Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Weapons in Samuel

The relationship between Saul, Jonathan and David is very complex. It occurred to me that it is played out via their weapons of choice.

Saul's weapon is the Spear.
Jonathan's weapon is the Bow and Arrow.
David's weapon is the Slingshot and Stone.

All three of these weapons are the same in that all of them take flight in order to be effective. They are not like a sword, where one simply thrusts the sword through a person, or hacks them with it.

But Jonathan's weapon is most similar to David's weapon because both of their weapons require something else to launch it. Jonathan's bow launches his arrow and David's slingshot launches his stone, but Saul's hand is what throws the spear. Thus, Saul is different from the two of them. In the end, Jonathan and David are most similar to one another.


My student expanded upon this idea. He said that he thought that the Bow and Arrow and the Spear are similar, because an Arrow is like a Spear, just smaller. 

I ran with his idea to create this:

Jonathan's weapon shows the tension and inner struggle of his character. On the one hand, the bow and arrow is similar to Saul (the arrow has the same pointy tip as the spear). On the other hand, the bow and arrow is an implement being launched by another implement, similar to David. Jonathan is similar to both and has loyalties to both- hence his inner struggle, conflict and tension. 


FrumGeek said...

I always thought the friendship between David and Jonathon Was the greatest love story, the crown prince and the future king, it's beautiful. It would make an amazing film.

Lost and Found said...

Fascinating insight!

I wonder if more could be said on the topic, like how their choice of weaponry manifested itself in their respective personalities. For example, direct and indirect weapons and how the three had different ways of problem-solving, etc. Unfortunately, it's been a while since I've learned it all and am no longer familiar with their personalities.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

According to the Talmud Bavli in Sanhedrin, it seems that King David was using a bow and arrow as well.

I doubt he used a slingshot in his many battles after he became king.

Shades of Grey said...

This is very interesting food for thought.

The fact that an arrow is a mini spear, turned projectile could indicate Yonatan's subverting his natural position as heir to the throne in order to swear fealty to David.

Upon reflection, it may be interesting to suggest that the very weapon - the spear - that Shaul tried to kill David with (and perhaps Yonatan also, when he judged his son for violating the proclaimed battle-fast) was the weapon used to end his own life. There's definitely some poetic justice there, perhaps mida k'negged mida.