After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king's son. There was an immediate bond of love between them, and they became the best of friends.
From that day on Saul kept David with him at the palace and wouldn't let him return home.
And Jonathan made a special vow to be David's friend,
and he sealed the pact by giving him his robe, tunic, sword, bow, and belt.
Whatever Saul asked David to do, David did it successfully. So Saul made him a commander in his army, an appointment that was applauded by the fighting men and officers alike.
But something happened when the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed Goliath. Women came out from all the towns along the way to celebrate and to cheer for King Saul, and they sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. a7
This was their song: "Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!"
This made Saul very angry. "What's this?" he said. "They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they'll be making him their king!"
So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
The very next day, in fact, a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave like a madman. David began to play the harp, as he did whenever this happened. But Saul, who had a spear in his hand,
suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David jumped aside and escaped. This happened another time, too,
for Saul was afraid of him, and he was jealous because the LORD had left him and was now with David.
Finally, Saul banned him from his presence and appointed him commander over only a thousand men, but David faithfully led his troops into battle.
David continued to succeed in everything he did, for the LORD was with him.
When Saul recognized this, he became even more afraid of him.
But all Israel and Judah loved David because he was so successful at leading his troops into battle.
One day Saul said to David, "I am ready to give you my older daughter, Merab, as your wife. But first you must prove yourself to be a real warrior by fighting the LORD's battles." For Saul thought to himself, "I'll send him out against the Philistines and let them kill him rather than doing it myself."
"Who am I, and what is my family in Israel that I should be the king's son-in-law?" David exclaimed. "My father's family is nothing!"
So b when the time came for the wedding, Saul gave Merab in marriage to Adriel, a man from Meholah.
In the meantime, Saul's daughter Michal had fallen in love with David, and Saul was delighted when he heard about it.
"Here's another chance to see him killed by the Philistines!" Saul said to himself. But to David he said, "I have a way for you to become my son-in-law after all!"
Then Saul told his men to say confidentially to David, "The king really likes you, and so do we. Why don't you accept the king's offer and become his son-in-law?"
When Saul's men said these things to David, he replied, "How can a poor man from a humble family afford the bride price for the daughter of a king?"
When Saul's men reported this back to the king,
he told them, "Tell David that all I want for the bride price is one hundred Philistine foreskins! Vengeance on my enemies is all I really want." But what Saul had in mind was that David would be killed in the fight.
David was delighted to accept the offer. So before the time limit expired,
he and his men went out and killed two hundred Philistines and presented all their foreskins to the king. So Saul gave Michal to David to be his wife.
When the king realized how much the LORD was with David and how much Michal loved him,
he became even more afraid of him, and he remained David's enemy for the rest of his life.
Whenever the Philistine army attacked, David was more successful against them than all the rest of Saul's officers. So David's name became very famous throughout the land.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)