Why David Mourned for Saul, Jonathan, Israel
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When Philistines defeated Israel in the battle at Mt. Gilboa and killed the Israeli king Saul and his son Jonathan, David mourned Saul, Jonathan, the Israeli army, and the house of Israel. In this study, we examine why he mourned. While his mourning for Saul was intended to honor and show respect, his mourning for Jonathan was an expression of sadness and regret for an unexpected loss of life. In contrast, we find that his mourning for the Israeli army and house of Israel goes beyond grieving or lamenting for the dead and invokes spiritual mourning such as mentioned in “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted [Matthew 5:4].”
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Loyalty and Support for a Chosen Leader
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Interactions between David and Jonathan illustrate a “Perfect Heart for Strategic Alliance.” As the son of 1st king of Israel and 2nd in command to his father, Jonathan had what would appear a legitimate shot at succeeding his father as king. However, a young man David that was recruited as harp player for Saul impressed Jonathan as a brave man with special leadership skills and faith of God. Jonathan did not see David as a hostile competitor for the throne of Israel as his father, Saul, advised him several times. Instead, he saw in David qualities of a chosen leader and believed that his role is to support David to be the best leader he could.
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