כל אהבה וכו' איזו היא אהבה שאינה תלויה בדבר וכו'. האהבה שאין לה הפסק הוא אע"פ שישער האדם שיגיע לו קצת היזק וקלון דוגמת דוד ויהונתן שאע"פ שהיה ראוי לעמוד במקום אביו ודוד היה עתיד להסיר אותו מהמלכות עם כל זה היתה אהבתו עמו בקשר אמיץ. וז"ש דוד המלך ע"ה בהספדו של יהונתן (שמואל ב' א' כ"ו) נפלאתה אהבתך לי מאהבת נשים. כלומר מהיכן ידעתי שנפלאה אהבתך לי מאהבה של הנשים. שכשהיה משנה אצל שאול היו אומרות הנשים הכה שאול באלפיו ודוד ברבבותיו (ש"א יח ז) ושאול נתקנא כנודע אמנם יהונתן לא די שלא נתקנא אלא אדרבא הצילו מיד אביו וזה מצד כי אהבו ולא אהבת הגוף. וז"ש ונפש יהונתן נקשרה בנפש דוד (ש"א יח א) . אמנם אהבת אמנון ותמר הוא מבואר ואין להאריך:
Any love etc. What's a love that is not dependent on something, etc. [This is] the love that has no interruption, even though a person estimates that some damage and disgrace will come to him [from it, like] the example of David and Jonathan. As even though [Jonathan] was fit to rise in the place of his father and David was going to remove him from the monarchy, nonetheless [Jonathan] loved him with a firm attachment. And that is what King David, peace be upon him said in his eulogy of Jonathan (II Samuel 1:26), "your love was wonderful to me than (which can also be read as, from) the love of women." [This is] meaning to say, from where did I know that your love for me was wonderful? From the love of women. When he was the second to Shaul, the women had said (I Samuel 18:7), "Shaul has slain his thousands; David, his tens of thousands" - and Shaul became jealous, as is known. However it wasn't enough that Jonathan did not become jealous, but just the opposite - he saved him from the hand of his father. And this was from the angle that he loved him and it was not love of the body. And that is what is written (I Samuel 18:7), "and the soul of Jonathan was attached to the soul of David." However the love of Amnon and Tamar is [already] clear and there is no [need] to elaborate.
(א) כָּל אַהֲבָה שֶׁהִיא תְלוּיָה בְדָבָר בָּטֵל. שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְקַיֵּם, כְּשֶׁיִּתְבַּטֵּל הַדָּבָר שֶׁהָיָה סִבָּה לְאוֹתָהּ אַהֲבָה, גַּם הָאַהֲבָה בְּטֵלָה. וְכָל אַהֲבָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ תְּלוּיָה בְּדָבָר בָּטֵל אֶלָּא בְּדָבָר קַיָּם, כְּגוֹן אַהֲבַת הַצַּדִּיקִים וְהַחֲכָמִים, אֵינָהּ בְּטֵלָה לְעוֹלָם. כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהַדָּבָר שֶׁהוּא סִבָּה לְאוֹתָהּ אַהֲבָה אֵינָהּ בָּטֵל, כָּךְ אֵין הָאַהֲבָה בְּטֵלָה:
(ב) אַהֲבַת אַמְנוֹן וְתָמָר. מִפְּנֵי יָפְיָהּ:
(ג) אַהֲבַת דָּוִד וְיוֹנָתָן. לְהַשְׁלִים רְצוֹן קוֹנָם. דְּאָמַר לוֹ יְהוֹנָתָן לְדָוִד אַתָּה תִּהְיֶה לְמֶלֶךְ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וַאֲנִי אֶהֱיֶה לְךָ לְמִשְׁנֶה:
(1) Any love that is dependent on something transient: that does not last. When the thing that was the cause for that love perishes, the love will also perish. But any love that is not dependent on something transient, but rather on something lasting - for example, the love of the righteous men and the sages - never perishes. In the same way that the thing which is the cause of that love does not perish, so [too] does the love not perish.
(2) the love of Amnon and Tamar: [which was] because of her beauty.
(3) the love of David and Jonathan: [which was] to fulfill the will of their Maker. As Jonathan said to David, "You will be the king over Israel and I will be your second."
Summary of Saul's Career
Jonathan Meets David.
Jonathan: My father wants to kill you.
David to Jonathan: Your father wants to kill me.
What David gets Jonathan to do, and
We learn part of the content of their Covenant
(5) David said to Jonathan, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and I am to sit with the king at the meal. Instead, let me go and I will hide in the countryside until the third evening. (6) If your father notes my absence, you say, ‘David asked my permission to run down to his home town, Bethlehem, for the whole family has its annual sacrifice there.’ (7) If he says ‘Good,’ your servant is safe; but if his anger flares up, know that he is resolved to do [me] harm. (8) Deal faithfully with your servant, since you have taken your servant into a covenant of the LORD with you. And if I am guilty, kill me yourself, but don’t make me go back to your father.” (9) Jonathan replied, “Don’t talk like that! If I learn that my father has resolved to kill you, I will surely tell you about it.” (10) David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?” (11) Jonathan said to David, “Let us go into the open”; and they both went out into the open. (12) Then Jonathan said to David, “By the LORD, the God of Israel! I will sound out my father at this time tomorrow, [or] on the third day; and if [his response] is favorable for David, I will send a message to you at once and disclose it to you. (13) But if my father intends to do you harm, may the LORD do thus to Jonathan and more if I do [not] disclose it to you and send you off to escape unharmed. May the LORD be with you, as He used to be with my father. (14) Nor shall you fail to show me the LORD’s faithfulness, while I am alive; nor, when I am dead, (15) shall you ever discontinue your faithfulness to my house—not even after the LORD has wiped out every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth. (16) Thus has Jonathan covenanted with the house of David; and may the LORD requite the enemies of David!” (17) Jonathan, out of his love for David, adjured him again, for he loved him as himself. (18) Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow will be the new moon; and you will be missed when your seat remains vacant. (19) So the day after tomorrow, go down all the way to the place where you hid the other time, and stay close to the Ezel stone. (20) Now I will shoot three arrows to one side of it, as though I were shooting at a mark, (21) and I will order the boy to go and find the arrows. If I call to the boy, ‘Hey! the arrows are on this side of you,’ be reassured and come, for you are safe and there is no danger—as the LORD lives! (22) But if, instead, I call to the lad, ‘Hey! the arrows are beyond you,’ then leave, for the LORD has sent you away. (23) As for the promise we made to each other, may the LORD be [witness] between you and me forever.”
Saul has words with Jonathan.
A tearful goodbye.
One last meeting: The Covenant
David's first two wives (taken before the death of Saul):
David hears a report regarding the deaths of Saul and Jonathan:
David's Dirge over Saul and Jonathan:
(19) Your glory (or, Prince), O Israel, Lies slain on your heights; How have the mighty fallen!
(20) Tell it not in Gath, Do not proclaim it in the streets of Ashkelon, Lest the daughters of the Philistine rejoice, Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult.
(21) O hills of Gilboa— Let there be no dew or rain on you, Or bountiful fields, For there the shield of warriors lay rejected, The shield of Saul, Polished with oil no more.
(22) From the blood of slain, From the fat of warriors— The bow of Jonathan Never turned back; The sword of Saul Never withdrew empty.
(23) Saul and Jonathan, Beloved and cherished, Never parted In life or in death! They were swifter than eagles, They were stronger than lions!
(24) Daughters of Israel, Weep over Saul, Who clothed you in crimson and finery, Who decked your robes with jewels of gold.
(25) How have the mighty fallen In the thick of battle— Jonathan, slain on your heights!
(26) I grieve for you, My brother Jonathan, You were most dear (lovely/charming) to me. Your love was wonderful to me More than the love of women.
(27) How have the mighty fallen, The weapons of war perished!
Where Saul & Jonathan's family came from
David keeps his promise...
A poetic attempt to capture the meeting of David and Jonathan
From: "The Meeting of David and Jonathan"
Many Moods; A Volume of Verse (1878)
by John Addington Symonds
...But Jonathan, with eager eyes, afire
Because of this great deed, in strong desire
Gazed at the tent-door. Then a sound was heard
Of one who swiftly ran, yet scarcely stirred
The withered grass on the parched sward without:
And far away thundered the people's shout.
The curtain rose: in poured the ruddy sun
Sphering a slender stripling, dim and dun
Amid that glory, like an olive tree
High on a hill-top you can hardly see
For all the fire behind it. Round his hair,
Flaming like gold, God set the golden glare—
...'Whose son art thou, thou young man? 'He replied,
'I am thy servant Jesse's son, who dwell
At Bethlehem.'— As some still mountain well
Is silvered on its surface by the slow
Arising of the full moon orbed and low,
From star-set peaks impendent; so the tone
Of that melodious voice, thrilling alone
Through the tent's stillness, changed the yearning deep
Within the breast of Jonathan, and sleep
Fell from his soul. A man by love new-made,
His every hope upon the heart was laid
Of Jesse's son. Then, as he bent and burned,
The eyes of David on his eyes were turned;
And in that moment their twin lives became
The single splendour of one spiry flame,
Shooting from sundered brands to blend the might
Of married fires and leap aloft with light...
...Forth they went
Together with firm footfall from the tent:
And lo! The sun was sunken, and the dews
Began to fall on slumberous avenues
Of plane, and palm, and pine— a mighty wood
Where gods might dwell in whispering solitude.
Thither with David, fleet of foot, and still,
Lest men should mar his purpose, from the hill
Unto the valley shadows went and ran,
Large in the lucent twilight, Jonathan.
There by an ancient holm-oak huge and tough,
Clasping the firm rock with gnarled roots and rough,
He stayed their steps; and in his arms of strength
Took David, and for sore love found at length
Solace in speech, and pressure, and the breath
Wherewith the mouth of yearning winnoweth
Hearts overcharged for utterance. In that kiss
Soul unto soul was knit and bliss to bliss.
Then, for the prince found bare embracement scant
To stand for token of such covenant
As he would strike with David, from his waist
He plucked the girdle, and the robe unlaced
That fell around his loins; next the blade,
Hilted with ivory and gold, he laid
Upon the grass before him, and his bow.
These things he gave to Jesse's son, that so,
Wearing his raiment and his armour, he
Within his sight a second self might be.
Nor were words wanting; for he bowed his head
Even to the breast of Jesse's son, and said
'Nay, take them, David! Darling art thou called,
Darling of all men, Darling of the Lord,
But most my Darling— mine— whose heart is thralled,
Whose soul is even as thy soul! Take this sword,
Wherewith I smote the Philistines, what time
Swarming they fled from Michmash, horde by horde,
To Ajalon. Take this my bow, the prime
Of yew boughs, fashioned for an archer's hand:
This mantle and this belt, wherewith I climb
Saul's throne, or in the gate for judgment stand.
Take all; for all I have hath fallen to thee;
And I am thine…
...— I am not like thee,
Godlike in voice, in gesture ; yet can weave
Kindness around thee, till the people see
Thou art their prince as I am — yea, till thou,
My better, take and wield this sovereignty,
While I beneath thy throne in homage bow.—
Stretch forth, I prithee stretch, thy shepherd's rod.
See: it is broken. This is mine: take thou
That part. Now neither time nor chance shall sever
The troth that we have plighted. Brow to brow,
Let us pace forth, to live, one soul, for ever.