Jonathan

Saul's son and David's friend.

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Saul became angry and shouted to Jonathan, "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! I know that you side with the son of Jesse--to your shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness! For as long as the son of Jesse lives on earth, neither you nor your kingship will be secure. Now then, have him brought to me, for he is marked for death (1 Samuel 20:30–31)!" Losing all control, Saul threw his spear at Jonathan to strike him down.

Jonathan rose from the table in a rage, because his father had publicly humiliated him. He now realized that the king was determined to kill David and grieved for his friend. Jonathan met David the next day at the appointed place and told him that he should go away. They kissed each other goodbye, and David fled to the priestly town of Nob.

Jonathan and David saw each other one last time when Jonathan went to the wilderness of Ziph to meet David, who had become the chief of an outlaw band. Jonathan told him not to fear, that the hand of Saul would never touch him, and that, one day, David would be king and Jonathan would be second to him.

Jonathan fought at the side of his father in a battle against the Philistines near Mount Gilboa. He and his brothers Abidanab and Malchishua died fighting, and Saul committed suicide.

Jonathan and Saul were mourned by David in a beautiful elegy. Jonathan was survived by a five-year old son named Mephibosheth, who fell from his nurse's arms and became lame. Years later, when the boy was grown up, David brought him to the court and, for the sake of Jonathan's memory, restored to him the lands of his grandfather Saul.

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David Mandel studied at the University of Pennsylvania under Bible scholar Moshe Greenberg, and moved to Israel in 1970, where he founded Computronic Corporation, an Israeli software development company that specializes in biblical software.