1 Samuel 20:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But David took an oath and said, "Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, 'Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.' Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death."

King James Bible
And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.

Darby Bible Translation
And David swore again and again, and said, Thy father certainly knows that I have found favour in thy sight: and he has thought, Jonathan shall not know this, lest he be grieved; but truly [as] Jehovah liveth, and [as] thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.

World English Bible
David swore moreover, and said, "Your father knows well that I have found favor in your eyes; and he says, 'Don't let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved:' but truly as Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death."

Young's Literal Translation
And David sweareth again, and saith, 'Thy father hath certainly known that I have found grace in thine eyes, and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved; and yet, Jehovah liveth, and thy soul liveth, but -- as a step between me and death.'

1 Samuel 20:3 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

There is but a step between me and death - My life is in the most imminent danger. Your father has, most assuredly, determined to destroy me.

The same figure used here, there is but a step between me and death, may be found in Juvenal, who, satirizing those who risk their lives for the sake of gain in perilous voyages, speaks thus: -

I nune et ventis animam committe, dolato

Confisus ligno, digitis a morte remotus

Quatuor aut septem, si sit latissima teda.

Sat. xii., ver. 57.

"Go now, and commit thy life to the winds,

trusting to a hewn plank, four or seven fingers thick,

if the beam out of which it has been cut have been large enough."

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

sware

Deuteronomy 6:13 You shall fear the LORD your God, and serve him, and shall swear by his name.

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...

Hebrews 6:16 For men truly swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.

but truly

1 Samuel 25:26 Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, seeing the LORD has withheld you from coming to shed blood...

1 Samuel 27:1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul...

2 Samuel 15:21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in what place my lord the king shall be...

2 Kings 2:2,4,6 And Elijah said to Elisha, Tarry here, I pray you; for the LORD has sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said to him, As the LORD lives...

as thy soul

1 Samuel 1:26 And she said, Oh my lord, as your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman that stood by you here, praying to the LORD.

1 Samuel 17:55 And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth?...

Jeremiah 38:16 So Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying, As the LORD lives, that made us this soul, I will not put you to death...

but a step

1 Samuel 27:1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul...

Deuteronomy 28:66 And your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you shall fear day and night, and shall have none assurance of your life:

Psalm 116:3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell got hold on me: I found trouble and sorrow.

1 Corinthians 15:30,31 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour...

2 Corinthians 1:9,10 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead...

Library
Jonathan, the Pattern of Friendship
'And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life? 2. And he said unto him, God forbid; thou shalt not die: behold, my father will do nothing either great or small, but that he will shew it me: and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so. 3. And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Samuel
Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book[1] of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Deuteronomy 6:13
Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.

1 Samuel 20:2
"Never!" Jonathan replied. "You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn't do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn't so!"

1 Samuel 20:4
Jonathan said to David, "Whatever you want me to do, I'll do for you."

1 Samuel 25:26
And now, my lord, as surely as the LORD your God lives and as you live, since the LORD has kept you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal.

2 Kings 2:6
Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan." And he replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So the two of them walked on.

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