Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag;Analysis and Annotations
I. DAVID KING OF JUDAH AND THE EVENTS OF HIS REIGN
1. David’s Lamentation for Saul and Jonathan
1. The Death of Saul and Jonathan announced to David (2Samuel 1:1-10)
2. David’s great Grief (2Samuel 1:11-12)
3. The Amalekite slain (2Samuel 1:13-16)
4. David’s Lamentation (2Samuel 1:17-27)
David heard of the death of Saul and Jonathan from the lips of the Amalekite, who also brought him the crown and the bracelet of the dead king. The story of this young man has been branded by some as a falsehood, invented to gain favor from David. It is not necessary to reconcile the supposed contradiction of the Amalekite’s story with the account of Saul’s death in the last chapter of the preceding book, by saying the Amalekite lied to David. We have explained this in the annotations of chapter 31. When the Amalekite said to David, “So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen,” he referred to the fact that Saul had fallen upon his own sword, in committing suicide and was in great suffering. And great was David’s grief when he hears the sad news. He and his companions wept and fasted in mourning over Saul, Jonathan and the people of the Lord. Then he commanded the Amalekite to be slain because he had smitten the Lord’s anointed; thus he honored Saul in his death, while the Amalekite received the punishment for his deed. Then David broke out in his great lamentation over Saul and Jonathan. The eighteenth verse as given in the authorized version is unintelligible. The Hebrew reads “and he bade them teach the children of Judah the bow;” the words “the use of” are supplied. Others read instead “the song of the bow” and claim it has reference to this lamentation, which David taught Judah. (See verse 22.) The book of Jasher (the upright) is never mentioned again (Joshua 10:12-14). The lamentation of David is a wonderful outpouring of soul. First he speaks of the calamity which has come to Israel in the death of Saul and Jonathan (verses 19-22); then he extols the virtues of both. What grace this manifests if we consider that Saul had hunted David and put upon him so many afflictions! He does not refer to it in a single word. Beautiful beyond description are his loving words on Jonathan.
I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan:
Very pleasant hast thou been unto me.
Thy love to me was wonderful,
Passing the love of women.
But there is one whose love is greater than David’s love for Jonathan, even our Lord Jesus Christ.