1 Samuel 18

Saul Fears David

18 When David finished talking with Saul, Jonathan felt very close to David. He loved David as much as he loved himself. 2 Saul kept David with him from that day on and did not let him go home to his father’s house. 3 Jonathan made an agreement with David, because he loved David as much as himself. 4 He took off his coat and gave it to David, along with his armor, including his sword, bow, and belt.

5 Saul 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.

6 After 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. 7 As they played, they sang,

“Saul has killed thousands of his enemies,
but David has killed tens of thousands.”

8 The 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!” 9 So Saul watched David closely from then on, because he was jealous.

10 The 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. 11 He threw the spear, thinking, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David escaped from him twice.

12 The Lord was with David but had left Saul. So Saul was afraid of David. 13 He sent David away and made him commander of a thousand soldiers. So David led them in battle. 14 He had great success in everything he did because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw that David was very successful, he feared David even more. 16 But all the people of Israel and Judah loved David because he led them well in battle.

Saul’s Daughter Marries David

17 Saul 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.”

18 But David answered Saul, saying, “Who am I? My family is not important enough for me to become the king’s son-in-law.” 19 So, when the time came for Saul’s daughter Merab to marry David, Saul gave her instead to Adriel of Meholah.

20 Now Saul’s other daughter, Michal, loved David. When they told Saul, he was pleased. 21 He 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.”

22 And 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.”

23 Saul’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.”

24 When Saul’s servants told him what David had said, 25 Saul 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.

26 When Saul’s servants told this to David, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. 27 So 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. 28 Saul saw that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David. 29 So he grew even more afraid of David, and he was David’s enemy all his life.

30 The 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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