1 Samuel 18

1 David finished talking with Saul. After that, Saul's son Jonathan became a very good friend of David. Jonathan loved David as much as he loved his own life. 2 Saul kept David with him from that day. He did not let David go home to his father's house. 3 Jonathan made a special promise to be David's friend, because he loved David as much as he loved his own life. 4 Jonathan took off his coat and he gave it to David. He also gave his armour to David, as well as his sword, his bow and his belt.

5 David did whatever Saul asked him to do. And he always did it well. So Saul made David an officer to lead his army. That made the soldiers happy, and it also pleased Saul's officers.

6 After David had killed the Philistine, Goliath, he and the soldiers returned to their homes. Women came out from all the towns in Israel to meet King Saul. The women were happy as they sang songs and they danced. They made music with tambourines and lyres. 7 They sang this song while they danced:

‘Saul has killed thousands of his enemies.

And David has killed tens of thousands of his enemies.’

8 Saul did not like this song. He became very angry. He thought, ‘The women say that David has killed tens of thousands of men. But they say that I have only killed thousands of men. They will soon want David to be their king.’

9 After that, Saul was jealous of David and he watched David carefully.

10 The next day God caused an evil spirit to come and control Saul. Saul started to prophesy in his house. David was making music on his harp as he did every day. Saul had a spear in his hand. 11 He threw the spear at David. He thought, ‘I will hit David so that it fixes him to the wall.’ He tried to do this twice, but David moved out of the way.

12 The Lord was with David. But the Lord had left Saul. So Saul was afraid of David. 13 So Saul sent David away from him. He made David the leader of 1,000 soldiers. David led the soldiers into battles, but he always came back again. 14 David won all his fights because the Lord was with him. 15 Saul saw that David was a great soldier. So he became more afraid of David. 16 All the people in Israel and Judah loved David because he led the army in their battles.

18:13Saul hoped that David would die in a battle.

David marries Saul's daughter

17 Saul said to David, ‘Here is my oldest daughter Merab. I will let you marry her. But you must be a brave soldier and you must fight battles for the Lord.’ Saul thought to himself, ‘I will not have to kill David myself. The Philistines will do that.’

18 But David said to Saul, ‘I am not an important person. My family and my father's clan are not important either. I do not deserve to marry the king's daughter.’

19 When the time came for Merab to marry David, Saul told her to marry a different man. He gave her to Adriel from Meholah to be his wife.

20 Saul had another daughter, Michal, and she loved David. When somebody told Saul about this, he was very happy. 21 He thought, ‘I will let David marry her. I will use her as a trap that will catch him. I will give the Philistines a chance to kill him.’ So Saul said to David, ‘Now you have another chance to marry one of my daughters.’

22 Saul told his servants to say secretly to David, ‘The king is pleased with you. His servants all like you. You should now marry the king's daughter.’

23 Saul's servants said this to David. But David replied, ‘It is a great honour for someone to marry the king's daughter. But I am poor. I am not important enough.’

18:23Men had to give money to the father of the woman they wanted to marry. And a king would want a lot of money for his daughter. David did not have enough money for that.

24 Saul's servants told him what David had said. 25 Saul said, ‘Tell David this: The king does not want David to pay money to marry the king's daughter. He can pay for her with the foreskins of 100 dead Philistines. Saul wants David to punish his enemies.’

In this way, Saul thought that he would use the Philistines to kill David.

26 Saul's servants told David what Saul wanted. It made David happy to think that he could marry the king's daughter. Before the time for the wedding arrived, 27 David and his men left their homes. They went and they killed 200 Philistines. David brought all their foreskins to Saul. David gave them to Saul so that he could marry the king's daughter. So Saul agreed to let David marry his daughter Michal.

28 Saul realized that the Lord was with David. He knew that his daughter Michal loved David. 29 So Saul became even more afraid of David. Saul was David's enemy for the rest of his life.

30 The Philistine army continued to march out and attack the Israelites. Every time that they fought, David won more fights than any of Saul's other officers. So David became very famous.