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David and Jonathan Become Friends
1-2Saul decided to take David with him. He would not let David go back home to his father. After David finished talking with Saul, Jonathan developed a strong friendship with David.#18:1-2 Jonathan … with David Literally, “Jonathan’s soul was tied to David’s soul.” 3Jonathan loved David as much as himself, so they made a special agreement. 4Jonathan took off the coat he was wearing and gave it to David. In fact, Jonathan gave David his whole uniform—including his sword, his bow, and even his belt.
Saul Notices David’s Success
5David went to fight wherever Saul sent him. He was very successful, so Saul put him in charge of the soldiers. This pleased everyone, even Saul’s officers. 6David would go out to fight against the Philistines. On the way home, after the battles, women in every town in Israel would come out to meet him. They sang and danced for joy as they played their tambourines and lyres. They did this right in front of Saul! 7The women sang,
“Saul has killed his thousands,
but David has killed tens of thousands.”
8This song upset Saul and he became very angry. Saul thought, “The women give David credit for killing tens of thousands of the enemy, and they give me credit for only thousands. A little more of this and they will give him the kingdom itself!#18:8 A little more … itself This is not in one of the oldest and best copies of the ancient Greek version.9So from that time on, Saul watched David very closely.
Saul Is Afraid of David
10The next day, an evil spirit from God took control of Saul and he went wild#18:10 Saul … wild Or “Saul prophesied.” The Hebrew word means that the person lost control of what they said and did. Usually this meant God was using them to give a special message to other people. in his house. David played the harp to calm him as he usually did, 11but Saul had a spear in his hand. He thought, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” Saul threw the spear twice, but David jumped out of the way both times.
12The Lord had left Saul and was now with David, so Saul was afraid of David. 13Saul sent David away and made him a commander over 1000 soldiers. This put David out among the men even more as they went into battle and returned. 14The Lord was with David, so he was successful in everything. 15Saul saw how successful David was and became even more afraid of him. 16But all the people in Israel and Judah loved David because he was out among them and led them into battle.
Saul Wants His Daughter to Marry David
17One day Saul said to David, “Here is my oldest daughter, Merab. I will let you marry her. Then you will be like a son to me and you will be a real soldier.#18:17 real soldier That is, a member of the warrior class. They were free from certain duties of ordinary citizens. Then you will go and fight the Lord’S battles.” Saul was really thinking, “Now I won’t have to kill David. I will let the Philistines kill him for me.”
18But David said, “I am not an important man from an important family. I can’t marry the king’s daughter.”
19So when the time came for David to marry Saul’s daughter, Saul let her marry Adriel from Meholah.
20People told Saul that his daughter Michal loved David. This made Saul happy. 21He thought, “I will use Michal to trap David. I will let Michal marry David, and then I will let the Philistines kill him.” So Saul said to David a second time, “You can marry my daughter today.”
22Saul commanded his officers to speak to David in private. He told them to say, “Look, the king likes you. His officers like you. You should marry his daughter.”
23Saul’s officers said these things to David, but David answered, “Do you think it is easy to become the king’s son-in-law? I am just a poor, ordinary man.”
24Saul’s officers told Saul what David said. 25Saul told them, “Say this to David, ‘David, the king doesn’t want you to pay money for his daughter.#18:25 money for his daughter In Bible times a man usually had to give money to a woman’s father before he could marry her. He wants to get even with his enemy, so the price for marrying his daughter is 100 Philistine foreskins.’” That was Saul’s secret plan. He thought the Philistines would kill David.
26Saul’s officers told this to David. David was happy that he had a chance to become the king’s son-in-law, so immediately 27he and his men went out to fight the Philistines. They killed 200#18:27 200 The ancient Greek version has “100.” Philistines. David took these Philistine foreskins and gave them to Saul. He did this because he wanted to become the king’s son-in-law.
Saul let David marry his daughter Michal. 28He saw that the Lord was with David and he also saw that his daughter, Michal, loved David. 29So Saul became even more afraid of David and was against him all that time.
30The Philistine commanders continued to go out to fight the Israelites, but David defeated them every time. He became famous as Saul’s best officer.
1And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
2And Saul took him that day, and would not let him return to his father's house.
3And David and Jonathan made a covenant, for be loved him as his own soul.
4And Jonathan stripped himself of the coat with which he was clothed, and gave it to David, and the rest of his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
5And David went out to whatsoever business Saul sent him, and he behaved himself prudently: and Saul set him over the soldiers, and he was acceptable in the eyes of all the people, and especially in the eyes of Saul's servants.
6Now when David returned, after be slew the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with timbrels of joy, and cornets.
7And the women sung as they played, and they said: Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
8And Saul was exceeding angry, and this word was displeasing in his eyes, and he said: They have given David ten thousands, and to me they have given but a thousand; what can he have more but the kingdom?
9And Saul did not look on David with a good eye from that day and forward.
10And the day after the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of his house. And David played with his hand as at other times. And Saul held a spear in his hand,
11And threw it, thinking to nail David to the wall: and David stept aside out of his presence twice.
12And Saul feared David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from himself.
13Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him a captain over a thousand men, and he went out and came in before the people.
14And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him.
15And Saul saw that he was exceeding prudent, and began to beware of him.
16But all Israel and Juda loved David, for he came in and went out before them.
17And Saul said to David: Behold my elder daughter Merob, her will I give thee to wife: only be a valiant man, and fight the battles of the Lord. Now Saul said within himself: Let not my hand be upon him, but let the hands of the Philistines be upon him.
18And David said to Saul: Who am I, or what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son in law of the king?
19And it came to pass at the time when Merob the daughter of Saul should have been given to David, that she was given to Hadriel the Molathite to wife.
20But Michol the other daughter of Saul loved David. And it was told Saul, and it pleased him.
21And Saul said: I will give her to him, that she may be a stumblingblock to him, and that the band of the Philistines may be upon him. And Saul said to David: In two things thou shalt be my son in law this day.
22And Saul commanded his servants to speak to David privately, saying: Behold thou pleasest the king, and all his servants love thee. Now therefore be the king's son in law.
23And the servants of Saul spoke all these words in the ears of David. And David said: Doth it seem to you a small matter to be the king's son in law? But I am a poor man, and of small ability.
24And the servants of Saul told him, saying: Such words as these hath David spoken.
25And Saul said: Speak thus to David: The king desireth not any dowry, but only a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. Now Saul thought to deliver David into the hands of the Philistines.
26And when his servants had told David the words that Saul had said, the word was pleasing in the eyes of David to be the king's son in law.
27And after a few days David rose up, and went with the men that were under him, and he slew of the Philistines two hundred men, and brought their foreskins and numbered them out to the king, that he might be his son in law. Saul therefore gave him Michol his daughter to wife.
28And Saul saw, and understood that the Lord was with David. And Michol the daughter of Saul loved him.
29And Saul began to fear David more: and Saul became David's enemy continually.
30And the princes of the Philistines went forth: and from the beginning of their going forth, David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul, and his name became very famous.