1 Samuel Chapter 18 to 19 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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David and Jonathan Become Close Friends

18 As 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.

Saul Notices David’s Success

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.

Saul Is Afraid of David

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}.

Saul Wants His Daughter to Marry David

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.

Jonathan … with David Literally, "Jonathan's soul was tied to David's soul". lutes A musical instrument with strings like a harp.  Saul became wild Or, “Saul prophesied.” The Hebrew word means that the person lost control of the things he said and did. Usually this meant that God was using the person to give a special message to other people. money for his daughter In Bible times a man usually had to give money to a woman’s father before he could marry her. 200 The ancient Greek translation has “100.”

Jonathan Helps David

19 Saul told his son Jonathan and his officers to kill David. But Jonathan liked David very much. 2–3Jonathan warned David. “Be careful! Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. In the morning, go into the field and hide. I will go out into the field with my father. We will stand in the field where you are hiding. I will talk to my father about you. Then I will tell you what I learn.” 4Jonathan talked to his father Saul. Jonathan said good things about David. Jonathan said, “You are the king. David is your servant. David hasn’t done anything wrong to you. So don’t do anything wrong to him. David has always been good to you. 5David risked his life when he killed the Philistine (Goliath). The Lord won a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and you were happy. Why do you want to hurt David? He’s innocent. There is no reason to kill him!” 6Saul listened to Jonathan. Saul made a promise. Saul said, “As surely as the Lord lives, David won’t be put to death.” 7So Jonathan called David and told him everything that was said. Then Jonathan brought David to Saul. So David was with Saul like before.

Saul Again Tries to Kill David

8War started again and David went out to fight the Philistines. David defeated the Philistines, and they ran away from him. 9But a bad spirit from the Lord came on Saul. Saul was sitting in his house. Saul had his spear in his hand. David was playing the harp. 10Saul tried to throw his spear into David’s body and pin him to the wall. But David jumped out of the way. The spear missed David and stuck in the wall. That night, David ran away. 11Saul sent men to David’s house. The men watched David’s house. They stayed there all night. They were waiting to kill David in the morning. But David’s wife Michal warned him. She said, “You must run away tonight and save your life. If you don’t, then you will be killed tomorrow.” 12Then Michal let David down out of a window. David escaped and ran away. 13Michal took the household god and put clothes on it. Then she put that statue in the bed. She also put goats’ hair on its head. 14Saul sent messengers to take David prisoner. But Michal said, “David is sick.” 15The men went and told Saul, but he sent the messengers back to see David. Saul told these men, “Bring David to me. Bring him lying on his bed if you must, even if it kills him.” 16The messengers went to David’s house. They went inside to get David, but they saw it was only a statue on the bed. And they saw its hair was only goat’s hair. 17Saul said to Michal, “Why did you trick me like this? You let my enemy escape! David has run away!” Michal answered Saul, “David told me he would kill me if I didn’t help him escape!”

David Goes to the Camps at Ramah

18David escaped and ran away to Samuel at Ramah. David told Samuel everything that Saul had done to him. Then David and Samuel went to the camps {where the prophets stayed}. David stayed there. 19Saul heard that David was there in the camps near Ramah. 20Saul sent men to arrest David. But when those men came to the camps, there was a group of prophets prophesying.* Samuel was standing there leading the group. God’s Spirit came on Saul’s messengers and they began prophesying. 21Saul heard about this, so he sent other messengers. But they also began prophesying. So Saul sent messengers a third time. And they also began prophesying. 22Finally, Saul himself went to Ramah. Saul came to the big well by the threshing floor* at Secu. Saul asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” The people answered, “In the camps near Ramah.” 23So Saul went out to the camps near Ramah. God’s Spirit also came on Saul, and Saul began prophesying.* Saul continued prophesying all the way to the camps at Ramah. 24Saul even took off his clothes. Saul lay there naked all day and all night. So even Saul was prophesying there in front of Samuel. That is why people say, “Is Saul also one of the prophets?”

prophesying Usually, this means “speaking for God.” But here this also means that the Spirit of God took control of the person and caused him to sing and dance. threshing floor A place where grain is beaten or walked on to remove the hulls from the grain.

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