v 17 Then David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan, and he commanded that it be taught to the people of Judah.
David recognised the significance of Saul’s Kingship and was able to mark his respect for Saul with this funeral song. The whole song breathes sadness and grief, with no mention whatever of the hard times David had endured under Saul. How positive and gracious David comes across in the song!
How beloved and gracious were Saul and Jonathan!
They were together in life and in death.
They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions.
This was no triumphant eulogy about the death of an enemy, rather it seems designed to bring together those who fought on Saul’s side, and those who sided with David. It stresses the positive leadership and military skills of both Saul and Jonathan; and by ensuring that the people of Judah learn it he reinforces the unity of Israel and Judah as the people of God. David was no ordinary King, he was a unifier of disparate people. Although the nation was divided again after the deaths of David and his son Solomon, for the moment David brings people together.