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1 Samuel 18:17-27

Context

18:17 1 Then Saul said to David, “Here’s my oldest daughter, Merab. I want to give her to you in marriage. Only be a brave warrior 2  for me and fight the battles of the Lord.” For Saul thought, “There’s no need for me to raise my hand against him. Let it be the hand of the Philistines!”

18:18 David said to Saul, “Who am I? Who are my relatives or the clan of my father 3  in Israel that I should become the king’s son-in-law?” 18:19 When the time came for Merab, Saul’s daughter, to be given to David, she instead was given in marriage to Adriel, who was from Meholah.

18:20 Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David. When they told Saul about this, it 4  pleased him. 18:21 Saul said, “I will give her to him so that she may become a snare to him and the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “Today is the second time for you to become my son-in-law.” 5 

18:22 Then Saul instructed his servants, “Tell David secretly, ‘The king is pleased with you, and all his servants like you. So now become the king’s son-in-law.” 18:23 So Saul’s servants spoke these words privately 6  to David. David replied, “Is becoming the king’s son-in-law something insignificant to you? I’m just a poor and lightly-esteemed man!”

18:24 When Saul’s servants reported what David had said, 18:25 Saul replied, “Here is what you should say to David: ‘There is nothing that the king wants as a price for the bride except a hundred Philistine foreskins, so that he can be avenged of his 7  enemies.’” (Now Saul was thinking that he could kill David by the hand of the Philistines.)

18:26 So his servants told David these things and David agreed 8  to become the king’s son-in-law. Now the specified time had not yet expired 9  18:27 when David, along with his men, went out 10  and struck down two hundred Philistine men. David brought their foreskins and presented all of them to the king so he could become the king’s son-in-law. Saul then gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

1 tc Much of the ms evidence for the LXX lacks vv. 17-19.

2 tn Heb “son of valor.”

3 tn Heb “Who are my relatives, the clan of my father?” The term חַי (khay), traditionally understood as “my life,” is here a rare word meaning “family, kinfolk” (see HALOT 309 s.v. III חַי). The phrase “clan of my father” may be a scribal gloss explaining the referent of this rare word.

4 tn Heb “the matter.”

5 tc The final sentence of v. 21 is absent in most LXX mss.

6 tn Heb “in the ears of.”

7 tn Heb “the king’s.”

8 tn Heb “and it was acceptable in the eyes of David.”

9 tn Heb “the days were not fulfilled.”

10 tn Heb “arose and went.”



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