1 Samuel 18:1–30

Saul’s Growing Fear of David

18 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathanp became one in spirit with David, and he lovedq him as himself.r From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenants with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robet he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.u

Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successfulv that Saul gave him a high rank in the army.w This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.

When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing,x with joyful songs and with timbrelsy and lyres. As they danced, they sang:z

“Saul has slain his thousands,

and David his tensa of thousands.”

Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?bAnd from that time on Saul kept a closec eye on David.

10 The next day an evila spiritd from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre,e as he usuallyf did. Saul had a spearg in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself,h “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eludedi him twice.j

12 Saul was afraidk of David, because the Lordl was withm David but had departed fromn Saul. 13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David ledo the troops in their campaigns.p 14 In everything he did he had great success,q because the Lord was withr him. 15 When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns.s

17 Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughtert Merab. I will give her to you in marriage;u only serve me bravely and fight the battlesv of the Lord.” For Saul said to himself,w “I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!”

18 But David said to Saul, “Who am I,x and what is my family or my clan in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law?y19 Sob when the time came for Merab,z Saul’s daughter, to be given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel of Meholah.a

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michalb was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased.c 21 “I will give her to him,” he thought, “so that she may be a snared to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law.”

22 Then Saul ordered his attendants: “Speak to David privately and say, ‘Look, the king likes you, and his attendants all love you; now become his son-in-law.’ ”

23 They repeated these words to David. But David said, “Do you think it is a small matter to become the king’s son-in-law?e I’m only a poor man and little known.”

24 When Saul’s servants told him what David had said, 25 Saul replied, “Say to David, ‘The king wants no other pricef for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revengeg on his enemies.’ ” Saul’s planh was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines.

26 When the attendants told David these things, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, 27 David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michali in marriage.

28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michalj loved David, 29 Saul became still more afraidk of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days.

30 The Philistine commanders continued to go out to battle, and as often as they did, David met with more successl than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known.

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