Pastoral Commentary for 1 Samuel 18
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
One of the greatest friendships of all time bloomed between David and Jonathan in the shadow of Saul's increasing envy of David. In a sense, Jonathan was the one who had more to fear from David than his father. As son of the king, David's anointing to be king to replace Saul robbed Jonathan of the opportunity to succeed his father. Nevertheless, Jonathan became a true friend to David and the gift of his tunic and arms was symbolic of handing over the kingdom to God's chosen ruler. The people became increasingly enamored with David, and when their cries reached the ears of King Saul he was enraged. While David was playing his harp to soothe Saul's troubled spirit, the king threw a spear at David, who dodged the point twice. Saul pretended to favor David by offering him his daughter and a military command, but in reality he hoped David would die at the hands of the Philistines. David's humility caused him to argue against taking Saul's daughter for his wife, especially since the bride price would be beyond David's humble means. Saul communicated to David that he wanted no bride price other than 100 Philistine foreskins, again hoping for David's demise. When David heard this he was pleased and fulfilled the conditions twice over in order to take Michal as his wife. The marriage did nothing to repair relations between David and the king, however, and Saul remained the true foe of David for the rest of his life, particularly because of David's continued success against the Philistines.