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1 Samuel 18

1 David finished talking to Saul. Jonathan became David’s closest friend. He loved David as much as he loved himself.

2 Saul kept him with him that day and would not let him go home to his father’s house any more.

3 Jonathan made a covenant with David. He loved him as himself.

4 Jonathan removed the robe he was wearing. He gave it to David along with his armor, including his sword, his bow and his belt.

5 So David did everything Saul sent him to do successfully. Saul made him a commander in his army. This pleased the people and Saul’s servants.

6 David returned from a campaign against the Philistines. That same day women from all of Israel’s cities came to meet King Saul. They sang and danced. Tambourines, joyful music, and triangles accompanied them.

7 The women who celebrated sang: »Saul has defeated thousands but David tens of thousands!«

8 Saul became very angry because he considered this saying to be insulting. He said: »To David they credit tens of thousands but to me they credit only a few thousand. The only thing left for David is my kingdom.«

9 He was jealous and suspicious of David from that day on.

10 The next day Jehovah let a distressing spirit take control of Saul. He began acting like a crazy man inside his house. David came to play the harp for Saul as usual. This time Saul had a spear in his hand.

11 Saul balanced the spear in his hand and said: »I will give David a blow! I will pin him to the wall.« David got away from him twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David, because Jehovah was with David but left Saul.

13 So Saul sent him away. He put him in command of a thousand men. David led his men in battle.

14 Jehovah helped David. He and his soldiers always won their battles.

15 Saul saw how wisely David behaved. This made him fear him.

16 Everyone in Israel and Judah loved David. He led them in and out of battle.

17 Finally, Saul said to David: »Here is my oldest daughter Merab. I will give her to you as your wife if you prove yourself to be a warrior for me and fight Jehovah’s battles.« Saul thought: »I must not lay a hand on him. Let the Philistines do that.«

18 David answered: »Who am I? What is my family that I should be the king’s son-in-law?«

19 The time came for Merab to be given to David. Instead, she was given to a man named Adriel from Meholah.

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

21 He said to himself: »I will give Michal to David. I will use her to trap him. The Philistines will kill him.« So for the second time Saul said to David: »You will be my son-in-law.«

22 Saul ordered his officials to speak to David in private. They went to David and said: »Look, the king likes you, and all of his officials are loyal to you. Why not ask the king if you may marry his daughter Michal?«

23 Saul’s servants said these things to David. And David said: »I am not rich or famous enough to marry Princess Michal.«

24 Saul’s servants told him: »David asked, do you think it is easy to become the king’s son-in-law? I am a poor and unimportant person.«

25 When the officers told Saul what David had said,

26 Saul’s officials reported to David what Saul had said. 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 killed two hundred Philistines. He took their foreskins to the king and counted them all out to him. This was so he might become his son-in-law. So Saul had to give his daughter Michal in marriage to David.

28 Saul knew she loved David. He also realized that Jehovah was helping David.

29 Knowing those things made Saul even more afraid of David. He was David’s enemy for the rest of his life.

30 The Philistine rulers kept coming to fight Israel. David always won when he fought them. He won more battles against the Philistines than any of Saul’s other officers. This made him famous.

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