Shmuel Alef 18

1 8 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Sha’ul, that the nefesh Yonatan was kashur (tied together) with the nefesh Dovid, and Yonatan loved him as his own nefesh.
2 And Sha’ul drafted him that day, and would let him return no more to the bais aviv.
3 Then Yonatan and Dovid made a brit (covenant), because he loved him as his own nefesh.
4 And Yonatan stripped himself of the me’il (robe) that was upon him, and gave it to Dovid, and his middah [war garments], even to his cherev, and to his keshet, and to his khagor (belt).
5 And Dovid went out whithersoever Sha’ul sent him, and prospered; and Sha’ul set him over the anshei hamilchamah, and he was accepted in the sight of kol HaAm, and also in the sight of the avdei Sha’ul.
6 And it came to pass as they came, when Dovid was returned from the slaughter of the Pelishti, that the nashim came out of all towns of Yisroel, singing and dancing, to meet Sha’ul HaMelech, with tambourines, with simchah, and with cymbals.
7 And the nashim answered one another as they played, and said, Sha’ul hath slain his alafim, and Dovid his revavot (myriads).
8 And Sha’ul was very angry, and the saying was displeasing in his eyes and he said, They have ascribed unto Dovid revavot, and to me they have ascribed but alafim; and what can he have more but the maluchah (kingship)?
9 And there was jealous suspicion in the way Sha’ul eyed Dovid from that day forward.
10 And it came to pass on the next day, that the ruach Elohim ra’ah came upon Sha’ul, and he prophesied inside the bais; and Dovid made [kinnor] music with his yad, as at other times; and there was a khanit in the yad Sha’ul.
11 And Sha’ul hurled the khanit; for he said, I will pin Dovid even to the wall with it. And Dovid escaped his presence twice.
12 And Sha’ul was afraid of Dovid, because Hashem was with him, and was departed from Sha’ul.
13 Therefore Sha’ul removed him from him, and made him his sar elef; and he went out and came in before HaAm.
14 And Dovid was maskil (successful) in kol drakhim of him; and Hashem was with him.
15 Wherefore when Sha’ul saw that he was maskil me’od, he was afraid of him.
16 But kol Yisroel and Yehudah loved Dovid, because he went out and came in before them.
17 And Sha’ul said to Dovid, Hinei bitti hagedolah Merav, her will I give thee as isha; only be thou ben chayil (valiant) for me, and fight Hashem’s milchamot. For Sha’ul said, Let not mine yad be upon him, but let the yad Pelishtim be upon him.
18 And Dovid said unto Sha’ul, Who am I? And what is my life, or the mishpakhat avi in Yisroel, that I should be Choson to HaMelech?
19 But it came to pass at the time when Merav Bat Sha’ul should have been given to Dovid, that she was given as isha unto Adriel the Mecholati.
20 And Michal Bat Sha’ul loved Dovid; and they told Sha’ul, and the thing was yashar in [Sha’ul’s] eyes.
21 And Sha’ul said, I will give him her, that she may be a mokesh to him, and that the yad Pelishtim may be against him. Wherefore Sha’ul said to Dovid, Thou shalt this day become Choson to me by one of my two.
22 And Sha’ul commanded his avadim, saying, Commune with Dovid privately, and say, Hinei, HaMelech hath chafetz (delight) in thee, and all his avadim love thee; now therefore be Choson to HaMelech.
23 And the avadim of Sha’ul spoke those devarim in the ears of Dovid. And Dovid said, Seemeth it a light thing in your eyes to become Choson to HaMelech, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?
24 And the avadim of Sha’ul told him, saying, According to these words spoke Dovid.
25 And Sha’ul said, Thus shall ye say to Dovid, HaMelech has chafetz (desire) for not any mohar (dowry, bride price) but a hundred arelot (foreskins) of the Pelishtim, to be avenged of the oyevei HaMelech. But Sha’ul schemed to make Dovid fall by the yad Pelishtim.
26 And when his avadim told Dovid these devarim, it pleased Dovid well to be Choson of HaMelech; and the yamim [leading up to the duedate of the arelot] were not expired.
27 Wherefore Dovid arose and went, he and his anashim, and slaughtered of the Pelishtim (Philistines) two hundred ish; and Dovid brought their arelot, and they gave them in full count to HaMelech, that he might be the Choson of HaMelech. And Sha’ul gave him Michal bitto as isha.
28 And Sha’ul saw and knew that Hashem was with Dovid, and that Michal Bat Sha’ul loved him.
29 And Sha’ul was yet the more afraid of Dovid; and Sha’ul became oyev to Dovid kol hayamim.
30 Then the sarim of the Pelishtim went forth [to fight]; and it came to pass, after they went forth, that Dovid prospered [in military success] more than all the avadim (officers) of Sha’ul; so that shmo became esteemed as of good reputation.

Shmuel Alef 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

Jonathan's friendship for David. (1-5) Saul seeks to kill David. (6-11) Saul's fear of David. (12-30)

Verses 1-5 The friendship of David and Jonathan was the effect of Divine grace, which produces in true believers one heart and one soul, and causes them to love each other. This union of souls is from partaking in the Spirit of Christ. Where God unites hearts, carnal matters are too weak to separate them. Those who love Christ as their own souls, will be willing to join themselves to him in an everlasting covenant. It was certainly a great proof of the power of God's grace in David, that he was able to bear all this respect and honour, without being lifted up above measure.

Verses 6-11 David's troubles not only immediately follow his triumphs, but arise from them; such is the vanity of that which seems greatest in this world. It is a sign that the Spirit of God is departed from men, if, like Saul, they are peevish, envious, suspicious, and ill-natured. Compare David, with his harp in his hand, aiming to serve Saul, and Saul, with his javelin in his hand, aiming to slay David; and observe the sweetness and usefulness of God's persecuted people, and the barbarity of their persecutors. But David's safety must be ascribed to God's providence.

Verses 12-30 For a long time David was kept in continual apprehension of falling by the hand of Saul, yet he persevered in meek and respectful behaviour towards his persecutor. How uncommon is such prudence and discretion, especially under insults and provocations! Let us inquire if we imitate this part of the exemplary character before us. Are we behaving wisely in all our ways? Is there no sinful omission, no rashness of spirit, nothing wrong in our conduct? Opposition and perverseness in others, will not excuse wrong tempers in us, but should increase our care, and attention to the duties of our station. Consider Him that endured contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be weary and faint in your minds, ( Hebrews 12:3 ) . If David magnified the honour of being son-in-law to king Saul, how should we magnify the honour of being sons to the King of kings!

Chapter Summary


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.

Shmuel Alef 18 Commentaries

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