1 Samuel 18

1 When he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him, and gave it to David, and his clothing, even including his sword, his bow, and his sash. 5 David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely; and Saul set him over the men of war. It was good in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants. 6 As they came, when David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with instruments of music. 7 The women sang to one another as they played, and said, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” 8 Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. What can he have more but the kingdom?” 9 Saul watched David from that day and forward. 10 On the next day, an evil spirit from God came mightily on Saul, and he prophesied in the middle of the house. David played with his hand, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand; 11 and Saul threw the spear, for he said, “I will pin David even to the wall!” David escaped from his presence twice. 12 Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and had departed from Saul. 13 Therefore Saul removed him from his presence, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. 14 David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him. 15 When Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he stood in awe of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David; for he went out and came in before them. 17 Saul said to David, “Behold, my elder daughter Merab, I will give her to you as wife. Only be valiant for me, and fight the LORD’s battles.” For Saul said, “Don’t let my hand be on him, but let the hand of the Philistines be on him.” 18 David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life, or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” 19 But at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as wife. 20 Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David; and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. 21 Saul said, I will give her to him, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Therefore Saul said to David, “You shall today be my son-in-law a second time.” 22 Saul commanded his servants, “Talk with David secretly, and say, ‘Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now therefore be the king’s son-in-law.’” 23 Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. David said, “Does it seem to you a light thing to be the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?” 24 The servants of Saul told him, saying, “David spoke like this.” 25 Saul said, “Tell David, ‘The king desires no dowry except one hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul thought he would make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26 When his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the deadline, 27 David arose and went, he and his men, and killed two hundred men of the Philistines. Then David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full number to the king, that he might be the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him Michal his daughter as wife. 28 Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David; and Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him. 29 Saul was even more afraid of David; and Saul was David’s enemy continually. 30 Then the princes of the Philistines went out; and as often as they went out, David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–5

The friendship of David and Jonathan was the effect of Divine grace, which produces in true believers one heart and one soul, and causes them to love each other. This union of souls is from partaking in the Spirit of Christ. Where God unites hearts, carnal matters are too weak to separate them. Those who love Christ as their own souls, will be willing to join themselves to him in an everlasting covenant. It was certainly a great proof of the power of God’s grace in David, that he was able to bear all this respect and honour, without being lifted up above measure.

Verses 6–11

David’s troubles not only immediately follow his triumphs, but arise from them; such is the vanity of that which seems greatest in this world. It is a sign that the Spirit of God is departed from men, if, like Saul, they are peevish, envious, suspicious, and ill-natured. Compare David, with his harp in his hand, aiming to serve Saul, and Saul, with his javelin in his hand, aiming to slay David; and observe the sweetness and usefulness of God’s persecuted people, and the barbarity of their persecutors. But David’s safety must be ascribed to God’s providence.

Verses 12–30

For a long time David was kept in continual apprehension of falling by the hand of Saul, yet he persevered in meek and respectful behaviour towards his persecutor. How uncommon is such prudence and discretion, especially under insults and provocations! Let us inquire if we imitate this part of the exemplary character before us. Are we behaving wisely in all our ways? Is there no sinful omission, no rashness of spirit, nothing wrong in our conduct? Opposition and perverseness in others, will not excuse wrong tempers in us, but should increase our care, and attention to the duties of our station. Consider Him that endured contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be weary and faint in your minds, Heb 12:3. If David magnified the honour of being son-in-law to king Saul, how should we magnify the honour of being sons to the King of kings!

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