1 Samuel 18
Jonathan and David
18 When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bonded to the soul of David, and [a]Jonathan loved him as himself. 2 Saul took David that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan stripped himself of the outer robe that he was wearing and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword, his bow, and his belt. 5 So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he acted wisely and prospered; and Saul appointed him over the men of war. And it pleased all the people and also Saul’s servants.
6 As they were coming [home], when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul with tambourines, [songs of] joy, and [b]musical instruments. 7 The women sang as they played and danced, saying,
“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.”
8 Then Saul became very angry, for this saying [c]displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed [only] thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 Saul looked at David with suspicion [and jealously] from that day forward.
Saul Turns against David
10 Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul, and he raved [madly] inside his house, while David was playing the harp with his hand, as usual; and there was a spear in Saul’s hand. 11 Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.
12 Now Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul. 13 So Saul had David removed from his presence and appointed him as his commander of a thousand; and he [d]publicly associated with the people. 14 David acted wisely and prospered in all his ways, and the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw that he was prospering greatly, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he publicly associated with them.
17 Then Saul said to David, “Behold I will give you my older daughter Merab as a wife; only be brave for me and fight the Lord’s battles.” For Saul thought, “My hand shall not be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” 18 David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be the king’s son-in-law?” 19 But at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, she was [instead] given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.
David Marries Saul’s Daughter
20 Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David; and when they told Saul, it pleased him. 21 Saul said, “I will give her to him so that she may become a snare (bad influence, source of trouble) to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David for a second time, “You shall be my son-in-law today.” 22 Then Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David secretly, saying, ‘Listen, the king delights in you, and all his servants love you; now then, become the king’s son-in-law.’” 23 So Saul’s servants spoke these words to David. But David said, “Is it a trivial thing in your sight to become a king’s son-in-law, seeing that I am a poor man and insignificant?” 24 The servants of Saul told him what David said. 25 Then Saul said, “This is what you shall say to David: ‘The king wants no dowry except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to take vengeance on the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul’s intention was to cause [e]David’s death at the hand of the Philistines. 26 When his servants told David these words, it pleased him to become the king’s son-in-law. Before the time [for the marriage] arrived, 27 David arose and went, he and his men, and killed two hundred Philistine men, and David brought their foreskins [as proof of death] and presented [f]every one of them to the king, so that he might become the king’s son-in-law. So Saul gave him Michal, his [younger] daughter, as a wife. 28 When Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, his daughter, loved him, 29 Saul was even more afraid of David; and Saul became David’s constant enemy.
30 Then the Philistine commanders (princes) came out to battle, and it happened as often as they did, that David acted more wisely and had more success than all Saul’s servants. So his name was highly esteemed.
- 1 Samuel 18:1 David’s testimony before Saul and Jonathan’s response to hearing it established a friendship, admiration and loyalty that lasted beyond Jonathan’s death (2 Sam 9:1).
- 1 Samuel 18:6 Lit three-stringed.
- 1 Samuel 18:8 Lit was evil in his eyes.
- 1 Samuel 18:13 Lit went out and came in before and so throughout the chapter.
- 1 Samuel 18:25 Lit David to fall by.
- 1 Samuel 18:27 Lit in full number.