1 Samuel 18

1As soon as David finished talking with Saul, Jonathan developed a strong bond with David. Jonathan loved David as much as he loved himself. 2Saul kept David with him from that day on. Saul did not let David go back home to his father. 3Jonathan and David made a special agreement because he loved him as much as he loved himself. 4Jonathan took off the coat he was wearing and gave it to David. Jonathan gave David his whole uniform—including his sword, and his bow, and even his belt. 5Saul sent David to fight in many different battles. David was very successful. Then Saul put David in charge of the soldiers. This pleased everyone, even Saul’s officers! 6David would go out to fight against the Philistines. On the way home after the battles, women in every town in Israel would come out to meet David. They laughed and danced and played drums and lutes. They did this right in front of Saul! 7The women sang, “Saul has killed thousands of enemies. But David has killed tens of thousands!” 8The women’s song upset Saul and he became very angry. Saul thought, “The women say David killed tens of thousands ˻of enemies˼. And they say I killed only thousands ˻of enemies˼.” 9So from that time on, Saul watched David very closely. 10The next day, a bad spirit from God took control of Saul. Saul became wild in his house. David played the harp like he usually did. 11But Saul had a spear in his hand. Saul thought, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” Saul threw the spear two times. But David jumped out of the way both times. 12The Lord was with David. And the Lord had left Saul. So Saul was afraid of David. 13Saul sent David away from him. Saul made David a commander over 1,000 soldiers. David led the soldiers in battle. 14The Lord was with David. So David was successful in everything. 15Saul saw that David was very successful. And Saul became more and more afraid of David. 16But all the people of Israel and Judah loved David. They loved him because he led them into battle ˻and fought for them˼. 17˻But Saul wanted to kill David. Saul thought of a way to trick David.˼ Saul said to David, “Here is my oldest daughter, Merab. I will let you marry her. Then you can become a powerful soldier. You will be like a son to me! Then you will go and fight the Lord’s battles!” ˻This was a trick.˼ Saul was really thinking, “Now I won’t have to kill David. I will let the Philistines kill him for me!” 18But David said, “I am not from an important family! And I am not an important man! I can’t marry the king’s daughter.” 19So when the time came for Saul’s daughter Merab to marry David, Saul let her marry Adriel from Meholah. 20Saul’s other daughter Michal loved David. The people told Saul that Michal loved David. This made Saul happy. 21Saul thought, “I will use Michal to trap David. I will let Michal marry David. And then I will let the Philistines kill him.” So Saul said to David a second time, “You can marry my daughter today.” 22Saul gave an order to his officers. Saul told them, “Speak to David in private. Tell him, 'Look, the king likes you. His officers like you. You should marry his daughter.’” 23Saul’s officers said those things to David. But David answered, “Do you think it is easy to become the king’s son-in-law? ˻I don’t have the money to pay for the king’s daughter!˼ I am just a poor, ordinary guy.” 24Saul’s officers told Saul what David said. 25Saul told them, “Say this to David, 'David, the king doesn’t want you to pay money for his daughter! Saul wants to get even with his enemy. So the price for marrying his daughter is 100 Philistine foreskins.’” That was Saul’s secret plan. Saul thought the Philistines would kill David. 26Saul’s officers told those things to David. David was happy that he had a chance to become the king’s son-in-law, so he did something immediately. 27David and his men went out to fight the Philistines. They killed 200 Philistines. David took these Philistine foreskins and gave them to Saul. David did this because he wanted to become the king’s son-in-law. Saul let David marry his daughter Michal. 28Saul saw that the Lord was with David. Saul also saw that his daughter, Michal, loved David. 29So Saul became even more afraid of David. Saul was against David all that time. 30The Philistine commanders continued to go out to fight the Israelites. But every time, David defeated them. David was Saul’s best officer! David became famous.

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