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The Friendship of David and Jonathan
1When#Literally “And it happened as” he finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan became attached to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2Saul took him on that very day and did not allow him to return to his father’s house. 3Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4Jonathan stripped off the robe that he was wearing#Literally “which was on him” and gave it to David, along with his fighting attire,#Hebrew “gown,” in this context “fighting tunic,” perhaps “armor” and even his sword, his bow, and his belt.
David’s Successes Arouse Saul’s Suspicions
5David went out whenever#Literally “in all that” Saul sent him, and he succeeded. So Saul appointed him over the men of the war, and it pleased#Literally “was good in the eyes of” all the people and even pleased#Literally “was good in the eyes of” the servants of Saul. 6When they were coming back#Literally “And it happened at their coming” after David had returned from striking down the Philistine, the women went out from all the cities of Israel singing and dancing to meet King Saul with tambourines, with joy, and with three-stringed instruments. 7And the women sang as they danced, and they said,
“Saul has struck down his thousands,
but David his ten thousands!”
8Saul became very angry,#Literally “And it was very hot for Saul” and this saying displeased him,#Literally “this thing was bad in his eyes” and he thought, “They have attributed to David ten thousands, but to me they have attributed thousands! What more can he have but the kingdom?”#Literally “And still for him is only the kingdom” 9So Saul was watching#The Masoretic Hebrew text (Kethib) reads “sin”; the translation follows the reading tradition (Qere) which has “eyeing” or “watching” David with suspicion from that day onward.
10On#Literally “And it happened from” the next day, the evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he prophesied in the middle of the house. Now David was playing the lyre with his hand on that day as usual,#Literally “as day on day” and the spear was in Saul’s hand. 11Then Saul hurled the spear and thought, “I will pin David to the wall.”#Literally “I will strike David and to the wall” But David eluded him twice. 12Now Saul was threatened by the presence of David#Literally “And Saul was afraid from the presence of David” because Yahweh was with him, but had departed from Saul. 13So Saul removed him from his presence,#Literally “from with him” and made him commander of a thousand, so he#That is, David marched in and out at the front of the army.#Literally “for he was going out and was coming in before the army” 14And David was achieving success in all his ways and Yahweh was with him, 15but when Saul saw that he was very successful, he was severely threatened by him.#Literally “he was terrified from his face” 16However, all of Israel and Judah were loving David, for he was going forth and marching ahead of them.
David Marries Saul’s Daughter Michal
17Then Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to you as your wife. Only be a brave warrior#Literally “a son of valor” for me and fight the battles of Yahweh.” For Saul thought, “My hand will not be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” 18But David said to Saul, “Who am I, and who are my relatives, the clan of my father in Israel, that I should be a son-in-law to the king?” 19But#Literally “And it happened” at the time Saul’s daughter Merab was to be given to David, she was given instead to Adriel the Meholathite as wife.
20Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David, so they told Saul, and the matter pleased him.#Literally “was right in his eyes” 21And Saul thought, “I will give her to him, so that she may be a snare for him and the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “For a second time you can become my son-in-law today.” 22Then Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in secret, saying, ‘Look, the king is pleased with you, and all his servants love you. So then, become a son-in-law of the king.’ ” 23And Saul’s servants spoke these words to David privately.#Literally “in the ears of David” But David said, “Is it insignificant in your sight#Literally “in your eyes” to become the son-in-law of the king, as I am a poor and lightly esteemed man?” 24So the servants of Saul informed him, saying, “This is what David said.”#Literally “According to these words David spoke” 25Then Saul said, “This is what you must say to David: ‘The king desires no bride price#Literally “There is not a desire for the king for a bride price” except for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to avenge himself on the enemies of the king.’ ” (Now Saul had planned to allow David to fall by the hand of the Philistines.) 26So his servants told David these words, and the matter pleased David#Literally “was right in the eyes of David” to become the son-in-law of the king as the specified time had not expired.#Literally “the days were not full”
27And David got up, and he and his men went and struck down two hundred men of the Philistines. Then David brought their foreskins, and they presented the full number#Literally “they filled them up” to become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him Michal his daughter as his wife. 28When Saul realized#Literally “saw and knew” that Yahweh was with David and his own daughter Michal#Literally “Michal the daughter of Saul” loved him, 29Saul was threatened by David still more,#Literally “added to be afraid from the presence of David” so Saul became a perpetual enemy of David.#Literally “was an enemy with David all the days” 30Then the commanders of the Philistines went out for battle, and as often as they went out, David succeeded more than all the servants of Saul, and his name became very esteemed.
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CHAPTER 18.
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.