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1 Samuel 18-19 Good News Translation (GNT)

18 Saul and David finished their conversation. After that, Saul's son Jonathan was deeply attracted to David and came to love him as much as he loved himself. Saul kept David with him from that day on and did not let him go back home. Jonathan swore eternal friendship with David because of his deep affection for him. He took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, together with his armor and also his sword, bow, and belt. David was successful in all the missions on which Saul sent him, and so Saul made him an officer in his army. This pleased all of Saul's officers and men.

Saul Becomes Jealous of David

As David was returning after killing Goliath and as the soldiers were coming back home, women from every town in Israel came out to meet King Saul. They were singing joyful songs, dancing, and playing tambourines and lyres. In their celebration the women sang, “Saul has killed thousands, but David tens of thousands.” Saul did not like this, and he became very angry. He said, “For David they claim tens of thousands, but only thousands for me. They will be making him king next!” And so he was jealous and suspicious of David from that day on.

10 The next day an evil spirit from God suddenly took control of Saul, and he raved in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did every day, and Saul was holding a spear. 11 “I'll pin him to the wall,” Saul said to himself, and he threw the spear at him twice; but David dodged each time.

12 Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with David but had abandoned him. 13 So Saul sent him away and put him in command of a thousand men. David led his men in battle 14 and was successful in all he did, because the Lord was with him. 15 Saul noticed David's success and became even more afraid of him. 16 But everyone in Israel and Judah loved David because he was such a successful leader.

David Marries Saul's Daughter

17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to you as your wife on condition that you serve me as a brave and loyal soldier, and fight the Lord's battles.” (Saul was thinking that in this way the Philistines would kill David, and he would not have to do it himself.)

18 David answered, “Who am I and what is my family that I should become the king's son-in-law?” 19 But when the time came for Merab to be given to David, she was given instead to a man named Adriel from Meholah.

20 Saul's daughter Michal, however, fell in love with David, and when Saul heard of this, he was pleased. 21 He said to himself, “I'll give Michal to David; I will use her to trap him, and he will be killed by the Philistines.” So for the second time Saul said to David, “You will be my son-in-law.” 22 He ordered his officials to speak privately with David and tell him, “The king is pleased with you and all his officials like you; now is a good time for you to marry his daughter.”

23 So they told this to David, and he answered, “It's a great honor to become the king's son-in-law, too great for someone poor and insignificant like me.”

24 The officials told Saul what David had said, 25 and Saul ordered them to tell David: “All the king wants from you as payment for the bride are the foreskins of a hundred dead Philistines, as revenge on his enemies.” (This was how Saul planned to have David killed by the Philistines.) 26 Saul's officials reported to David what Saul had said, and David was delighted with the thought of becoming the king's son-in-law. Before the day set for the wedding, 27 David and his men went and killed two hundred Philistines. He took their foreskins to the king and counted them all out to him, so that he might become his son-in-law. So Saul had to give his daughter Michal in marriage to David.

28 Saul realized clearly that the Lord was with David and also that his daughter Michal loved him. 29 So he became even more afraid of David and was his enemy as long as he lived.

30 The Philistine armies would come and fight, but in every battle David was more successful than any of Saul's other officers. As a result David became very famous.

David Is Persecuted by Saul

19 Saul told his son Jonathan and all his officials that he planned to kill[a] David. But Jonathan was very fond of David, and so he told him, “My father is trying to kill you. Please be careful tomorrow morning; hide in some secret place and stay there. I will go and stand by my father in the field where you are hiding, and I will speak to him about you. If I find out anything, I will let you know.”

Jonathan praised David to Saul and said, “Sir, don't do wrong to your servant David. He has never done you any wrong; on the contrary, everything he has done has been a great help to you. He risked his life when he killed Goliath, and the Lord won a great victory for Israel. When you saw it, you were glad. Why, then, do you now want to do wrong to an innocent man and kill David for no reason at all?”

Saul was convinced by what Jonathan said and made a vow in the Lord's name that he would not kill David. So Jonathan called David and told him everything; then he took him to Saul, and David served the king as he had before.

War with the Philistines broke out again. David attacked them and defeated them so thoroughly that they fled.

One day an evil spirit from the Lord took control of Saul. He was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was there, playing his harp. 10 Saul tried to pin David to the wall with his spear, but David dodged, and the spear stuck in the wall. David ran away and escaped.

11 That same night Saul sent some men to watch David's house and kill him the next morning. Michal, David's wife, warned him, “If you don't get away tonight, tomorrow you will be dead.” 12 She let him down from a window, and he ran away and escaped. 13 Then she took the household idol, laid it on the bed, put a pillow made of goats' hair at its head, and put a cover over it. 14 When Saul's men came to get David, Michal told them that he was sick. 15 But Saul sent them back to see David for themselves. He ordered them, “Carry him here in his bed, and I will kill him.” 16 They went inside and found the household idol in the bed and the goats' hair pillow at its head. 17 Saul asked Michal, “Why have you tricked me like this and let my enemy escape?”

She answered, “He said he would kill me if I didn't help him escape.”

18 David escaped and went to Samuel in Ramah and told him everything that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Saul was told that David was in Naioth in Ramah, 20 so he sent some men to arrest him. They saw[b] the group of prophets dancing and shouting, with Samuel as their leader. Then the spirit of God took control of Saul's men, and they also began to dance and shout. 21 When Saul heard of this, he sent more messengers, and they also began to dance and shout. He sent messengers the third time, and the same thing happened to them. 22 Then he himself started out to Ramah. When he came to the large well in Secu, he asked where Samuel and David were and was told that they were at Naioth. 23 As he was going there, the spirit of God took control of him also, and he danced and shouted all the way to Naioth. 24 He took off his clothes and danced and shouted in Samuel's presence, and lay naked all that day and all that night. (This is how the saying originated, “Has even Saul become a prophet?”)

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 19:1 that he planned to kill; or to kill.
  2. 1 Samuel 19:20 Some ancient translations They saw; Hebrew He saw.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

1 Samuel 18-19 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Jonathan’s Covenant with David

18 When David[a] had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him; as a result, Saul set him over the army. And all the people, even the servants of Saul, approved.

As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments.[b] And the women sang to one another as they made merry,

“Saul has killed his thousands,
    and David his ten thousands.”

Saul was very angry, for this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands; what more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul eyed David from that day on.

Saul Tries to Kill David

10 The next day an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand; 11 and Saul threw the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13 So Saul removed him from his presence, and made him a commander of a thousand; and David marched out and came in, leading the army. 14 David had success in all his undertakings; for the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in awe of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David; for it was he who marched out and came in leading them.

David Marries Michal

17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is my elder daughter Merab; I will give her to you as a wife; only be valiant for me and fight the Lord’s battles.” For Saul thought, “I will not raise a hand against him; let the Philistines deal with him.” 18 David said to Saul, “Who am I and who are my kinsfolk, my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” 19 But at the time when Saul’s daughter Merab should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. Saul was told, and the thing pleased him. 21 Saul thought, “Let me give her to him that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time,[c] “You shall now be my son-in-law.” 22 Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in private and say, ‘See, the king is delighted with you, and all his servants love you; now then, become the king’s son-in-law.’” 23 So Saul’s servants reported these words to David in private. And David said, “Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king’s son-in-law, seeing that I am a poor man and of no repute?” 24 The servants of Saul told him, “This is what David said.” 25 Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no marriage present except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged on the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul planned to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26 When his servants told David these words, David was well pleased to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired, 27 David rose and went, along with his men, and killed one hundred[d] of the Philistines; and David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. Saul gave him his daughter Michal as a wife. 28 But when Saul realized that the Lord was with David, and that Saul’s daughter Michal loved him, 29 Saul was still more afraid of David. So Saul was David’s enemy from that time forward.

30 Then the commanders of the Philistines came out to battle; and as often as they came out, David had more success than all the servants of Saul, so that his fame became very great.

Jonathan Intercedes for David

19 Saul spoke with his son Jonathan and with all his servants about killing David. But Saul’s son Jonathan took great delight in David. Jonathan told David, “My father Saul is trying to kill you; therefore be on guard tomorrow morning; stay in a secret place and hide yourself. I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you; if I learn anything I will tell you.” Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him, “The king should not sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have been of good service to you; for he took his life in his hand when he attacked the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced; why then will you sin against an innocent person by killing David without cause?” Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan; Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” So Jonathan called David and related all these things to him. Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.

Michal Helps David Escape from Saul

Again there was war, and David went out to fight the Philistines. He launched a heavy attack on them, so that they fled before him. Then an evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand, while David was playing music. 10 Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear; but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall. David fled and escaped that night.

11 Saul sent messengers to David’s house to keep watch over him, planning to kill him in the morning. David’s wife Michal told him, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through the window; he fled away and escaped. 13 Michal took an idol[e] and laid it on the bed; she put a net[f] of goats’ hair on its head, and covered it with the clothes. 14 When Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.” 15 Then Saul sent the messengers to see David for themselves. He said, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.” 16 When the messengers came in, the idol[g] was in the bed, with the covering[h] of goats’ hair on its head. 17 Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this, and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?” Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go; why should I kill you?’”

David Joins Samuel in Ramah

18 Now David fled and escaped; he came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. He and Samuel went and settled at Naioth. 19 Saul was told, “David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David. When they saw the company of the prophets in a frenzy, with Samuel standing in charge of[i] them, the spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also fell into a prophetic frenzy. 21 When Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they also fell into a frenzy. Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also fell into a frenzy. 22 Then he himself went to Ramah. He came to the great well that is in Secu;[j] he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” And someone said, “They are at Naioth in Ramah.” 23 He went there, toward Naioth in Ramah; and the spirit of God came upon him. As he was going, he fell into a prophetic frenzy, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 He too stripped off his clothes, and he too fell into a frenzy before Samuel. He lay naked all that day and all that night. Therefore it is said, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 18:1 Heb he
  2. 1 Samuel 18:6 Or triangles, or three-stringed instruments
  3. 1 Samuel 18:21 Heb by two
  4. 1 Samuel 18:27 Gk Compare 2 Sam 3.14: Heb two hundred
  5. 1 Samuel 19:13 Heb took the teraphim
  6. 1 Samuel 19:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  7. 1 Samuel 19:16 Heb the teraphim
  8. 1 Samuel 19:16 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  9. 1 Samuel 19:20 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  10. 1 Samuel 19:22 Gk reads to the well of the threshing floor on the bare height
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 18-19 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

18 By the time David had finished speaking to Sha’ul, Y’honatan found himself inwardly drawn by David’s character, so that Y’honatan loved him as he did himself. That day, Sha’ul took David into his service and would not let him go home to his father’s house any more. Y’honatan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as he did himself. Y’honatan removed the cloak he was wearing and gave it to David, his armor too, including his sword, bow and belt. David would go out, and no matter where Sha’ul sent him, he was successful. Sha’ul put him in charge of the fighting men; all the people thought it good, and so did Sha’ul’s servants.

As David and the others were returning from the slaughter of the P’lishti, the women came out of all the cities of Isra’el to meet King Sha’ul, singing and dancing joyfully with tambourines and three-stringed instruments. In their merrymaking the women sang,

“Sha’ul has killed his thousands,
but David his tens of thousands.”

Sha’ul became very angry, because this song displeased him. He said, “They give David credit for tens of thousands, but me they give credit for only thousands. Now all he lacks is the kingdom!” From that day on, Sha’ul viewed David with suspicion.

10 The following day an evil spirit from God came powerfully over Sha’ul, so that he fell into a frenzy in the house. David was there, playing his lyre as on other occasions. This time Sha’ul had his spear in his hand; 11 and he threw the spear, thinking, “I will pin David to the wall!” But David dodged out of the way twice. 12 Sha’ul became afraid of David, because Adonai was with him and had left Sha’ul. 13 Therefore Sha’ul put him at a distance from himself by making him commander over a thousand; his goings and comings became public knowledge. 14 David had great success in all his ways; Adonai was with him. 15 When Sha’ul saw how very successful he was, he became afraid of him. 16 But all Isra’el and Y’hudah loved David, because they knew about all his campaigns.

17 Sha’ul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merav. I will give her to you as your wife; only continue displaying your courage for me, and fight Adonai’s battles.” Sha’ul was thinking, “I don’t dare touch him, so let the P’lishtim do away with him.” 18 David’s response to Sha’ul was, “Who am I, that I should become the king’s son-in-law? I don’t have any kind of a life, and my father’s family has no rank in Isra’el.” 19 However, when it was time for Merav Sha’ul’s daughter to be given to David, she was given to Adri’el the Mecholati as his wife. 20 But Mikhal Sha’ul’s daughter fell in love with David. They told Sha’ul, and it pleased him. 21 Sha’ul said, “I’ll give her to him, so that she can entrap him, and the P’lishtim can do away with him.” So Sha’ul said to David, “Today you will become my son-in-law through the second [daughter].” 22 Sha’ul ordered his servants to speak privately with David and say, “Look, the king is pleased with you, and all his servants like you; so become the king’s son-in-law.” 23 Sha’ul’s servants said this to David; but David replied, “Do you think being the king’s son-in-law is something to be treated so casually, given that I’m a poor man without social standing?” 24 Sha’ul’s servants reported back to him how David had responded. 25 Sha’ul said, “Here’s what you are to say to David: ‘The king doesn’t want any dowry; he wants a hundred foreskins of the P’lishtim, so that he can have vengeance on the king’s enemies.” For Sha’ul was hoping to have David killed by the P’lishtim. 26 When his servants said these words to David, it pleased David to become the king’s son-in-law. Even before the time [for him to be married], 27 David got up and set out, he and his men, and killed two hundred men of the P’lishtim. He brought their foreskins and gave all of them to the king in order to become the king’s son-in-law. Then Sha’ul gave him Mikhal his daughter as his wife.

28 Sha’ul saw and understood that Adonai was with David and that Mikhal Sha’ul’s daughter loved him. 29 This only made Sha’ul the more afraid of David, so that Sha’ul became David’s enemy for the rest of his life.

30 The leaders of the P’lishtim would attack; but whenever they attacked, David was more successful than any of Sha’ul’s servants; so that David acquired a great reputation.

19 Sha’ul told Y’honatan his son and all his servants that they should have David killed. But because Y’honatan was very fond of David, he told him, “My father Sha’ul is out to have you killed. Therefore you must be very cautious tomorrow morning. Find a well-concealed place to hide in. I will go out and stand next to my father in the countryside where you’re hiding. I will talk with my father about you; and if I learn anything, I’ll tell you.”

Y’honatan spoke well of David to Sha’ul his father and said to him, “The king shouldn’t sin against his servant David, because he hasn’t sinned against you. On the contrary, his work for you has been very good indeed. He put his life in his hands to attack the P’lishtim, and Adonai accomplished a great victory for all Isra’el. You yourself saw it, and you were happy about it. So why do you want to sin against innocent blood by killing David without any reason?” Sha’ul heeded Y’honatan’s advice and swore, “As Adonai lives, he will not be put to death.” Y’honatan called David and told him all these things. Then Y’honatan brought David to Sha’ul to be in attendance on the king, as before.

War broke out again, and David went and fought the P’lishtim. He defeated them with a great slaughter, and they fled before him. Then an evil spirit from Adonai came upon Sha’ul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. David was playing his lyre, 10 when Sha’ul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear. But he dodged it and moved out of Sha’ul’s way, so that the spear stuck in the wall. David fled, so that night he escaped.

11 But Sha’ul sent messengers to David’s house to watch for him and kill him in the morning. Mikhal David’s wife told him, “If you don’t save your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be dead.” 12 So Mikhal let David down through the window; and he left, fled and escaped. 13 Mikhal took the household idol, laid it on the bed, put a goat’s-hair quilt at its head and covered it with a cloth. 14 When Sha’ul sent messengers to capture David, she said, “He’s ill.” 15 Sha’ul sent the messengers to see David with the order, “Bring him up to me, bed and all, so that I can kill him.” 16 But when the messengers entered, there before them was the household idol in the bed, with the goat’s-hair quilt at its head. 17 Sha’ul asked Mikhal, “Why did you deceive me this way and let my enemy go and escape?” Mikhal answered Sha’ul, “He threatened me, ‘Let me go, or I’ll kill you.’”

18 David fled and escaped, then came to Sh’mu’el in Ramah and told him everything Sha’ul had done to him. So he and Sh’mu’el went and stayed in the prophets’ dormitory. 19 The news reached Sha’ul that David had been seen at the prophets’ dormitory in Ramah. 20 Sha’ul sent messengers to capture David. But when they saw the group of prophets prophesying, with Sh’mu’el standing and leading them, the Spirit of God fell on Sha’ul’s messengers; and they too began prophesying. 21 When Sha’ul was told, he sent other messengers; but they too began prophesying. Sha’ul sent messengers a third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Then he himself went to Ramah. When he arrived at the big cistern in Sekhu, he asked, “Where are Sh’mu’el and David?” Someone answered, “They’re at the prophets’ dormitory in Ramah.” 23 While on his way to the prophets’ dormitory in Ramah, the Spirit of God fell on him too; and he went on, prophesying, until he arrived at the prophets’ dormitory in Ramah. 24 He also stripped off his clothes, prophesied in Sh’mu’el’s presence and lay there naked all that day and all that night. Hence it continues to be an expression, “Is Sha’ul a prophet, too?”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 18-19 The Message (MSG)

Jonathan and David—Soul Friends

18 By the time David had finished reporting to Saul, Jonathan was deeply impressed with David—an immediate bond was forged between them. He became totally committed to David. From that point on he would be David’s number-one advocate and friend.

Saul received David into his own household that day, no more to return to the home of his father.

3-4 Jonathan, out of his deep love for David, made a covenant with him. He formalized it with solemn gifts: his own royal robe and weapons—armor, sword, bow, and belt.

Whatever Saul gave David to do, he did it—and did it well. So well that Saul put him in charge of his military operations. Everybody, both the people in general and Saul’s servants, approved of and admired David’s leadership.

David—The Name on Everyone’s Lips

6-9 As they returned home, after David had killed the Philistine, the women poured out of all the villages of Israel singing and dancing, welcoming King Saul with tambourines, festive songs, and lutes. In playful frolic the women sang,

Saul kills by the thousand,
David by the ten thousand!

This made Saul angry—very angry. He took it as a personal insult. He said, “They credit David with ‘ten thousands’ and me with only ‘thousands.’ Before you know it they’ll be giving him the kingdom!” From that moment on, Saul kept his eye on David.

10-11 The next day an ugly mood was sent by God to afflict Saul, who became quite beside himself, raving. David played his harp, as he usually did at such times. Saul had a spear in his hand. Suddenly Saul threw the spear, thinking, “I’ll nail David to the wall.” David ducked, and the spear missed. This happened twice.

12-16 Now Saul feared David. It was clear that God was with David and had left Saul. So, Saul got David out of his sight by making him an officer in the army. David was in combat frequently. Everything David did turned out well. Yes, God was with him. As Saul saw David becoming more successful, he himself grew more fearful. He could see the handwriting on the wall. But everyone else in Israel and Judah loved David. They loved watching him in action.

17 One day Saul said to David, “Here is Merab, my eldest daughter. I want to give her to you as your wife. Be brave and bold for my sake. Fight God’s battles!” But all the time Saul was thinking, “The Philistines will kill him for me. I won’t have to lift a hand against him.”

18 David, embarrassed, answered, “Do you really mean that? I’m from a family of nobodies! I can’t be son-in-law to the king.”

19 The wedding day was set, but as the time neared for Merab and David to be married, Saul reneged and married his daughter off to Adriel the Meholathite.

20-21 Meanwhile, Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David. When Saul was told of this, he rubbed his hands in anticipation. “Ah, a second chance. I’ll use Michal as bait to get David out where the Philistines will make short work of him.” So again he said to David, “You’re going to be my son-in-law.”

22 Saul ordered his servants, “Get David off by himself and tell him, ‘The king is very taken with you, and everyone at court loves you. Go ahead, become the king’s son-in-law!’”

23 The king’s servants told all this to David, but David held back. “What are you thinking of? I can’t do that. I’m a nobody; I have nothing to offer.”

24-25 When the servants reported David’s response to Saul, he told them to tell David this: “The king isn’t expecting any money from you; only this: Go kill a hundred Philistines and bring evidence of your vengeance on the king’s behalf. Avenge the king on his enemies.” (Saul expected David to be killed in action.)

26-27 On receiving this message, David was pleased. There was something he could do for the king that would qualify him to be his son-in-law! He lost no time but went right out, he and his men, killed the hundred Philistines, brought their evidence back in a sack, and counted it out before the king—mission completed! Saul gave Michal his daughter to David in marriage.

28-29 As Saul more and more realized that God was with David, and how much his own daughter, Michal, loved him, his fear of David increased and settled into hate. Saul hated David.

30 Whenever the Philistine warlords came out to battle, David was there to meet them—and beat them, upstaging Saul’s men. David’s name was on everyone’s lips.

The Black Mood of Saul

19 1-3 Saul called his son Jonathan together with his servants and ordered them to kill David. But because Jonathan treasured David, he went and warned him: “My father is looking for a way to kill you. Here’s what you are to do. Tomorrow morning, hide and stay hidden. I’ll go out with my father into the field where you are hiding. I’ll talk about you with my father and we’ll see what he says. Then I’ll report back to you.”

4-5 Jonathan brought up David with his father, speaking well of him. “Please,” he said to his father, “don’t attack David. He hasn’t wronged you, has he? And just look at all the good he has done! He put his life on the line when he killed the Philistine. What a great victory God gave Israel that day! You were there. You saw it and were on your feet applauding with everyone else. So why would you even think of sinning against an innocent person, killing David for no reason whatever?”

Saul listened to Jonathan and said, “You’re right. As God lives, David lives. He will not be killed.”

Jonathan sent for David and reported to him everything that was said. Then he brought David back to Saul and everything was as it was before.

War broke out again and David went out to fight Philistines. He beat them badly, and they ran for their lives.

9-10 But then a black mood from God settled over Saul and took control of him. He was sitting at home, his spear in his hand, while David was playing music. Suddenly, Saul tried to skewer David with his spear, but David ducked. The spear stuck in the wall and David got away. It was night.

11-14 Saul sent men to David’s house to stake it out and then, first thing in the morning, to kill him. But Michal, David’s wife, told him what was going on. “Quickly now—make your escape tonight. If not, you’ll be dead by morning!” She let him out of a window, and he made his escape. Then Michal took a dummy god and put it in the bed, placed a wig of goat’s hair on its head, and threw a quilt over it. When Saul’s men arrived to get David, she said, “He’s sick in bed.”

15-16 Saul sent his men back, ordering them, “Bring him, bed and all, so I can kill him.” When the men entered the room, all they found in the bed was the dummy god with its goat-hair wig!

17 Saul stormed at Michal: “How could you play tricks on me like this? You sided with my enemy, and now he’s gotten away!”

18 Michal said, “He threatened me. He said, ‘Help me out of here or I’ll kill you.’”

David made good his escape and went to Samuel at Ramah and told him everything Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel withdrew to the privacy of Naioth.

19-20 Saul was told, “David’s at Naioth in Ramah.” He immediately sent his men to capture him. They saw a band of prophets prophesying with Samuel presiding over them. Before they knew it, the Spirit of God was on them, too, and they were ranting and raving right along with the prophets!

21 That was reported back to Saul, and he dispatched more men. They, too, were soon prophesying. So Saul tried a third time—a third set of men—and they ended up mindlessly raving as well!

22 Fed up, Saul went to Ramah himself. He came to the big cistern at Secu and inquired, “Where are Samuel and David?”

A bystander said, “Over at Naioth in Ramah.”

23-24 As he headed out for Naioth in Ramah, the Spirit of God was on him, too. All the way to Naioth he was caught up in a babbling trance! He ripped off his clothes and lay there rambling gibberish before Samuel for a day and a night, stretched out naked. People are still talking about it: “Saul among the prophets! Who would have guessed?”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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