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1 Samuel - Chapter 18

1 Samuel Chapters

1 When David had finished talking to Saul, Jonathan felt an instant affection for David; Jonathan loved him like his very self;

2 Saul engaged him that very day and would not let him go home to his father.

3 Jonathan made a pact with David, since he loved him like his very self;

4 Jonathan took off the cloak which he was wearing and gave it to David, and his armour too, even including his sword, his bow and his belt.

5 Wherever David was sent on a mission by Saul, he was successful, and Saul put him in command of the fighting men; all the people respected him and so did Saul's staff.

6 On their return, when David was coming back from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel singing and dancing to meet King Saul, with tambourines, sistrums and cries of joy;

7 and as they danced the women sang: Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.

8 Saul was very angry; the incident displeased him. 'They have given David the tens of thousands,' he said, 'but me only the thousands; what more can he have, except the throne?'

9 And Saul watched David jealously from that day onwards.

10 The following day, an evil spirit from God seized on Saul and he fell into a frenzy while he was indoors. David played the harp as on other occasions; Saul had a spear in his hand.

11 Saul brandished the spear; he said, 'I will pin David to the wall!' David evaded him twice.

12 Saul feared David, since Yahweh was with him and had withdrawn from Saul.

13 So Saul removed him from his presence and appointed him commander of a thousand; he led the people on campaign.

14 In all his expeditions, David was successful and Yahweh was with him.

15 And Saul, seeing how very successful he was, was afraid of him.

16 All Israel and Judah loved David, however, since he was their leader on campaign.

17 Saul said to David, 'This is my elder daughter Merab; I shall give her to you in marriage; but you must serve me bravely and fight Yahweh's wars.' Saul thought, 'Better than strike the blow myself, let the Philistines do it!'

18 David replied to Saul, 'Who am I and what is my lineage -- and my father's family -- in Israel, for me to become the king's son-in-law?'

19 When the time came for Merab daughter of Saul to be given to David, she was given to Adriel of Meholah instead.

20 Now Michal daughter of Saul fell in love with David. When Saul heard this he was pleased.

21 He thought, 'Yes, I shall give her to him; she can be the snare for him, so that the Philistines will get him.' (On two occasions, Saul told David, 'Today, you shall be my son-in-law.')

22 Saul gave instructions to his servants, 'Have a private word with David and say, "Look, the king is fond of you and all his servants love you -- why not be the king's son-in-law?" '

23 Saul's servants repeated these words in David's ear, to which David replied, 'Do you think that becoming the king's son-in-law is a trivial matter; I have neither wealth nor position.'

24 Saul's servants then reported back, 'This is what David said.'

25 Saul replied, 'Tell David this, "The king desires no bride-price except one hundred Philistine foreskins, in vengeance on the king's enemies." ' Saul was counting on getting David killed by the Philistines.

26 When his servants repeated this to David, David thought it would be a fine thing to be the king's son-in-law. And no time was lost

27 before David got up to go, he and his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. David brought their foreskins back and counted them out before the king, so that he could be the king's son-in-law. Saul then gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

28 Saul could not but see that Yahweh was with David, and that the whole House of Israel loved him;

29 Saul became more afraid of David than ever, and became his inveterate enemy.

30 The Philistine chiefs kept mounting their campaigns but, whenever they did so, David proved more successful than any of Saul's staff; consequently he gained great renown.


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