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18 Saul and David finished their conversation. After that, Saul's son Jonathan was deeply attracted to David and came to love him as much as he loved himself. Saul kept David with him from that day on and did not let him go back home. Jonathan swore eternal friendship with David because of his deep affection for him. He took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, together with his armor and also his sword, bow, and belt. David was successful in all the missions on which Saul sent him, and so Saul made him an officer in his army. This pleased all of Saul's officers and men.

Saul Becomes Jealous of David

As David was returning after killing Goliath and as the soldiers were coming back home, women from every town in Israel came out to meet King Saul. They were singing joyful songs, dancing, and playing tambourines and lyres. (A)In their celebration the women sang, “Saul has killed thousands, but David tens of thousands.” Saul did not like this, and he became very angry. He said, “For David they claim tens of thousands, but only thousands for me. They will be making him king next!” And so he was jealous and suspicious of David from that day on.

10 The next day an evil spirit from God suddenly took control of Saul, and he raved in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did every day, and Saul was holding a spear. 11 “I'll pin him to the wall,” Saul said to himself, and he threw the spear at him twice; but David dodged each time.

12 Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with David but had abandoned him. 13 So Saul sent him away and put him in command of a thousand men. David led his men in battle 14 and was successful in all he did, because the Lord was with him. 15 Saul noticed David's success and became even more afraid of him. 16 But everyone in Israel and Judah loved David because he was such a successful leader.

David Marries Saul's Daughter

17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to you as your wife on condition that you serve me as a brave and loyal soldier, and fight the Lord's battles.” (Saul was thinking that in this way the Philistines would kill David, and he would not have to do it himself.)

18 David answered, “Who am I and what is my family that I should become the king's son-in-law?” 19 But when the time came for Merab to be given to David, she was given instead to a man named Adriel from Meholah.

20 Saul's daughter Michal, however, fell in love with David, and when Saul heard of this, he was pleased. 21 He said to himself, “I'll give Michal to David; I will use her to trap him, and he will be killed by the Philistines.” So for the second time Saul said to David, “You will be my son-in-law.” 22 He ordered his officials to speak privately with David and tell him, “The king is pleased with you and all his officials like you; now is a good time for you to marry his daughter.”

23 So they told this to David, and he answered, “It's a great honor to become the king's son-in-law, too great for someone poor and insignificant like me.”

24 The officials told Saul what David had said, 25 and Saul ordered them to tell David: “All the king wants from you as payment for the bride are the foreskins of a hundred dead Philistines, as revenge on his enemies.” (This was how Saul planned to have David killed by the Philistines.) 26 Saul's officials reported to David what Saul had said, and David was delighted with the thought of becoming the king's son-in-law. Before the day set for the wedding, 27 David and his men went and killed two hundred Philistines. He took their foreskins to the king and counted them all out to him, so that he might become his son-in-law. So Saul had to give his daughter Michal in marriage to David.

28 Saul realized clearly that the Lord was with David and also that his daughter Michal loved him. 29 So he became even more afraid of David and was his enemy as long as he lived.

30 The Philistine armies would come and fight, but in every battle David was more successful than any of Saul's other officers. As a result David became very famous.

Saul’s Growing Fear of David

18 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan(A) became one in spirit with David, and he loved(B) him as himself.(C) From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant(D) with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe(E) he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.(F)

Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful(G) that Saul gave him a high rank in the army.(H) This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.

When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing,(I) with joyful songs and with timbrels(J) and lyres. As they danced, they sang:(K)

“Saul has slain his thousands,
    and David his tens(L) of thousands.”

Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?(M) And from that time on Saul kept a close(N) eye on David.

10 The next day an evil[a] spirit(O) from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre,(P) as he usually(Q) did. Saul had a spear(R) in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself,(S) “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded(T) him twice.(U)

12 Saul was afraid(V) of David, because the Lord(W) was with(X) David but had departed from(Y) Saul. 13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led(Z) the troops in their campaigns.(AA) 14 In everything he did he had great success,(AB) because the Lord was with(AC) him. 15 When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns.(AD)

17 Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter(AE) Merab. I will give her to you in marriage;(AF) only serve me bravely and fight the battles(AG) of the Lord.” For Saul said to himself,(AH) “I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!”

18 But David said to Saul, “Who am I,(AI) and what is my family or my clan in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law?(AJ) 19 So[b] when the time came for Merab,(AK) Saul’s daughter, to be given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel of Meholah.(AL)

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal(AM) was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased.(AN) 21 “I will give her to him,” he thought, “so that she may be a snare(AO) to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law.”

22 Then Saul ordered his attendants: “Speak to David privately and say, ‘Look, the king likes you, and his attendants all love you; now become his son-in-law.’”

23 They repeated these words to David. But David said, “Do you think it is a small matter to become the king’s son-in-law?(AP) I’m only a poor man and little known.”

24 When Saul’s servants told him what David had said, 25 Saul replied, “Say to David, ‘The king wants no other price(AQ) for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge(AR) on his enemies.’” Saul’s plan(AS) was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines.

26 When the attendants told David these things, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, 27 David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal(AT) in marriage.

28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal(AU) loved David, 29 Saul became still more afraid(AV) of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days.

30 The Philistine commanders continued to go out to battle, and as often as they did, David met with more success(AW) than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 18:10 Or a harmful
  2. 1 Samuel 18:19 Or However,

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