Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 18

Saul offers for David to marry Merab

1 Samuel 18:17-19

As time passed, Saulís attitude towards David grew worse. Originally, Saul just felt jealous of David (18:9). That feeling got out of control, and he tried to kill David (18:10-11). That was just a sudden reaction to his feelings; afterwards, he was calm again. However, Saul did decide to send David away then (18:13).

David fought a series of battles on Saulís behalf. David was successful and became even more popular. Saulís jealous feelings continued to increase. Now he wanted to put David in danger (18:17); later he would try to cause Davidís death (18:25).

Saul had promised to give his daughter to be the wife of the man who killed Goliath (17:25). Of course, David had done that, so he had the right to marry Saulís daughter. Saul tried to use that fact to put David in danger. He urged David to fight for him against his fiercest enemies, Philistiaís army. Then David could marry Saulís daughter, Merab. That was what Saul promised.

However, David refused. He was already fighting all Saulís battles, so perhaps he would not be agreeing to do anything more. Still, David knew that it was the custom to pay a high price for a bride. That money (called the dowry) would be very expensive for a kingís daughter (18:23). Even if he could afford it, David did not consider himself important enough to marry her.

So David allowed Merab to marry another man. Then Saul tried to find another opportunity to put David in danger.

Next part: Michalís love for David (1 Samuel 18:20)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.