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1 Samuel 18:1-9

Context
Saul Comes to Fear David

18:1 When David 1  had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan and David became bound together in close friendship. 2  Jonathan loved David as much as he did his own life. 3  18:2 Saul retained David 4  on that day and did not allow him to return to his father’s house. 18:3 Jonathan made a covenant with David, for he loved him as much as he did his own life. 5  18:4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with the rest of his gear, including his sword, his bow, and even his belt.

18:5 On every mission on which Saul sent him, David achieved success. So Saul appointed him over the men of war. This pleased not only all the army, but also Saul’s servants. 6 

18:6 When the men 7  arrived after David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women from all the cities of Israel came out singing and dancing to meet King Saul. They were happy as they played their tambourines and three-stringed instruments. 8  18:7 The women who were playing the music sang,

“Saul has struck down his thousands,

but David his tens of thousands!”

18:8 This made Saul very angry. The statement displeased him and he thought, 9  “They have attributed to David tens of thousands, but to me they have attributed only thousands. What does he lack, except the kingdom?” 18:9 So Saul was keeping an eye on David from that day onward.

1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (David) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “the soul of Jonathan was bound with the soul of David.”

3 tn Heb “like his [own] soul.”

sn On the nature of Jonathan’s love for David, see J. A. Thompson, “The Significance of the Verb Love in the David-Jonathan Narratives in 1 Samuel,” VT 24 (1974): 334-38.

4 tn Heb “him”; the referent (David) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Heb “like his [own] soul.”

6 tn Heb “it was good in the eyes of all the people and also in the eyes of the servants of Saul.”

7 tn Heb “them.” The masculine plural pronoun apparently refers to the returning soldiers.

8 tn Heb “with tambourines, with joy, and with three-stringed instruments.”

9 tn Heb “said.” So also in vv. 11, 17.



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