In I Samuel 20:32-42 Jonathan typifies the soul substance that, in man's unfoldment, tries to unite will and love. He symbolizes that soul quality which, though the offspring of the will (Saul), turns yearningly toward love (David). Jonathan loved David as his own soul. The name Jonathan means Jah-given, Jehovah has given, that is, he came forth from Being. He may be termed human affection and desire set upon spiritual things, while David is divine love. These two are closely related in consciousness.
The shooting of arrows by Jonathan symbolizes the soul's darting forth loving, protecting thoughts toward that which it yearns to serve and to keep from all harm.
"David arose out of a place toward the South, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times." This means that after love receives the protecting power of the soul it is able to come out of its hiding place in the subconsciousness (south) and make a closer union with the soul, as symbolized by David and Jonathan's kissing each other. David bowed three times in recognition of the supreme trinity, God, Christ, and man; or, mind, idea, and manifestation.
In I Samuel 14:1-13, Jonathan, the son of Saul, represents desire in its spiritual aspect and clearly shows the spiritual method of overcoming. At the time when Jonathan resolved to go over into the Philistine garrison, Saul was in Gibeah, which is Migron (2d verse). Gibeah means hill; it represents the spiritual aspiration that is inherent in every desire. Jonathan, the awakened spiritual desire, recognizing that he has a definite mission in the redemption of man, resolves to enter upon his mission. Accompanied by his armor-bearer, he goes into the camp of the Philistines.
It will be noticed that Jonathan did not launch an aggressive campaign against the Philistines; he did not enter upon the work in his own wisdom, neither did he rely on the strength of Israel's fighting men. He went forth trusting in the guidance of God, and looked for His sign before undertaking the task. By following this guidance he was placed in a position of power and enabled to overcome the enemy.
One of the greatest reasons why we fail to overcome the difficulties of life is that we undertake this overcoming in our own wisdom and strength. Here is a valuable clew for us: we must first lay hold of spiritual wisdom and strength, and then we shall be guided into that position of power and authority where the Adversary is easily vanquished.
Jonathan's power was drawn from his obedience to Spirit. When desire is allowed to function independently of its spiritual significance man becomes more deeply involved in material complications; when desire is surrendered to Spirit it receives a cleansing that makes it a great liberating power.
The armor-bearer who accompanied Jonathan to the camp of the Philistines (sensualism) symbolizes that which wraps about the soul of the overcomer an atmosphere of unconquerable faith and confidence, wherewith one may scale insurmountable barriers and triumph over every difficulty.
When sensualism is faced by unconquerable spiritual desire clothed with omnipotent faith and confidence, such as Jonathan and his armor-bearer represent, sensualism falls; either the Philistines are delivered up into the hands of the Israelites, or they flee from the country thus proving that one (true thought) shall chase a thousand (error thoughts), and two shall put ten thousand to flight.