Exit Parallel Mode
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.
David and Jonathan.
1By the time David finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan’s life became bound up with David’s life; he loved him as his very self.#a. [18:1] 1 Sm 19:1–7; 20:17; 23:16; 2 Sm 1:26; 9:1. 2Saul retained David on that day and did not allow him to return to his father’s house.#b. [18:2] 1 Sm 16:21; 17:15. 3Jonathan and David made a covenant, because Jonathan loved him as his very self. 4Jonathan took off#Jonathan took off: with the details in this verse, the narrator identifies David as Jonathan’s replacement and Saul’s heir to the throne. Cf. 23:17 and Gn 41:39–43. the cloak he was wearing and handed it over to David, along with his military dress, even his sword, bow, and belt.#c. [18:4] 2 Sm 1:22. 5David then carried out successfully every mission on which Saul sent him. So Saul put him in charge of his soldiers; this met with the approval of the whole army, even Saul’s officers.
Saul’s Jealousy.
6At the approach of Saul and David, on David’s return after striking down the Philistine, women came out from all the cities of Israel to meet Saul the king, singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and stringed instruments.#Stringed instruments: perhaps a lute-like instrument with three strings; the Hebrew word, shalshim, perhaps related to the root shlsh (“three”), occurs only here in the Old Testament. #d. [18:6] Ex 15:20–21; Jgs 11:34; Jdt 15:12. 7The women played and sang:
“Saul has slain his thousands,
David his tens of thousands.”#e. [18:7] 1 Sm 21:12; 29:5; Ps 91:7; Sir 47:6–7.
8Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought: “They give David tens of thousands, but only thousands to me. All that remains for him is the kingship.” 9From that day on, Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
10#f. [18:10–11] 1 Sm 16:14; 19:9–10; 20:33; 22:6; 26:8. The next day an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raged in his house. David was in attendance, playing the harp as at other times, while Saul was holding his spear. 11Saul poised the spear, thinking, “I will nail David to the wall!” But twice David escaped him. 12Saul then began to fear David because the Lord was with him but had turned away from Saul. 13Saul sent him out of his presence and appointed him a field officer. So David led the people on their military expeditions 14and prospered in all his ways, for the Lord was with him. 15Seeing how he prospered, Saul feared David. 16But all Israel and Judah loved David, since he led them on their expeditions.#Led them on their expeditions: lit., “go out and come in,” i.e., through the city gates; an idiom for military victory. #g. [18:16] 2 Sm 5:2.
Saul Plots Against David.
17Saul said to David, “Look, I will give you my older daughter, Merob, in marriage if you become my warrior and fight the battles of the Lord.” Saul thought, “I will not lay a hand on him. Let the hand of the Philistines strike him.”#h. [18:17] 1 Sm 14:49; 17:25. 18But David answered Saul: “Who am I? And who are my kindred or my father’s clan in Israel that I should become the king’s son-in-law?” 19But when the time came for Saul’s daughter Merob to be given to David, she was given as wife to Adriel the Meholathite instead.#i. [18:19] 1 Sm 21:8; 24:16.
20Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. When this was reported to Saul, he was pleased.#j. [18:20] 1 Sm 14:49; 25:44; 26:23; 2 Sm 3:13. 21He thought, “I will offer her to him as a trap, so that the hand of the Philistines may strike him.” So for the second time Saul said to David, “You shall become my son-in-law today.” 22Saul then ordered his servants, “Speak to David privately and say: The king favors you, and all his officers love you. You should become son-in-law to the king.” 23But when Saul’s servants mentioned this to David, he said: “Is becoming the king’s son-in-law a trivial matter in your eyes? I am poor and insignificant.” 24When his servants reported David’s answer to him, 25Saul commanded them, “Say this to David: The king desires no other price for the bride than the foreskins of one hundred Philistines, that he may thus take vengeance on his enemies.” Saul intended to have David fall into the hands of the Philistines.#k. [18:25] 1 Sm 17:26; Gn 34:12. 26When the servants reported this offer to David, he was pleased with the prospect of becoming the king’s son-in-law. Before the year was up, 27David arose and went with his men and slew two hundred Philistines. He brought back their foreskins and counted them out before the king that he might become the king’s son-in-law. So Saul gave him his daughter Michal as wife. 28Then Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his own daughter Michal loved David. 29So Saul feared David all the more and was his enemy ever after.
30The Philistine chiefs continued to make forays, but each time they took the field, David was more successful against them than any of Saul’s other officers, and his name was held in great esteem.