2 Samuel, Chapter 1

- ה ה ע -

David’s Lament

News of what happened on Mount Gilboa reaches David. The man who informs David of the terrible news confesses that he stabbed Saul to spare him from a long, painful death. David accuses the man of being an accomplice to murder. David is devastated to learn that his beloved friend, Jonathan, has also died. David’s lament reflects both the personal pain of having lost his beloved friend, as well as the collective pain of his nation’s military defeat. David is afflicted by images of Israel’s enemies rejoicing, and also of Saul and Jonathan’s cruel deaths. David’s lament calls upon the Israelites to become empowered, get organized, unify, and form a stronger army—because this is the only way they will succeed in overcoming the forces of evil. 

“The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil. From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.  Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel. How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished” (2 Samuel 1:19-27)

Love is unrestricted, unconditional positive feelings towards other beings.