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David and Jonathan's Friendship
1As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to 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. 3Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. 5And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul's servants.
Saul's Jealousy of David
6As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. 7And the women sang to one another as they celebrated,
"Saul has struck down his thousands,
and David his ten thousands."
8And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, "They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?" 9And Saul eyed David from that day on.
10The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. 11And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, "I will pin David to the wall." But David evaded him twice.
12Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. 14And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him. 15And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. 16But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them.
David Marries Michal
17Then Saul said to David, "Here is my elder daughter Merab. I will give her to you for a wife. Only be valiant for me and fight the Lord's battles." For Saul thought, "Let not my hand be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him." 18And David said to Saul, "Who am I, and who are my relatives, my father's clan in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?" 19But at the time when Merab, Saul's daughter, should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite for a wife.
20Now Saul's daughter Michal loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. 21Saul thought, "Let me give her to him, that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him." Therefore Saul said to David a second time, "You shall now be my son-in-law." 22And Saul commanded his servants, "Speak to David in private and say, 'Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now then become the king's son-in-law.'" 23And Saul's servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, "Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king's son-in-law, since I am a poor man and have no reputation?" 24And the servants of Saul told him, "Thus and so did David speak." 25Then Saul said, "Thus shall you say to David, 'The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king's enemies.'" Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son-in-law. Before the time had expired, 27David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king's son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife. 28But when Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul's daughter, loved him, 29Saul was even more afraid of David. So Saul was David's enemy continually.
30Then the commanders of the Philistines came out to battle, and as often as they came out David had more success than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed.
1David and Saul finished talking, and soon David and Jonathan#18.1 Jonathan: Saul's eldest son (see chapter 14). became best friends. Jonathan thought as much of David as he did of himself. 2From that time on, Saul kept David in his service and would not let David go back to his own family.
3Jonathan liked David so much that they promised they would always be loyal friends. 4Jonathan took off the robe that he was wearing and gave it to David. He also gave him his military clothes,#18.4 military clothes: Or “armour”. his sword, his bow and arrows, and his belt.
5David was a success in everything that Saul sent him to do, and Saul made him a high officer in his army. That pleased everyone, including Saul's other officers.
Saul tries to kill David
Saul becomes David's enemy
6David had killed Goliath, the battle was over, and the Israelite army set out for home. As the army went along, women came out of each Israelite town to welcome King Saul. They were singing happy songs and dancing to the music of tambourines and harps. 7They sang:#1 S 21.11; 29.5.
Saul has killed
a thousand enemies;
David has killed
ten thousand enemies!
8This song made Saul very angry, and he thought, “They are saying that David has killed ten times more enemies than I ever did. Next they will want to make him king.” 9Saul never again trusted David.
10The next day the LORD let an evil spirit take control of Saul, and he began acting like a mad man inside his house. David came to play the harp for Saul as usual, but this time Saul had a spear in his hand. 11Saul thought, “I'll pin David to the wall.” He threw the spear at David twice, but David dodged and got away both times.
12Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was helping David and was no longer helping him. 13Saul put David in charge of a thousand soldiers and sent him out to fight. 14The LORD helped David, and he and his soldiers always won their battles. 15This made Saul even more afraid of David. 16But everyone else in Judah and Israel was loyal to#18.16 was loyal to: Or “loved”. David, because he led the army in battle.
17One day, Saul told David, “If you'll be brave and fight the LORD's battles for me, I'll let you marry my eldest daughter Merab.” But Saul was really thinking, “I don't want to kill David myself, so I'll let the Philistines do it for me.”
18David answered, “How could I possibly marry your daughter? I'm not very important, and neither is my family.”
19But when the time came for David to marry Saul's daughter Merab, Saul told her to marry Adriel from the town of Meholah.
20Saul had another daughter. Her name was Michal, and Saul found out that she was in love with David. This made Saul happy, 21and he thought, “I'll tell David he can marry Michal, but I'll set it up so that the Philistines will kill him.” He told David, “I'm going to give you a second chance to marry one of my daughters.”
22-23Saul ordered his officials to speak to David in private, so they went to David and said, “Look, the king likes you, and all his officials are loyal to you. Why not ask the king if you can marry his daughter Michal?”
“I'm not rich#18.22,23 not rich: It was the custom for a man to give the bride's father some silver or gold in order to marry his daughter, and it would take a large amount to marry the daughter of the king. or famous enough to marry princess Michal!” David answered.
24The officials went back to Saul and told him exactly what David had said. 25Saul was hoping that the Philistines would kill David, and he told his officials to tell David, “The king doesn't want any silver or gold. He only wants to get even with his enemies. All you have to do is to bring back proof that you have killed a hundred Philistines!”#18.25 proof…Philistines: Hebrew “one hundred Philistine foreskins”. In ancient times soldiers would sometimes cut off body parts of their dead enemies to prove how many they had killed. 26The officials told David, and David wanted to marry the princess.
King Saul had set a time limit, and before it ran out, 27David and his men left and killed two hundred Philistines. He brought back the proof and showed it to Saul, so he could marry Michal. Saul agreed to let David marry Michal. 28Saul knew that she loved David,#18.28 she…David: Hebrew; one ancient translation “all Israel was loyal to David”. and he also realized that the LORD was helping David. 29But knowing those things made Saul even more afraid of David, and he was David's enemy for the rest of his life.
30The Philistine rulers kept coming to fight Israel, but whenever David fought them, he won. He was famous because he won more battles against the Philistines than any of Saul's other officers.