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Reformation Study Bible – 1 Sam 18:17–19
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1 Sam 18:17–19

18:17–19 In view of David’s great popularity, Saul cannot continue to delay fulfilling his promise (17:25). Nevertheless, he adds a further condition, that David “fight the Lord’s battles,” in the hope that the Philistines would kill David for him (vv. 17, 21, 25). David says that he lacks the social standing to marry the king’s daughter, a conventional protest in such circumstances (cf. 9:21). At the last minute, Saul reneges on his promise and gives Merab to someone else.