1 Samuel 17:55-18:16

55 Now when Saul saw David go out to meet the Philistine, he asked Abner the army general, “Abner, whose son is that boy?”

“As surely as you live, Your Majesty, I don’t know,” Abner answered.

56 “Then find out whose son that young man is,” the king replied.

57 So when David came back from killing the Philistine, Abner sent for him and presented him to Saul. The Philistine’s head was still in David’s hand. 58 Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, my boy?”

“I’m the son of your servant Jesse from Bethlehem,” David answered.

Jonathan and David

18 As soon as David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan’s life[a]became bound up with David’s life, and Jonathan loved David as much as himself.[b] From that point forward, Saul kept David in his service[c]and wouldn’t allow him to return to his father’s household. And Jonathan and David made a covenant together because Jonathan loved David as much as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his armor, as well as his sword, his bow, and his belt. David went out and was successful in every mission Saul sent him to do. So Saul placed him in charge of the soldiers, and this pleased all the troops as well as Saul’s servants.

Saul jealous of David

After David came back from killing the Philistine, and as the troops returned home, women from all of Israel’s towns came out to meet King Saul[d] with singing and dancing, with tambourines, rejoicing, and musical instruments. The women sang in celebration:

“Saul has killed his thousands,
    but David has killed his tens of thousands!”

Saul burned with anger. This song annoyed him. “They’ve credited David with tens of thousands,” he said, “but only credit me with thousands. What’s next for him—the kingdom itself?” So Saul kept a close eye on David from that point on.

10 The next day an evil spirit from God came over Saul,[e] and he acted like he was in a prophetic frenzy in his house. So David played the lyre as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand, 11 and he threw it, thinking, I’ll pin David to the wall. But David escaped from him two different times.

12 Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with David but no longer with Saul. 13 So Saul removed David from his service, placing him in command of a unit of one thousand men. David led the men out to war and back. 14 David was successful in everything he did because the Lord was with him. 15 Saul saw that he was very successful, and he was afraid of him. 16 Everyone in Israel and Judah loved David because he led them out in war and back again.