Updated: Jul 20, 2020
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INTRODUCTION. When David appeared before Saul after he had killed the giant,
Saul's son Jonathan was present. This meeting between David and Jonathan was
the beginning of a friendship that lasted as long as they both lived. The two young
men made their first covenant, and Jonathan gave David his robe, sword, bow, and
belt to seal the agreement (I Sam. 18:1-4).
David behaved himself wisely, and Saul set him over the men of war. Saul's servants
and the people accepted David and were pleased. When Saul and David returned
from the battle with the Philistines, the women came out of the cities singing
and dancing to meet the king. They sang to one another, "Saul hath slain his thousands,
and David his ten thousands." The saying displeased Saul for the women
credited David with ten thousands and himself with only thousands. He feared
David would replace him as king, and from that day forward Saul eyed David jealously.
The next day when an evil spirit came upon Saul, David played for him as at
other times. Saul cast his javelin at David, but David escaped his presence twice.
Saul then demoted David to captain over a thousand men, but the Lord was with
David and the people of Israel and Judah loved him (I Sam. 18:5-16).
Saul had promised to reward the slayer of Goliath by giving him one of his daughters
as his wife. However, when he became jealous of David, he broke his promise and
gave his elder daughter Merab to another man. Nevertheless, his honor forced him
to offer his younger daughter Michal, but he required David to kill one hundred
Philistines as a dowry. He hoped that David would be killed by the Philistines, but
instead David killed two hundred Philistines. Saul was forced to keep his promise
then and gave Michal to David. Saul knew then that the Lord was with David, and
he became more afraid of David (I Sam. 18:17-30).
Saul told Jonathan and his servants to kill David. Jonathan warned David and told
him to hide in a secret place until morning. He then formed a plan to speak to his
father in the morning in the field where David was hiding. He told his father not to
sin against David, for David had not sinned against him. Saul listened to his son and
swore David should not be killed. Jonathan then called David from his hiding place
and told him all his father had said. So Jonathan brought David back to Saul, and
he was in his presence as before (I Sam. 19:1-7).
At a later time as David played his harp, an evil spirit came upon Saul, and he again
attempted to smite David with his spear. David managed to escape, but Saul sent
messengers to watch David's house and kill him in the morning. Michal loved David
and helped him to escape by letting him down through the window. David then fled
to Samuel who was in Ramah (I Sam. 19:8-18).