When the Israelites and David returned from slaying the Philistines, the women came out from all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet Saul with tambourines, with cries of rejoicing, and with cymbals. The women sang gaily to each other and said,
“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his tens of thousands.”
Saul was very angry, for their words displeased him, and he said, “To David they give credit for ten thousands, but to me only thousands; what more can he have but the rulership?” So Saul kept his eye on David from that day onward. Saul feared David and did not let him stay near him. He made him commander over a thousand men; and David went out and came in at the head of the soldiers. In all that he did David acted wisely and had success, for Jehovah was with him. When Saul saw that he acted wisely, he was still more afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in at their head.
Michal, Saul’s daughter, also loved David, and when they told Saul, he was pleased, for he said, “I will give her to him, that she may lead him to destruction and that the Philistines may capture him.” So Saul commanded his servants, “Say to David secretly: ‘See, the ruler is pleased with you and all his servants love you; now therefore become his son-in-law.’” When Saul’s servants told this to David, he said, “Do you think it easy for me to become the son-in-law of a ruler when I am poor and have no reputation!” When Saul’s servants told him David’s answer, he commanded, “Say to David: ‘Saul wishes no price for his daughter except the proof that you have killed a hundred Philistines;’” for Saul thought that David would be killed by them.
So David went with his men and killed a hundred Philistines; and Saul gave him his daughter Michal as his wife. Then Saul knew that Jehovah was with David and that all Israel loved him, so he feared David still more.
Then Saul commanded his son Jonathan and all his servants to put David to death. But Jonathan was very fond of David. And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Do not sin against your servant David, for he has not wronged you and his behavior toward you has been excellent; for he risked his life and killed the Philistine, so that Jehovah saved all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin by shedding innocent blood in killing David without cause?”
So Saul listened to Jonathan and gave his solemn promise: “As surely as Jehovah lives, he shall not be put to death.”
Then Jonathan called David and told him all these things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul and he was with him as before.
But there was war again, and David went out and fought against the Philistines and killed so many of them that they fled before him. Then an evil spirit from Jehovah came upon Saul while he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand and while David was playing on the lyre. Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear, but David slipped away so that Saul drove the spear into the wall; and David fled and so escaped.
That night Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him, so as to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, told him, “If you do not save your life to-night, you will be killed to-morrow.” So Michal let David down through the window; and he fled away and escaped. Then Michal took the household god and laid it in the bed, and she put a pillow of goat’s hair under its head and covered it with a garment. And when Saul sent messengers to seize David, she said, “He is sick.”
Again Saul sent the messengers to the house of David with the command, “Bring him up to me on the bed, that I may put him to death.” When the messengers came in, there was the household god in the bed with the pillow of goat’s hair under its head. Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me thus and let my enemy go?” Michal answered Saul, “He said to me: ‘Let me go; why should I kill you?’”