1 Samuel 20:21
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And behold, I will send the boy, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you, take them,’ then you are to come, for, as the LORD lives, it is safe for you and there is no danger.

King James Bible
And, behold, I will send a lad, saying, Go, find out the arrows. If I expressly say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee, take them; then come thou: for there is peace to thee, and no hurt; as the LORD liveth.

American Standard Version
And, behold, I will send the lad,'saying , Go, find the arrows. If I say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee; take them, and come; for there is peace to thee and no hurt, as Jehovah liveth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I will send a boy, saying to him: Go and fetch me the arrows.

English Revised Version
And, behold, I will send the lad, saying, Go, find the arrows. If I say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee: take them, and come; for there is peace to thee and no hurt, as the LORD liveth.

Webster's Bible Translation
And behold, I will send a lad, saying, Go, find the arrows. If I expressly say to the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee, take them; then come thou: for there is peace to thee, and no hurt; as the LORD liveth.

1 Samuel 20:21 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

In the field, where they were both entirely free from observation, Jonathan first of all renewed his covenant with David, by vowing to him on oath that he would give him information of his father's feelings towards him (1 Samuel 20:12, 1 Samuel 20:13); and then entreated him, with a certain presentiment that David would one day be king, even then to maintain his love towards him and his family for ever (1 Samuel 20:14-16); and lastly, he made David swear again concerning his love (1 Samuel 20:17), and then gave him the sign by which he would communicate the promised information (1 Samuel 20:18-23).

1 Samuel 20:12-15

1 Samuel 20:12 and 1 Samuel 20:13 are connected. Jonathan commences with a solemn invocation of God: "Jehovah, God of Israel!" and thus introduces his oath. We have neither to supply "Jehovah is witness," nor "as truly as Jehovah liveth," as some have suggested. "When I inquire of my father about this time to-morrow, the day after to-morrow (a concise mode of saying 'to-morrow or the day after'), and behold it is (stands) well for David, and then I do not send to thee and make it known to thee, Jehovah shall do so to Jonathan," etc. ("The Lord do so," etc., the ordinary formula used in an oath: see 1 Samuel 14:44). The other case is then added without an adversative particle: "If it should please my father evil against thee (lit. as regards evil), "I will make it known to thee, and let thee go, that thou mayest go in peace; and Jehovah be with thee, as He has been with my father." In this wish there is expressed the presentiment that David would one day occupy that place in Israel which Saul occupied then, i.e., the throne. - In 1 Samuel 20:14 and 1 Samuel 20:15 the Masoretic text gives no appropriate meaning. Luther's rendering, in which he follows the Rabbins and takes the first ולא (1 Samuel 20:14) by itself, and then completes the sentence from the context ("but if I do it not, show me no mercy, because I live, not even if I die"), contains indeed a certain permissible sense when considered in itself; but it is hardly reconcilable with what follows, "and do not tear away thy compassion for ever from my house." The request that he would show no compassion to him (Jonathan) even if he died, and yet would not withdraw his compassion from his house for ever, contains an antithesis which would have been expressed most clearly and unambiguously in the words themselves, if this had been really what Jonathan intended to say. De Wette's rendering gives a still more striking contradiction: "But let not (Jehovah be with thee) if I still live, and thou showest not the love of Jehovah to me, that I do not, and thou withdrawest not thy love from my house for ever." There is really no other course open than to follow the Syriac and Arabic, as Maurer, Thenius, and Ewald have done, and change the ולא in the first two clauses in 1 Samuel 20:14 into ולוּ or ולא, according to the analogy of the form לוּא (1 Samuel 14:30), and to render the passage thus: "And mayest thou, if I still live, mayest thou show to me the favour of the Lord, and not if I do, not withdraw thy favour from my house for ever, not even (ולא) when Jehovah shall cut off the enemies of David, every one from the face of the earth!" "The favour of Jehovah" is favour such as Jehovah shall cut off," etc., shows very clearly Jonathan's conviction that Jehovah would give to David a victory over all his enemies.

1 Samuel 20:21 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

no. [heb] not any thing
as the

Jeremiah 4:2 And you shall swear, The LORD lives, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him...

Jeremiah 5:2 And though they say, The LORD lives; surely they swear falsely.

Jeremiah 12:16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD lives...

Amos 8:14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Your god, O Dan, lives; and, The manner of Beersheba lives...

Cross References
1 Samuel 20:20
And I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I shot at a mark.

1 Samuel 20:22
But if I say to the youth, 'Look, the arrows are beyond you,' then go, for the LORD has sent you away.

1 Samuel 20:36
And he said to his boy, "Run and find the arrows that I shoot." As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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