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1 Samuel 18-19 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

David’s Success

18 When David had finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan was bound to David in close friendship,[a] 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 fighting men, 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 danced, the women sang:

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

Saul was furious and resented this song.[b] “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 came powerfully on Saul, and he began to rave[c] 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 sent David away from him and made him commander over a thousand 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, “I don’t need to raise a hand 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.[d] 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,[e] but he replied, “Is it trivial in your sight to become the king’s son-in-law? I am a poor commoner.”

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 a hundred 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[f] to become the king’s son-in-law. Before the wedding day arrived,[g] 27 David and his men went out and killed two hundred[h] 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[i] 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.

David Delivered from Saul

19 Saul ordered his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David. But Saul’s son Jonathan liked David very much, so he told him: “My father Saul intends to kill you. Be on your guard in the morning and hide in a secret place and stay there. I’ll go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are and talk to him about you. When I see what he says, I’ll tell you.”

Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul. He said to him: “The king should not sin against his servant David. He hasn’t sinned against you; in fact, his actions have been a great advantage to you. He took his life in his hands when he struck down the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced, so why would you sin against innocent blood by killing David for no reason?”

Saul listened to Jonathan’s advice and swore an oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be killed.” So Jonathan summoned David and told him all these words. Then Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he served him as he did before.

When war broke out again, David went out and fought against the Philistines. He defeated them with such great force that they fled from him.

Now an evil spirit sent from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his palace holding a spear. David was playing the lyre, 10 and Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear. As the spear struck the wall, David eluded Saul, ran away, and escaped that night. 11 Saul sent agents to David’s house to watch for him and kill him in the morning. But his wife Michal warned David, “If you don’t escape tonight, you will be dead tomorrow!” 12 So she lowered David from the window, and he fled and escaped. 13 Then Michal took the household idol and put it on the bed, placed some goat hair on its head, and covered it with a garment. 14 When Saul sent agents to seize David, Michal said, “He’s sick.”

15 Saul sent the agents back to see David and said, “Bring him on his bed so I can kill him.” 16 When the agents arrived, to their surprise, the household idol was on the bed with some goat hair on its head.

17 Saul asked Michal, “Why did you deceive me like this? You sent my enemy away, and he has escaped!”

She answered him, “He said to me, ‘Let me go! Why should I kill you?’”

18 So David fled and escaped and went to Samuel at Ramah and told him everything Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel left and stayed at Naioth.

19 When it was reported to Saul that David was at Naioth in Ramah, 20 he sent agents to seize David. However, when they saw the group of prophets prophesying with Samuel leading them, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s agents, and they also started prophesying. 21 When they reported to Saul, he sent other agents, and they also began prophesying. So Saul tried again and sent a third group of agents, and even they began prophesying. 22 Then Saul himself went to Ramah. He came to the large cistern at Secu and asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”

“At Naioth in Ramah,” someone said.

23 So he went to Naioth in Ramah. The Spirit of God also came on him, and as he walked along, he prophesied until he entered Naioth in Ramah. 24 Saul then removed his clothes and also prophesied before Samuel; he collapsed and lay naked all that day and all that night. That is why they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Footnotes:

  1. 18:1 Lit the life of Jonathan was bound to the life of David
  2. 18:8 Lit furious; this saying was evil in his eyes
  3. 18:10 Or prophesy
  4. 18:20 Lit Saul, the thing was right in his eyes
  5. 18:23 Lit words in David’s ears
  6. 18:26 Lit David, it was right in David’s eyes
  7. 18:26 Lit And the days were not full
  8. 18:27 LXX reads 100
  9. 18:28 Lit saw and knew
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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