31Some men heard what David had said, and they told Saul, who sent for him. 32David said to Saul, “Your Majesty, no one should be afraid of this Philistine! I will go and fight him.”
33“No,” answered Saul. “How could you fight him? You're just a boy, and he has been a soldier all his life!”
34“Your Majesty,” David said, “I take care of my father's sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear carries off a lamb, 35I go after it, attack it, and rescue the lamb. And if the lion or bear turns on me, I grab it by the throat and beat it to death. 36I have killed lions and bears, and I will do the same to this heathen Philistine, who has defied the army of the living God. 37The LORD has saved me from lions and bears; he will save me from this Philistine.”
“All right,” Saul answered. “Go, and the LORD be with you.” 38He gave his own armour to David for him to wear: a bronze helmet, which he put on David's head, and a coat of armour. 39David strapped Saul's sword over the armour and tried to walk, but he couldn't, because he wasn't used to wearing them. “I can't fight with all this,” he said to Saul. “I'm not used to it.” So he took it all off. 40He took his shepherd's stick and then picked up five smooth stones from the stream and put them in his bag. With his sling ready, he went out to meet Goliath.
David Defeats Goliath
41The Philistine started walking towards David, with his shield-bearer walking in front of him. He kept coming closer, 42and when he got a good look at David, he was filled with scorn for him because he was just a nice, good-looking boy. 43He said to David, “What's that stick for? Do you think I'm a dog?” And he called down curses from his god on David. 44“Come on,” he challenged David, “and I will give your body to the birds and animals to eat.”
45David answered, “You are coming against me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the Israelite armies, which you have defied. 46This very day the LORD will put you in my power; I will defeat you and cut off your head. And I will give the bodies of the Philistine soldiers to the birds and animals to eat. Then the whole world will know that Israel has a God, 47and everyone here will see that the LORD does not need swords or spears to save his people. He is victorious in battle, and he will put all of you in our power.”
48Goliath started walking towards David again, and David ran quickly towards the Philistine battle line to fight him. 49He put his hand into his bag and took out a stone, which he slung at Goliath. It hit him on the forehead and broke his skull, and Goliath fell face downwards on the ground. 50And so, without a sword, David defeated and killed Goliath with a sling and a stone! 51He ran to him, stood over him, took Goliath's sword out of its sheath, and cut off his head and killed him.
When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they ran away. 52The men of Israel and Judah shouted and ran after them, pursuing them all the way to Gath and to the gates of Ekron. The Philistines fell wounded all along the road that leads to Shaaraim, as far as Gath and Ekron. 53When the Israelites came back from pursuing the Philistines, they looted their camp. 54David picked up Goliath's head and took it to Jerusalem, but he kept Goliath's weapons in his own tent.
David is Presented to Saul
55When Saul saw David going out to fight Goliath, he asked Abner, the commander of his army, “Abner, whose son is he?”
“I have no idea, Your Majesty,” Abner answered.
56“Then go and find out,” Saul ordered.
57So when David returned to camp after killing Goliath, Abner took him to Saul. David was still carrying Goliath's head. 58Saul asked him, “Young man, whose son are you?”
“I am the son of your servant Jesse from Bethlehem,” David answered.
1Saul and David finished their conversation. After that, Saul's son Jonathan was deeply attracted to David and came to love him as much as he loved himself. 2Saul kept David with him from that day on and did not let him go back home. 3Jonathan swore eternal friendship with David because of his deep affection for him. 4He took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, together with his armour and also his sword, bow, and belt. 5David was successful in all the missions on which Saul sent him, and so Saul made him an officer in his army. This pleased all of Saul's officers and men.
Saul Becomes Jealous of David
6As David was returning after killing Goliath and as the soldiers were coming back home, women from every town in Israel came out to meet King Saul. They were singing joyful songs, dancing, and playing tambourines and lyres. 7In their celebration the women sang, “Saul has killed thousands, but David tens of thousands.” 8Saul did not like this, and he became very angry. He said, “For David they claim tens of thousands, but only thousands for me. They will be making him king next!” 9And so he was jealous and suspicious of David from that day on.
10The next day an evil spirit from God suddenly took control of Saul, and he raved in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did every day, and Saul was holding a spear. 11“I'll pin him to the wall,” Saul said to himself, and he threw the spear at him twice; but David dodged each time.
12Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with David but had abandoned him. 13So Saul sent him away and put him in command of a thousand men. David led his men in battle 14and was successful in all he did, because the LORD was with him. 15Saul noticed David's success and became even more afraid of him. 16But everyone in Israel and Judah loved David because he was such a successful leader.
David Marries Saul's Daughter
17Then Saul said to David, “Here is my elder daughter Merab. I will give her to you as your wife on condition that you serve me as a brave and loyal soldier, and fight the LORD's battles.” (Saul was thinking that in this way the Philistines would kill David, and he would not have to do it himself.)
18David answered, “Who am I and what is my family that I should become the king's son-in-law?” 19But when the time came for Merab to be given to David, she was given instead to a man named Adriel from Meholah.
20Saul's daughter Michal, however, fell in love with David, and when Saul heard of this, he was pleased. 21He said to himself, “I'll give Michal to David; I will use her to trap him, and he will be killed by the Philistines.” So for the second time Saul said to David, “You will be my son-in-law.” 22He ordered his officials to speak privately to David and tell him, “The king is pleased with you and all his officials like you; now is a good time for you to marry his daughter.”
23So they told David this, and he answered, “It's a great honour to become the king's son-in-law, too great for someone poor and insignificant like me.”
24The officials told Saul what David had said, 25and Saul ordered them to tell David: “All the king wants from you as payment for the bride is the foreskins of a hundred dead Philistines, as revenge on his enemies.” (This was how Saul planned to have David killed by the Philistines.) 26Saul's officials reported to David what Saul had said, and David was delighted with the thought of becoming the king's son-in-law. Before the day set for the wedding, 27David and his men went and killed 200 Philistines. He took their foreskins to the king and counted them all out to him, so that he might become his son-in-law. So Saul had to give his daughter Michal in marriage to David.
28Saul realized clearly that the LORD was with David and also that his daughter Michal loved him. 29So he became even more afraid of David and was his enemy as long as he lived.
30The Philistine armies would come and fight, but in every battle David was more successful than any of Saul's other officers. As a result David became very famous.
David is Persecuted by Saul
1Saul told his son Jonathan and all his officials that he planned to kill David. But Jonathan was very fond of David, 2and so he said to him, “My father is trying to kill you. Please be careful tomorrow morning; hide in some secret place and stay there. 3I will go and stand by my father in the field where you are hiding, and I will speak to him about you. If I find out anything, I will let you know.”
4Jonathan praised David to Saul and said, “Sir, don't do wrong to your servant David. He has never done you any wrong; on the contrary, everything he has done has been a great help to you. 5He risked his life when he killed Goliath, and the LORD won a great victory for Israel. When you saw it, you were glad. Why, then, do you now want to do wrong to an innocent man and kill David for no reason at all?”
6Saul was convinced by what Jonathan said and made a vow in the LORD's name that he would not kill David. 7So Jonathan called David and told him everything; then he took him to Saul, and David served the king as he had before.
8War with the Philistines broke out again. David attacked them and defeated them so thoroughly that they fled.
9One day an evil spirit from the LORD took control of Saul. He was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was there, playing his harp. 10Saul tried to pin David to the wall with his spear, but David dodged, and the spear stuck in the wall. David ran away and escaped.
11That same night Saul sent some men to watch David's house and kill him the next morning. Michal, David's wife, warned him, “If you don't get away tonight, tomorrow you will be dead.” 12She let him down from a window, and he ran away and escaped. 13Then she took the household idol, laid it on the bed, put a pillow made of goats'-hair at its head, and put a cover over it. 14When Saul's men came to get David, Michal told them that he was ill. 15But Saul sent them back to see David for themselves. He ordered them, “Carry him here in his bed, and I will kill him.” 16They went inside and found the household idol in the bed and the goats'-hair pillow at its head. 17Saul asked Michal, “Why have you tricked me like this and let my enemy escape?”
She answered, “He said he would kill me if I didn't help him to escape.”
18David escaped and went to Samuel in Ramah and told him everything that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19Saul was told that David was in Naioth in Ramah, 20so he sent some men to arrest him. They saw the group of prophets dancing and shouting, with Samuel as their leader. Then the Spirit of God took control of Saul's men, and they also began to dance and shout. 21When Saul heard of this, he sent more messengers, and they also began to dance and shout. He sent messengers the third time, and the same thing happened to them. 22Then he himself started out for Ramah. When he came to the large well in Secu, he asked where Samuel and David were and was told that they were at Naioth. 23As he was going there, the Spirit of God took control of him also, and he danced and shouted all the way to Naioth. 24He took off his clothes and danced and shouted in Samuel's presence, and lay naked all that day and all that night. (This is how the saying originated, “Has even Saul become a prophet?”)