Biblical People

Biblical People: Jonathan (3)

Jonathan is the son of King Saul and next in line to the throne. Though Saul’s plan is for Jonathan to succeed him, Jonathan sees God’s perspective instead. The heir apparent realizes that David is to be the next king and not him. Jonathan accepts this.

Though there could be animosity between Jonathan and David, the pair enjoy a close relationship, with Jonathan pledging his support for David’s future rule.

Another demonstration of Jonathan’s character and faith in God comes at a time when Israel’s army is outmatched and in despair. Only Saul and Jonathan have swords, while the rest of the army have makeshift weapons.

Jonathan and his armor-bearer sneak away from camp and boldly attack a Philistine outpost. Though Jonathan isn’t confident in a victory, he knows God can bring it about. 

With only one sword, Jonathan and his young armor-bearer kill twenty Philistines. God sends a panic throughout the enemy camp, and they scatter. The Israelite army pursues them and wins a great battle against a more powerful foe.

Through God, one person can make a difference.

Are we willing to accept God’s plan for our future when it opposes our families’ or friends’ expectations? Are we a person God can use to make a difference? 

[Read Jonathan’s story in 1 Samuel 13–14, 18–20, and 23. Discover more in 1 Samuel 31:2.]

Learn about more biblical characters in Old Testament Sinners and Saints, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Get your copy today.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at