David Protected from Saul
1 Now Saul told his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David, but Jonathan, Saul’s son, greatly delighted in David. 2 So he told David, “Saul my father is seeking to kill you. Now then, please be on guard in the morning, and stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3 As for me, I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you, and if I learn anything, then I will tell you.” 4 Then Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “May the king not sin against his servant David, since he has not sinned against you, and since his deeds have been very beneficial to you. 5 For he took his life in his hand and killed the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel; you saw it and rejoiced. Why then would you sin against innocent blood by killing David without a cause?” 6 Saul listened to Jonathan and swore [an oath], “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” 7 So Jonathan called David and told him all these things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was (a)in his presence [serving him] as previously.
8 Then there was war again, and David went out and fought with the Philistines and defeated them with a great slaughter, and they fled before him. 9 Then an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was playing the harp with his hand. 10 Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he escaped from Saul’s presence, so that Saul only stuck the spear into the wall. Then David fled and escaped that night.
11 Then Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch for him, so that he might kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, told him, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through the window, and he fled and escaped. 13 And Michal took the (b)household idol and laid it on the bed, put a pillow of goats’ hair at its head, and covered it with clothes. 14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.” 15 Then Saul sent the messengers [again] to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me on his bed [if necessary], so that I may kill him.” 16 When the messengers came in, there was the (c)household idol on the bed with a quilt of goats’ hair at its head. 17 Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?” Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go! Why should I kill you?’”
18 So David fled and escaped and came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him everything that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth. 19 Saul was told, “David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David; but when they saw the group of prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing and presiding over them, the Spirit of God came on the messengers of Saul; and they also prophesied. 21 When Saul was informed, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. So Saul sent messengers again, the third time, and they prophesied as well. 22 Then Saul went to Ramah himself and came to the great well that is in Secu; and he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” And he was told, “They are at Naioth [with the prophets] in Ramah.” 23 So he went on to Naioth in Ramah; and the Spirit of God came upon him too, and he went along continually prophesying until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 He also took off his [royal] robes [and armor] and prophesied before Samuel and lay down naked all that day and night. So they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”(A)
a. 1 Samuel 19:7: Lit before his face. This is often used as an idiom meaning “to serve in a special capacity.”
b. 1 Samuel 19:13: Exactly what this was is not known, but the Hebrew word (teraphim) is the usual one to refer to household idols. It could have been an image bequeathed by Saul to Michal, perhaps indicative of Saul’s lapse from God, or just a spoil of war with no meaning for the Israelites. In any case, it appears to have been an image or idol about the size of a man, since Michal is able to use it as a ruse to trick Saul’s messengers (v 14).
c. 1 Samuel 19:16: See note v 13.