Saul’s Jealousy of David (18:1–30)
17–19 Saul next urged David to take his older daughter in marriage. He had earlier promised his daughter to the man who defeated Goliath, but he had not kept that promise. This time Saul was offering his daughter as part of a plan to have David killed. The plan was this: instead of paying a bride-price, David would be asked to “pay” for Saul’s daughter by performing valiant deeds (see Joshua 15:16–17), during the course of which Saul hoped that David would be killed (see verse 25).
But David didn’t want to marry Saul’s older daughter. Either he didn’t care for her or he suspected some kind of trap—or both. Furthermore, he was sure his family couldn’t pay the bride-price. So she was given to another man.
20–22 Meanwhile, Saul’s younger daughter Michal had fallen in love with David; so Saul saw a second chance to carry out his plan: he would offer Michal to David.72 Saul told his servants to try and persuade David to accept the offer (verse 22).
23–27 This time David expressed his concern about the bride-price openly: “I’m only a poor man,” he said (verse 23). Then David was told that the only “bride-price” required would be a hundred Philistine foreskins73 (verse 25). That was something he could provide; indeed, he brought back two hundred (verse 27). In return, he was given Michal’s hand in marriage, and thus became the son-in-law of Israel’s king.
28–30 No matter what scheme Saul devised in order to harm David, God turned it to David’s good. Saul’s son Jonathan loved David; Saul’s daughter Michal loved David; Saul’s subjects, the Israelites, loved David (verse 16). And so Saul became more and more afraid of him, and remained his enemy the rest of his days (verse 29).