1 Samuel 18:1-4 . JONATHAN LOVES DAVID.
1 Samuel 18:13-16 . FEARS HIM FOR HIS GOOD SUCCESS.
13. Therefore Saul removed him from him--sent him away from the court, where the principal persons, including his own son, were spellbound with admiration of the young and pious warrior.
made him captain over a thousand--gave him a military commission, which was intended to be an honorable exile. But this post of duty served only to draw out before the public the extraordinary and varied qualities of his character, and to give him a stronger hold of the people's affections.
1 Samuel 18:17-21 . HE OFFERS HIM HIS DAUGHTER FOR A SNARE.
17. Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife--Though bound to this already [ 1 Samuel 17:25 ], he had found it convenient to forget his former promise. He now holds it out as a new offer, which would tempt David to give additional proofs of his valor. But the fickle and perfidious monarch broke his pledge at the time when the marriage was on the eve of being celebrated, and bestowed Merab on another man an indignity as well as a wrong, which was calculated deeply to wound the feelings and provoke the resentment of David. Perhaps it was intended to do so, that advantage might be taken of his indiscretion. But David was preserved from this snare.
20. Michal Saul's daughter loved David--This must have happened some time after.
they told Saul, and the thing pleased him--Not from any favor to David, but he saw that it would be turned to the advancement of his malicious purposes, and the more so when, by the artful intrigues and flattery of his spies, the loyal sentiments of David were discovered.
25. The king desireth not any dowry--In Eastern countries the husband purchases his wife either by gifts or services. As neither David nor his family were in circumstances to give a suitable dowry for a princess, the king intimated that he would be graciously pleased to accept some gallant deed in the public service.
a hundred foreskins of the Philistines--Such mutilations on the bodies of their slain enemies were commonly practised in ancient war, and the number told indicated the glory of the victory. Saul's willingness to accept a public service had an air of liberality, while his choice of so difficult and hazardous a service seemed only putting a proper value on gaining the hand of a king's daughter. But he covered unprincipled malice against David under this proposal, which exhibited a zeal for God and the covenant of circumcision.
26. the days were not expired--The period within which this exploit was to be achieved was not exhausted.
27. David . . . slew of the Philistines two hundred men--The number was doubled, partly to show his respect and attachment to the princess, and partly to oblige Saul to the fulfilment of his pledge.
29. Saul was yet the more afraid of David--because Providence had visibly favored him, by not only defeating the conspiracy against his life, but through his royal alliance paving his way to the throne.