18
Saul Fears David
1When David finished talking with Saul, Jonathan felt very close to David. He loved David as much as he loved himself. 2Saul kept David with him from that day on and did not let him go home to his father’s house. 3Jonathan made an agreement with David, because he loved David as much as himself. 4He took off his coat and gave it to David, along with his armor, including his sword, bow, and belt.
5Saul sent David to fight in different battles, and David was very successful. Then Saul put David over the soldiers, which pleased Saul’s officers and all the other people.
6After David had killed the Philistine, he and the men returned home. Women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul. They sang songs of joy, danced, and played tambourines and stringed instruments. 7As they played, they sang,
“Saul has killed thousands of his enemies,
but David has killed tens of thousands.”
8The women’s song upset Saul, and he became very angry. He thought, “The women say David has killed tens of thousands, but they say I have killed only thousands. The only thing left for him to have is the kingdom!” 9So Saul watched David closely from then on, because he was jealous.
10The next day an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he prophesied in his house. David was playing the harp as he usually did, but Saul had a spear in his hand. 11He threw the spear, thinking, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David escaped from him twice.
12The Lord was with David but had left Saul. So Saul was afraid of David. 13He sent David away and made him commander of a thousand soldiers. So David led them in battle. 14He had great success in everything he did because the Lord was with him. 15When Saul saw that David was very successful, he feared David even more. 16But all the people of Israel and Judah loved David because he led them well in battle.
Saul’s Daughter Marries David
17Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab. I will let you marry her. All I ask is that you remain brave and fight the Lord’s battles.” Saul thought, “I won’t have to kill David. The Philistines will do that.”
18But David answered Saul, saying, “Who am I? My family is not important enough for me to become the king’s son-in-law.” 19So, when the time came for Saul’s daughter Merab to marry David, Saul gave her instead to Adriel of Meholah.
20Now Saul’s other daughter, Michal, loved David. When they told Saul, he was pleased. 21He thought, “I will let her marry David. Then she will be a trap for him, and the Philistines will defeat him.” So Saul said to David a second time, “You may become my son-in-law.”
22And Saul ordered his servants to talk with David in private and say, “Look, the king likes you. His servants love you. You should be his son-in-law.”
23Saul’s servants said these words to David, but David answered, “Do you think it is easy to become the king’s son-in-law? I am poor and unimportant.”
24When Saul’s servants told him what David had said, 25Saul said, “Tell David, ‘The king doesn’t want money for the bride. All he wants is a hundred Philistine foreskins to get even with his enemies.’ ” Saul planned to let the Philistines kill David.
26When Saul’s servants told this to David, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. 27So he and his men went out and killed two hundred Philistines. David brought all their foreskins to Saul so he could be the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal for his wife. 28Saul saw that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David. 29So he grew even more afraid of David, and he was David’s enemy all his life.
30The Philistine commanders continued to go out to fight the Israelites, but every time, David was more skillful than Saul’s officers. So he became famous.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.