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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 18

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Text Commentary

David and Jonathan. 1[By the time David finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan had become as fond of David as if his life depended on him; he loved him as he loved himself. c 1 Sm 19, 1–7; 20, 17; 23, 16; 2 Sm 1, 26; 9, 1 . 2Saul laid claim to David that day and did not allow him to return to his father's house. d 1 Sm 16, 21; 17, 15 . 3And Jonathan entered into a bond with David, because he loved him as himself. 4Jonathan divested himself of the mantle he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his military dress, and his sword, his bow and his belt. e 2 Sm 1, 22 . 5David then carried out successfully every mission on which Saul sent him. So Saul put him in charge of his soldiers, and this was agreeable to the whole army, even to Saul's own officers.]

Saul's Jealousy. 6At the approach of Saul and David (on David's return after slaying the Philistine), women came out from each of the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and sistrums. f Ex 15, 20f; Jgs 11, 34; Jdt 15, 12 . 7The women played and sang:

“Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” g 1 Sm 21, 12; 29, 5; Sir 47, 6f .

8Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought: “They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me. All that remains for him is the kingship.” 9[And from that day on, Saul was jealous of David.

10[ h 10f: 1 Sm 16, 14; 19, 9f; 20, 33; 22, 6; 26, 8 . The next day an evil spirit from God came over Saul, and he raged in his house. David was in attendance, playing the harp as at other times, while Saul was holding his spear. 11Saul poised the spear, thinking to nail David to the wall, but twice David escaped him.] 12Saul then began to fear David, [because the LORD was with him, but had departed from Saul himself.] 13Accordingly, Saul removed him from his presence by appointing him a field officer. So David led the people on their military expeditions, 14and prospered in all his enterprises, for the LORD was with him. 15Seeing how successful he was, Saul conceived a fear of David; 16on the other hand, all Israel and Judah loved him, since he led them on their expeditions. i 2 Sm 5, 2 .

17[Saul said to David, “There is my older daughter, Merob, whom I will give you in marriage if you become my champion and fight the battles of the LORD.” Saul had in mind, “I shall not touch him; let the Philistines strike him.” j 1 Sm 14, 49; 17, 25 . 18But David answered Saul: “Who am I? And who are my kin or my father's clan in Israel that I should become the king's son‐in‐law?” 19However, when it was time for Saul's daughter Merob to be given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel the Meholathite instead.] k 1 Sm 21, 8; 24, 16 .

20Now Saul's daughter Michal loved David, and it was reported to Saul, who was pleased at this, l 1 Sm 14, 49; 25, 44; 26, 23; 2 Sm 3, 13 . 21for he thought, “I will offer her to him to become a snare for him, so that the Philistines may strike him.” [Thus for the second time Saul said to David, “You shall become my son‐in‐law today.”] 22Saul then ordered his servants to speak to David privately and to say: “The king is fond of you, and all his officers love you. You should become the king's son‐in‐law.” 23But when Saul's servants mentioned this to David, he said: “Do you think it easy to become the king's son‐in‐law? I am poor and insignificant.” 24When his servants reported to him the nature of David's answer, 25Saul commanded them to say this to David: “The king desires no other price for the bride than the foreskins of one hundred Philistines, that he may thus take vengeance on his enemies.” Saul intended in this way to bring about David's death through the Philistines. m 1 Sm 17, 26; Gn 34, 12 . 26When the servants reported this offer to David, he was pleased with the prospect of becoming the king's son‐in‐law. [Before the year was up,] 27David made preparations and sallied forth with his men and slew two hundred Philistines. He brought back their foreskins and counted them out before the king, that he might thus become the king's son‐in‐law. So Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage. 28Saul thus came to recognize that the LORD was with David; besides, his own daughter Michal loved David. 29Therefore Saul feared David all the more [and was his enemy ever after].

30[The Philistine chiefs continued to make forays, but each time they took the field, David was more successful against them than any other of Saul's officers, and as a result acquired great fame.]

Notes:

c: 1 Sm 19, 1–7; 20, 17; 23, 16; 2 Sm 1, 26; 9, 1 .

d: 1 Sm 16, 21; 17, 15 .

e: 2 Sm 1, 22 .

f: Ex 15, 20f; Jgs 11, 34; Jdt 15, 12 .

g: 1 Sm 21, 12; 29, 5; Sir 47, 6f .

h: 10f: 1 Sm 16, 14; 19, 9f; 20, 33; 22, 6; 26, 8 .

i: 2 Sm 5, 2 .

j: 1 Sm 14, 49; 17, 25 .

k: 1 Sm 21, 8; 24, 16 .

l: 1 Sm 14, 49; 25, 44; 26, 23; 2 Sm 3, 13 .

m: 1 Sm 17, 26; Gn 34, 12 .

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