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I Samuel 18

1When [David] finished speaking with Shaul, Yehonatan's soul became bound up with the soul of David; Yehonatan loved David as himself.

אוַיְהִי כְּכַלֹּתוֹ לְדַבֵּר אֶל־שָׁאוּל וְנֶפֶשׁ יְהוֹנָתָן נִקְשְׁרָה בְּנֶפֶשׁ דָּוִד ויאהבו [וַיֶּאֱהָבֵהוּ] יְהוֹנָתָן כְּנַפְשׁוֹ׃

2Shaul took him [into his service] that day and would not let him return to his father's house.—

בוַיִּקָּחֵהוּ שָׁאוּל בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וְלֹא נְתָנוֹ לָשׁוּב בֵּית אָבִיו׃

3Yehonatan and David made a pact, because [Yehonatan] loved him as himself.

גוַיִּכְרֹת יְהוֹנָתָן וְדָוִד בְּרִית בְּאַהֲבָתוֹ אֹתוֹ כְּנַפְשׁוֹ׃

4Yehonatan took off the cloak and tunic he was wearing and gave them to David, together with his sword, bow, and belt.

va-yit-pa-SHAYT y'-ho-na-TAN et ha-m'-EEL a-SHER a-LAV va-yi-t'-NAY-hu l'-da-VID u-ma-DAV v'-ad khar-BO v'-ad kash-TO v'-ad kha-go-RO

דוַיִּתְפַּשֵּׁט יְהוֹנָתָן אֶת־הַמְּעִיל אֲשֶׁר עָלָיו וַיִּתְּנֵהוּ לְדָוִד וּמַדָּיו וְעַד־חַרְבּוֹ וְעַד־קַשְׁתּוֹ וְעַד־חֲגֹרוֹ׃

 18:4   Yehonatan took off the cloak and tunic he was wearing and gave them to David

The Sages view the mutual affection shared by Yehonatan and David as the epitome of true love between friends, as neither has any ulterior motives (Ethics of the Fathers 5:16). Indeed, as the heir apparent, Yehonatan has every reason to be jealous of David who was destined to be the new king of Israel. But instead, Yehonatan accepts the decree. He not only protects David from his father, King Shaul, but also gives him the symbol of his position as heir to the throne. Yehonatan recognizes that David is to be the founder of the eternal dynasty of Israel.

5David went out [with the troops], and he was successful in every mission on which Shaul sent him, and Shaul put him in command of all the soldiers; this pleased all the troops and Shaul's courtiers as well.

הוַיֵּצֵא דָוִד בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁלָחֶנּוּ שָׁאוּל יַשְׂכִּיל וַיְשִׂמֵהוּ שָׁאוּל עַל אַנְשֵׁי הַמִּלְחָמָה וַיִּיטַב בְּעֵינֵי כָל־הָעָם וְגַם בְּעֵינֵי עַבְדֵי שָׁאוּל׃

6When the [troops] came home [and] David returned from killing the Philistine, the women of all the towns of Yisrael came out singing and dancing to greet King Shaul with timbrels, shouting, and sistrums.

ווַיְהִי בְּבוֹאָם בְּשׁוּב דָּוִד מֵהַכּוֹת אֶת־הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי וַתֵּצֶאנָה הַנָּשִׁים מִכָּל־עָרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לשור [לָשִׁיר] וְהַמְּחֹלוֹת לִקְרַאת שָׁאוּל הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּתֻפִּים בְּשִׂמְחָה וּבְשָׁלִשִׁים׃

7The women sang as they danced, and they chanted: Shaul has slain his thousands; David, his tens of thousands!

זוַתַּעֲנֶינָה הַנָּשִׁים הַמְשַׂחֲקוֹת וַתֹּאמַרְןָ הִכָּה שָׁאוּל באלפו [בַּאֲלָפָיו] וְדָוִד בְּרִבְבֹתָיו׃

8Shaul was much distressed and greatly vexed about the matter. For he said, “To David they have given tens of thousands, and to me they have given thousands. All that he lacks is the kingship!”

חוַיִּחַר לְשָׁאוּל מְאֹד וַיֵּרַע בְּעֵינָיו הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַיֹּאמֶר נָתְנוּ לְדָוִד רְבָבוֹת וְלִי נָתְנוּ הָאֲלָפִים וְעוֹד לוֹ אַךְ הַמְּלוּכָה׃

9From that day on Shaul kept a jealous eye on David.

טוַיְהִי שָׁאוּל עון [עוֹיֵן] אֶת־דָּוִד מֵהַיּוֹם הַהוּא וָהָלְאָה׃

10The next day an evil spirit of Hashem gripped Shaul and he began to rave in the house, while David was playing [the lyre], as he did daily. Shaul had a spear in his hand,

יוַיְהִי מִמָּחֳרָת וַתִּצְלַח רוּחַ אֱלֹהִים רָעָה אֶל־שָׁאוּל וַיִּתְנַבֵּא בְתוֹךְ־הַבַּיִת וְדָוִד מְנַגֵּן בְּיָדוֹ כְּיוֹם בְּיוֹם וְהַחֲנִית בְּיַד־שָׁאוּל׃

11and Shaul threw the spear, thinking to pin David to the wall. But David eluded him twice.

יאוַיָּטֶל שָׁאוּל אֶת־הַחֲנִית וַיֹּאמֶר אַכֶּה בְדָוִד וּבַקִּיר וַיִּסֹּב דָּוִד מִפָּנָיו פַּעֲמָיִם׃

12Shaul was afraid of David, for Hashem was with him and had turned away from Shaul.

יבוַיִּרָא שָׁאוּל מִלִּפְנֵי דָוִד כִּי־הָיָה יְהֹוָה עִמּוֹ וּמֵעִם שָׁאוּל סָר׃

13So Shaul removed him from his presence and appointed him chief of a thousand, to march at the head of the troops.

יגוַיְסִרֵהוּ שָׁאוּל מֵעִמּוֹ וַיְשִׂמֵהוּ לוֹ שַׂר־אָלֶף וַיֵּצֵא וַיָּבֹא לִפְנֵי הָעָם׃

14David was successful in all his undertakings, for Hashem was with him;

ידוַיְהִי דָוִד לְכָל־דָּרְכָו מַשְׂכִּיל וַיהֹוָה עִמּוֹ׃

15and when Shaul saw that he was successful, he dreaded him.

טווַיַּרְא שָׁאוּל אֲשֶׁר־הוּא מַשְׂכִּיל מְאֹד וַיָּגָר מִפָּנָיו׃

16All Yisrael and Yehuda loved David, for he marched at their head.

טזוְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וִיהוּדָה אֹהֵב אֶת־דָּוִד כִּי־הוּא יוֹצֵא וָבָא לִפְנֵיהֶם׃

17Shaul said to David, “Here is my older daughter, Merab; I will give her to you in marriage; in return, you be my warrior and fight the battles of Hashem.” Shaul thought: “Let not my hand strike him; let the hand of the Philistines strike him.”

יזוַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל אֶל־דָּוִד הִנֵּה בִתִּי הַגְּדוֹלָה מֵרַב אֹתָהּ אֶתֶּן־לְךָ לְאִשָּׁה אַךְ הֱיֵה־לִּי לְבֶן־חַיִל וְהִלָּחֵם מִלְחֲמוֹת יְהֹוָה וְשָׁאוּל אָמַר אַל־תְּהִי יָדִי בּוֹ וּתְהִי־בוֹ יַד־פְּלִשְׁתִּים׃

18David replied to Shaul, “Who am I and what is my life—my father's family in Yisrael—that I should become Your Majesty's son-in-law?”

יחוַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל־שָׁאוּל מִי אָנֹכִי וּמִי חַיַּי מִשְׁפַּחַת אָבִי בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי־אֶהְיֶה חָתָן לַמֶּלֶךְ׃

19But at the time that Merab, daughter of Shaul, should have been given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel the Meholathite.

יטוַיְהִי בְּעֵת תֵּת אֶת־מֵרַב בַּת־שָׁאוּל לְדָוִד וְהִיא נִתְּנָה לְעַדְרִיאֵל הַמְּחֹלָתִי לְאִשָּׁה׃

20Now Michal daughter of Shaul had fallen in love with David; and when this was reported to Shaul, he was pleased.

כוַתֶּאֱהַב מִיכַל בַּת־שָׁאוּל אֶת־דָּוִד וַיַּגִּדוּ לְשָׁאוּל וַיִּשַׁר הַדָּבָר בְּעֵינָיו׃

21Shaul thought: “I will give her to him, and she can serve as a snare for him, so that the Philistines may kill him.” So Shaul said to David, “You can become my son-in-law even now through the second one.”

כאוַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל אֶתְּנֶנָּה לּוֹ וּתְהִי־לוֹ לְמוֹקֵשׁ וּתְהִי־בוֹ יַד־פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל אֶל־דָּוִד בִּשְׁתַּיִם תִּתְחַתֵּן בִּי הַיּוֹם׃

22And Shaul instructed his courtiers to say to David privately, “The king is fond of you and all his courtiers like you. So why not become the king's son-in-law?”

כבוַיְצַו שָׁאוּל אֶת־עֲבָדָו דַּבְּרוּ אֶל־דָּוִד בַּלָּט לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה חָפֵץ בְּךָ הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכָל־עֲבָדָיו אֲהֵבוּךָ וְעַתָּה הִתְחַתֵּן בַּמֶּלֶךְ׃

23When the king's courtiers repeated these words to David, David replied, “Do you think that becoming the son-in-law of a king is a small matter, when I am but a poor man of no consequence?”

כגוַיְדַבְּרוּ עַבְדֵי שָׁאוּל בְּאָזְנֵי דָוִד אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד הַנְקַלָּה בְעֵינֵיכֶם הִתְחַתֵּן בַּמֶּלֶךְ וְאָנֹכִי אִישׁ־רָשׁ וְנִקְלֶה׃

24Shaul's courtiers reported to him, “This is what David answered.”

כדוַיַּגִּדוּ עַבְדֵי שָׁאוּל לוֹ לֵאמֹר כַּדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה דִּבֶּר דָּוִד׃

25And Shaul said, “Say this to David: ‘The king desires no other bride-price than the foreskins of a hundred Philistines, as vengeance on the king's enemies.'”—Shaul intended to bring about David's death at the hands of the Philistines.—

כהוַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל כֹּה־תֹאמְרוּ לְדָוִד אֵין־חֵפֶץ לַמֶּלֶךְ בְּמֹהַר כִּי בְּמֵאָה עָרְלוֹת פְּלִשְׁתִּים לְהִנָּקֵם בְּאֹיְבֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְשָׁאוּל חָשַׁב לְהַפִּיל אֶת־דָּוִד בְּיַד־פְּלִשְׁתִּים׃

26When his courtiers told this to David, David was pleased with the idea of becoming the king's son-in-law. Before the time had expired,

כווַיַּגִּדוּ עֲבָדָיו לְדָוִד אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַיִּשַׁר הַדָּבָר בְּעֵינֵי דָוִד לְהִתְחַתֵּן בַּמֶּלֶךְ וְלֹא מָלְאוּ הַיָּמִים׃

27David went out with his men and killed two hundred Philistines; David brought their foreskins and they were counted out for the king, that he might become the king's son-in-law. Shaul then gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

כזוַיָּקָם דָּוִד וַיֵּלֶךְ הוּא וַאֲנָשָׁיו וַיַּךְ בַּפְּלִשְׁתִּים מָאתַיִם אִישׁ וַיָּבֵא דָוִד אֶת־עָרְלֹתֵיהֶם וַיְמַלְאוּם לַמֶּלֶךְ לְהִתְחַתֵּן בַּמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּתֶּן־לוֹ שָׁאוּל אֶת־מִיכַל בִּתּוֹ לְאִשָּׁה׃

28When Shaul realized that Hashem was with David and that Michal daughter of Shaul loved him,

כחוַיַּרְא שָׁאוּל וַיֵּדַע כִּי יְהֹוָה עִם־דָּוִד וּמִיכַל בַּת־שָׁאוּל אֲהֵבַתְהוּ׃

29Shaul grew still more afraid of David; and Shaul was David's enemy ever after.

כטוַיֹּאסֶף שָׁאוּל לֵרֹא מִפְּנֵי דָוִד עוֹד וַיְהִי שָׁאוּל אֹיֵב אֶת־דָּוִד כָּל־הַיָּמִים׃

30The Philistine chiefs marched out [to battle]; and every time they marched out, David was more successful than all the other officers of Shaul. His reputation soared.

לוַיֵּצְאוּ שָׂרֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים וַיְהִי מִדֵּי צֵאתָם שָׂכַל דָּוִד מִכֹּל עַבְדֵי שָׁאוּל וַיִּיקַר שְׁמוֹ מְאֹד׃