Dovid had already been anointed by Shmuel to succeed Shaul as king, and his relationship with his mentor, King Shaul, had deteriorated to the extent that Dovid had to flee for his life. Yehonasan, wanting to ascertain the extent of Shaul’s hatred for Dovid, devised a plan, whereby Dovid would be absent from Shaul’s Rosh Chodesh meal. If his father acted lovingly in asking about Dovid’s absence, then it would be safe for Dovid to return. If not, Dovid would flee. In the end, Dovid was forced to flee Shaul’s wrath. The extraordinary aspect of Yehonasan’s love for Dovid was the fact that he protected Dovid with his life, even though he knew that Dovid would succeed Shaul as king, rather than himself.