told him the mark which he should shoot at, the stone Ezel, and bid him look out about that for them:

and as the lad ran; before he had got to the mark:

he shot an arrow beyond him: or it; beyond the lad, or beyond the mark he shot at; purposely shooting with great strength, that he might exceed, and thereby give notice to David how things stood, which was the sign agreed on.

And he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
1 Samuel 20:36To the latter he said, namely as soon as they had come to the field, Run, get the arrows which I shoot. The boy ran, and he shot off the arrows, "to go out beyond him," i.e., so that the arrows flew farther than the boy had run. The form חצי for חץ only occurs in connection with disjunctive accents; beside the present chapter (1 Samuel 20:36, 1 Samuel 20:37, 1 Samuel 20:38, Chethibh) we find it again in 2 Kings 9:24. The singular is used here with indefinite generality, as the historian did not consider it necessary to mention expressly, after what he had previously written, that Jonathan shot off three arrows one after another.
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