#tbs1sam 1 Samuel 18 & 19

Saul’s son Jonathan is one in spirit with David… what does that mean? They see eye to eye? Why would Jonathan see eye to eye with his father’s rival? Given the events of chapter 14, perhaps Jonathan is not a huge fan of his father anymore.

Saul decides to keep David close by and busy. The paranoia is a funny one, because David seems to be getting promoted, and given opportunities to shine. So much so that the people  seem to like David more already. The ladies’ song is weird, since they go to meet Saul with this song which credits David with ten times the kill total. Odd way to honour the king.

David is playing the lyre… wait I thought he was a harpist?… when Saul decides to pin him to the wall with a spear. Anyway, Saul is prophesying again… wait, didn’t the spirit withdraw from Saul already? Is this prophecy from the evil spirit? Seems this evil spirit from God (weird) doesn’t help Saul’s aim. So in frustration he gives David a chance to earn more adulation… odd. Why not put him in the mail room or something? David’s exploits gain him even more love in Judah and Israel (again both named… that’s a few hints at Judah being independent).

Saul is paranoid and angry with regard to David… now, not only does David get a prominent job, but an offer to marry Saul’s daughter? Saul doesn’t seem to get how to treat an enemy/rival. His reasoning, “I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!” But David seems to come out on top when dealing with Philistines.

David refuses to marry Merab, but marries Michal, Saul’s other daughter. Saul is happy with this, because his beloved daughter will be a snare… wait… a snare? This guy’s disdain for his family is horrific. Saul’s proposal for a bride price is simply messed up, “The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.” Worst dowry ever! Revenge? Given the way the Israel-Philistine conflict has been going lately, revenge seems like an odd choice of words. “Finish them off”, “decimate them”, “put an end to this” would seem more appropriate. But Saul plans this to be the downfall of David. Again, David has constantly been able to defeat the Philistines. He’s credited with 10 000 kills. Another 100 hardly seems an insurmountable obstacle. Why not just stab him in the back instead? Seriously, murder and betrayal is not a strong suit for Saul.

So David brings 200 foreskins. Nasty. And kind of insulting. You want 100? here’s 200. How about a real challenge?

In chapter 19, Saul tries a whole variety of ways to kill David. Bumbling idiot can’t even whack a rival properly. Jonathan helps David, then Michal helps him too. Saul’s kids are working against him. I love how Michal lowers David down from a window then does the whole idol in the bed to deceive Saul… wait an idol? Wait, what? Why does the king have an idol in the house?

So David goes to Samuel in Ramah. Probably not the way to stay inconspicuous.  So Saul sends men to go get David. But they become prophets instead. Ok. Odd. So more men are sent, and eventually, Saul goes himself and everyone ends up prophesying. Saul himself strips down and lays on the ground naked, prophesying. So the phrase “Is Saul among the prophets?” becomes common… wait, didn’t that already happen?

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