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1 Samuel 18 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

David’s Success

18 When David had finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan committed himself to David, and loved him as much as he loved himself. Saul kept David with him from that day on and did not let him return to his father’s house.

Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as much as himself. Then Jonathan removed the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his military tunic, his sword, his bow, and his belt.

David marched out with the army and was successful in everything Saul sent him to do. Saul put him in command of the soldiers, which pleased all the people and Saul’s servants as well.

As the troops were coming back, when David was returning from killing the Philistine, the women came out from all the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing with tambourines, with shouts of joy, and with three-stringed instruments. As they celebrated, the women sang:

Saul has killed his thousands,
but David his tens of thousands.

Saul was furious and resented this song.[a] “They credited tens of thousands to David,” he complained, “but they only credited me with thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul watched David jealously from that day forward.

Saul Attempts to Kill David

10 The next day an evil spirit sent from God took control of Saul, and he began to rave[b] inside the palace. David was playing the lyre as usual, but Saul was holding a spear, 11 and he threw it, thinking, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David got away from him twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had left Saul. 13 Therefore, Saul reassigned David and made him commander over 1,000 men. David led the troops 14 and continued to be successful in all his activities because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul observed that David was very successful, he dreaded him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David because he was leading their troops. 17 Saul told David, “Here is my oldest daughter Merab. I’ll give her to you as a wife, if you will be a warrior for me and fight the Lord’s battles.” But Saul was thinking, “My hand doesn’t need to be against him; let the hand of the Philistines be against him.”

18 Then David responded, “Who am I, and what is my family or my father’s clan in Israel that I should become the king’s son-in-law?” 19 When it was time to give Saul’s daughter Merab to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.

David’s Marriage to Michal

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David, and when it was reported to Saul, it pleased him.[c] 21 “I’ll give her to him,” Saul thought. “She’ll be a trap for him, and the hand of the Philistines will be against him.” So Saul said to David a second time, “You can now be my son-in-law.”

22 Saul then ordered his servants, “Speak to David in private and tell him, ‘Look, the king is pleased with you, and all his servants love you. Therefore, you should become the king’s son-in-law.’”

23 Saul’s servants reported these words directly to David,[d] but he replied, “Is it trivial in your sight to become the king’s son-in-law? I am a poor man who is common.”

24 The servants reported back to Saul, “These are the words David spoke.”

25 Then Saul replied, “Say this to David: ‘The king desires no other bride-price except 100 Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.’” Actually, Saul intended to cause David’s death at the hands of the Philistines.

26 When the servants reported these terms to David, he was pleased[e] to become the king’s son-in-law. Before the wedding day arrived,[f] 27 David and his men went out and killed 200[g] Philistines. He brought their foreskins and presented them as full payment to the king to become his son-in-law. Then Saul gave his daughter Michal to David as his wife. 28 Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved him, 29 and he became even more afraid of David. As a result, Saul was David’s enemy from then on.

30 Every time the Philistine commanders came out to fight, David was more successful than all of Saul’s officers. So his name became well known.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 18:8 Lit furious; this saying was evil in his eyes
  2. 1 Samuel 18:10 Or prophesy
  3. 1 Samuel 18:20 Lit Saul, the thing was right in his eyes
  4. 1 Samuel 18:23 Lit words in David’s ears
  5. 1 Samuel 18:26 Lit David, it was right in David’s eyes
  6. 1 Samuel 18:26 Lit And the days were not full
  7. 1 Samuel 18:27 LXX reads 100

1 Samuel 18 New International Version (NIV)

Saul’s Growing Fear of David

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

Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. 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, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. As they danced, they sang:

“Saul has slain his thousands,
    and David his tens 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? And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

10 The next day an evil[a] spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul. 13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. 14 In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with 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.

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

18 But David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my family or my clan in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law? 19 So[b] when the time came for Merab, Saul’s daughter, to be given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel of Meholah.

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased. 21 “I will give her to him,” he thought, “so that she may be a snare 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? 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 price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.’” Saul’s plan 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 Michal in marriage.

28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, 29 Saul became still more afraid 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 success than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 18:10 Or a harmful
  2. 1 Samuel 18:19 Or However,
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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