1 Samuel 18:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Saul said to David, "Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to you in marriage; only serve me bravely and fight the battles of the LORD." For Saul said to himself, "I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!"

New Living Translation
One day Saul said to David, "I am ready to give you my older daughter, Merab, as your wife. But first you must prove yourself to be a real warrior by fighting the LORD's battles." For Saul thought, "I'll send him out against the Philistines and let them kill him rather than doing it myself."

English Standard Version
Then Saul said to David, “Here is my elder daughter Merab. I will give her to you for a wife. Only be valiant for me and fight the LORD’s battles.” For Saul thought, “Let not my hand be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.”

New American Standard Bible
Then Saul said to David, "Here is my older daughter Merab; I will give her to you as a wife, only be a valiant man for me and fight the LORD'S battles." For Saul thought, "My hand shall not be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him."

King James Bible
And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the LORD'S battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Saul told David, "Here is my oldest daughter Merab. I'll give her to you as a wife, if you will be a warrior for me and fight the LORD's battles." But Saul was thinking, "My hand doesn't need to be against him; let the hand of the Philistines be against him."

International Standard Version
Saul told David, "Here is my older daughter Merab. I'll give her to you as a wife. Just be an excellent soldier for me and fight the LORD's battles." Now Saul told himself, "I won't harm him myself. Instead, I'll let the Philistines harm him."

NET Bible
Then Saul said to David, "Here's my oldest daughter, Merab. I want to give her to you in marriage. Only be a brave warrior for me and fight the battles of the LORD." For Saul thought, "There's no need for me to raise my hand against him. Let it be the hand of the Philistines!"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Finally, Saul said to David, "Here is my oldest daughter Merab. I will give her to you as your wife if you prove yourself to be a warrior for me and fight the LORD's battles." (Saul thought, "I must not lay a hand on him. Let the Philistines do that.")

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Saul said to David, Behold I will give thee my elder daughter Merab to wife; only be thou valiant for me, and fight the LORD's battles. For Saul said to himself, My hand shall not be against him, but the hand of the Philistines shall be against him.

King James 2000 Bible
And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give you as your wife: only be you valiant for me, and fight the LORD'S battles. For Saul said, Let not my hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.

American King James Version
And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give you to wife: only be you valiant for me, and fight the LORD's battles. For Saul said, Let not my hand be on him, but let the hand of the Philistines be on him.

American Standard Version
And Saul said to David, Behold, my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight Jehovah's battles. For Saul said, Let not my hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Saul said to David: Behold my elder daughter Merob, her will I give thee to wife: only be a valiant man, and fight the battles of the Lord. Now Saul said within himself: Let not my hand be upon him, but let the hands of the Philistines be upon him.

Darby Bible Translation
And Saul said to David, Behold my eldest daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife; only be thou valiant for me, and fight Jehovah's battles. But Saul thought, My hand shall not be upon him, but the hand of the Philistines shall be upon him.

English Revised Version
And Saul said to David, Behold, my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me. and fight the LORD'S battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Saul said to David, Behold, my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee for a wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the LORD'S battles. For Saul said, Let not my hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.

World English Bible
Saul said to David, "Behold, my elder daughter Merab, I will give her to you as wife. Only be valiant for me, and fight Yahweh's battles." For Saul said, "Don't let my hand be on him, but let the hand of the Philistines be on him."

Young's Literal Translation
And Saul saith unto David, 'Lo, my elder daughter Merab -- her I give to thee for a wife; only, be to me for a son of valour, and fight the battles of Jehovah;' and Saul said, 'Let not my hand be on him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

18:12-30 For a long time David was kept in continual apprehension of falling by the hand of Saul, yet he persevered in meek and respectful behaviour towards his persecutor. How uncommon is such prudence and discretion, especially under insults and provocations! Let us inquire if we imitate this part of the exemplary character before us. Are we behaving wisely in all our ways? Is there no sinful omission, no rashness of spirit, nothing wrong in our conduct? Opposition and perverseness in others, will not excuse wrong tempers in us, but should increase our care, and attention to the duties of our station. Consider Him that endured contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be weary and faint in your minds, Heb 12:3. If David magnified the honour of being son-in-law to king Saul, how should we magnify the honour of being sons to the King of kings!

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 17, 18. - Behold my elder daughter Merab. Saul had promised that he would give his daughter in marriage to whosoever should slay the giant (1 Samuel 17:25); and not only was there in this the honour of a close alliance with the royal house, but, as it was usual to give large presents to the father in return for the daughter's hand, the gift had also a substantial value. After long delay Saul now refers to this promise, not so much with the intention of fulfilling it, as of leading David on to enterprises which might cost him his life. The marriage may have been deferred at first on account of David's youth; the subject is now revived, but with evil intentions. My eider daughter is literally "my daughter, the great one," while Michal is "the little one," a way of speaking used only where there are but two daughters. Be thou valiant, etc. This exhortation would be natural under the circumstances; but Saul hoped that David, in order to secure so great a prize, would be encouraged to undertake rash adventures. For Saul said. I.e. in himself; his purpose was to urge David to perpetual fighting, that so in some rash undertaking he might be slam. Thus Saul s malice grows, and though not prepared as yet to put David to death himself, he would have felt relief if he had died by the fortune of war. David answers modestly and discreetly that he is not worthy of so great an honour. We are not to suppose that he discerned Saul's treachery, which only came-to light afterwards. What is my life, - i.e. my condition, - or my father's family? The or is not in the Hebrew, and the meaning is, What is my condition, even my father's family? etc. David's condition or rank in life was settled by the rank which his father held.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And Saul said to David,.... Not in friendship and good will to him, but designing to lay a snare for him:

behold, my eldest daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife; most interpreters understand it, that he was obliged to this by promise, on account of David's slaying Goliath, 1 Samuel 17:25; but Abarbinel is of another mind, and he rightly observes, that the words referred to are not the words of Saul, but of the men of Israel, who might suppose what the king would do; or if they heard anything like it spoken by Saul, it was only in a hyperbolical way, signifying he did not care what he gave, and what he parted with, to the man that killed the Philistine, but was not strictly bound to this particular thereby; nor did David ever claim such promise, nor did Saul think himself bound to do it, but proposes it as an instance of his great kindness and favour, as he pretended, and therefore expected great returns for it, as follows:

only be thou valiant for me, and fight the Lord's battles: he knew he was a valiant man, and ready enough to fight; but he expected that in consideration of such a favour, and such high honour as this, that he would exert himself in an extraordinary manner, and engage in hazardous attempts, and show himself worthy to be the son of a king, in the defence of him and of his country, and for the glory of the God of Israel; all this he suggests, when his view was, that he should expose his life to such danger, that it might be hoped it would be taken away:

for Saul said; not openly and verbally, but in his heart; he thought within himself:

let not mine hand be upon him; he had attempted to lay hands on him, or to kill him with his own hands, but now he thought better, and consulted his credit among the people:

but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him; he hoped by these means that he would fall by their hands at the head of his troop, while he was displaying his valour, and hazarding his life for the good of his king and country; what Saul contrived proved his own case, he died in battle with the Philistines, 1 Samuel 31:4.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

1Sa 18:17-21. He Offers Him His Daughter for a Snare.

17. Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife—Though bound to this already [1Sa 17:25], he had found it convenient to forget his former promise. He now holds it out as a new offer, which would tempt David to give additional proofs of his valor. But the fickle and perfidious monarch broke his pledge at the time when the marriage was on the eve of being celebrated, and bestowed Merab on another man (see on [246]2Sa 21:8); an indignity as well as a wrong, which was calculated deeply to wound the feelings and provoke the resentment of David. Perhaps it was intended to do so, that advantage might be taken of his indiscretion. But David was preserved from this snare.

1 Samuel 18:17 Additional Commentaries
Context
David Marries Michal
17Then Saul said to David, "Here is my older daughter Merab; I will give her to you as a wife, only be a valiant man for me and fight the LORD'S battles." For Saul thought, "My hand shall not be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him." 18But David said to Saul, "Who am I, and what is my life or my father's family in Israel, that I should be the king's son-in-law?"…
Cross References
Numbers 21:14
That is why the Book of the Wars of the LORD says: "... Zahab in Suphah and the ravines, the Arnon

1 Samuel 14:49
Saul's sons were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malki-Shua. The name of his older daughter was Merab, and that of the younger was Michal.

1 Samuel 17:25
Now the Israelites had been saying, "Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel."

1 Samuel 17:36
Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.

1 Samuel 17:47
All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

1 Samuel 18:21
"I will give her to him," he thought, "so that she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him." So Saul said to David, "Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law."

1 Samuel 18:25
Saul replied, "Say to David, 'The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.'" Saul's plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines.

1 Samuel 18:27
David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king's son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

1 Samuel 25:28
"Please forgive your servant's presumption. The LORD your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the LORD's battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live.

1 Samuel 30:26
When David reached Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends, saying, "Here is a gift for you from the plunder of the LORD's enemies."
Treasury of Scripture

And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give you to wife: only be you valiant for me, and fight the LORD's battles. For Saul said, Let not my hand be on him, but let the hand of the Philistines be on him.

her will I give

1 Samuel 17:25 And the men of Israel said, Have you seen this man that is come up? …

Psalm 12:2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips …

Psalm 55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in …

valiant [heb] a son of valour
the Lord's

1 Samuel 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saves not with sword …

1 Samuel 25:28 I pray you, forgive the trespass of your handmaid: for the LORD will …

Numbers 32:20,27,29 And Moses said to them, If you will do this thing, if you will go …

Let not mine

1 Samuel 18:21,25 And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, …

Deuteronomy 17:7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first on him to put him to death, …

2 Samuel 11:15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set you Uriah in the forefront …

2 Samuel 12:9 Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in …

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