1 Samuel 18:7-9

7 As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”
8 Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?”
9 And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

1 Samuel 18:7-9 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO FIRST SAMUEL 18

This chapter gives an account of the respect shown to David by Saul and Jonathan, by the servants of Saul, and all the people, and of what was said in his praise in the songs of the women, 1Sa 18:1-7; which latter gave Saul a great offence, and upon which he envied him, and eyed him, and indeed sought his life, and removed him from him; and yet still he continued the darling of the people, behaving wisely among them, which greatly embarrassed Saul, that be knew not what to do, 1Sa 18:8-16; he proposed his eldest daughter to him in marriage, which he had a claim to by killing the Philistine, and then he cheated him by giving her to another, 1Sa 18:17-19; and then he offered his youngest daughter to him, on condition that he would bring him an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, execution of which he thought his life would be exposed to danger, which yet he performed, 1Sa 18:20-27; and having the affection of his wife, and the good esteem of the servants of Saul, Saul was more afraid of him, and became his enemy, 1Sa 18:28-30.

1 Samuel 18:7-9 In-Context

5 Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.
6 When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres.
7 As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”
8 Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?”
9 And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.
10 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand
11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

Cross References 4

  • 1. Exodus 15:21
  • 2. 1 Samuel 21:11; 1 Samuel 29:5; 2 Samuel 18:3
  • 3. S 1 Samuel 13:14; 1 Samuel 15:8
  • 4. 1 Samuel 19:1