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1 Samuel 18

1 David finished talking with Saul. Then Jonathan, Saul's son, became a very good friend of David. Jonathan loved David as much as Jonathan loved himself. 2 Saul kept David with him from that day. He did not let David go to his home in his father's house. 3 Jonathan loved David so much that he made a special covenant with him. 4 Jonathan was wearing a coat. He took the coat off and he gave it to David. He also gave his armour to David. And he gave his sword, his bow and his belt to him. 5 David did whatever Saul asked him to do. And he always did it well. So Saul made David an important officer in his army. That gave pleasure to all of Saul's officers and people.

6 After David had killed Goliath, he and the soldiers returned to their homes. Women came out from all the towns in Israel to meet King Saul. The women sang happy songs and they danced. They made music with tambourines and lyres too. 7 They sang this 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. Perhaps they will want David as their king.’ 9 Saul had bad thoughts about David after that. He watched David carefully.

10 The next day an evil spirit from God started to use Saul. He was prophesying in his house. And David was making music on his harp as he usually did. But Saul had a spear in his hand. 11 Saul threw the spear. He tried to hit David and to fix him to the wall. But twice he did not hit David.

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 1000 soldiers. David was their leader in their fights. 14 David won all his fights because the LORD was with him. 15 Saul saw that David was a great soldier. Saul became more afraid of him. 16 All the people in Israel and Judah loved David because he was a good leader.

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 for the LORD.’ Saul thought to himself, ‘I will not have to kill David. The Philistines will do that.’

18 But David said to Saul, ‘I, my family and my father's tribe are not very important in Israel. I cannot marry the king's daughter.’ 19 When it was the time for Merab to marry David, Saul gave her to Adriel from Meholah, instead, as his wife.

20 Saul's daughter Michal loved David. When somebody told Saul about this, he was very happy. 21 He thought, ‘I will let David marry her. She will cause danger for him. I will cause him to fight the Philistines. Then the Philistines will win the fight and they will kill him.’ So Saul said to David, ‘Now you can try to win my other daughter as a wife.’

22 Saul asked his servants to talk to David in a secret place. He asked them to say, ‘You have given pleasure to the king. His servants like you. You should now marry his daughter.’

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

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 Saul what David had said. 25 Saul said, ‘Tell David this. The king does not want him to pay money for his wife. He can pay for her with the foreskins of 100 dead Philistines. That will punish Saul's enemies.’ Saul decided to cause David to do all this. He thought that the Philistines would kill David.

26 Saul's servants told David these things. It made David happy to think that he could marry the king's daughter. They decided when they would marry each other. 27 Before this time, David and his men went and they killed 200 Philistines. He brought all their foreskins to Saul. Now David could marry the king's daughter. So, Saul had to let him marry his daughter Michal.

28 Saul understood that the LORD was with David. He knew that his daughter Michal loved David. 29 Saul became more afraid of him. Saul was David's enemy until Saul died.

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