Parallels: The Entrance of David

1 Samuel 16-18

In the age of myth there were mighty warriors called Nephilim, 'Giants'. Centuries upon centuries later, after David became king, he waged war on the Philistines. The heroic exploits of David's soldiers were preserved in writing, and most famous among them were his warriors who fought the Philistine descendants of the ancient Giants: Abishai killed the one named Ishbibenob; Sibbecai struck down Saph; David's nephew Jonathan killed one who had extra fingers and toes; Elhanan killed another named Goliath.

You read that last one correctly. Elhanan killed a descendant of the Giants, named Goliath. Sound familiar?

Then there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob; and Elhanan son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, killed Goliath of Gath, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.
2 Samuel 21.19

This is not a second Goliath. This is the Goliath:

And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armored with a coat of mail; the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. He had greaves of bronze on his legs and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and his shield-bearer went before him.
1 Samuel 17.4-7

Somehow, Elhanan's achievement from later in David's kingship has been attributed to David himself, when he was not yet king. The story is told well: The prophet Samuel has condemned King Saul, and now seeks to anoint a new king for Israel and so finds the young David. Soon after, Saul becomes increasingly agitated and anxious; the servants of his royal court set out to find a man to play calming music for Saul. They find David:

'I have seen a son of Jesse a Bethlehemite, and he knows how to play music, and the man is intelligent, and the man is a warrior'

King Saul takes David from his father's home and makes him a permanent member of the royal court, to play music and to carry his armor into battle. Israel then wages war with the Philistines, and the Giant-son named Goliath of Gath challenges Israel's warriors. Of all the ranks of Saul's soldiers, it is David alone who accepts Goliath's challenge:

And Saul and all Israel heard these words of the foreigner, and they were dismayed and greatly afraid. And David said to Saul, 'On no account let the heart of my lord collapse upon him; your slave will go and will fight with this foreigner.'

Before David joined Saul's royal court he had made himself a reputation: 'the man is a warrior', Saul was told. And upon joining the royal court, he becomes Saul's armor-bearer. David shows his prowess in battle, slinging a stone directly into Goliath's face (slingshots were not uncommon among Israelite warriors, cf. Judges 20.16) and while Goliath is stunned David rushes him, taking his sword and killing him with it. David's victory is well-received, and Saul, though suspicious of David's political aspirations, promotes him (to another region of Israel), and permits his daughter Michal to marry David in hopes she will 'snare' him.

Another version of the story, however, goes even further. Not satisfied with David's 'mere' defeat of Goliath the descendant of Giants, several paragraphs of narration are inserted into the text. This not just a series of small embellishments to dramatize the story. In attempting to elevate David's feat all the higher, these new paragraphs introduce major contradictions into the story.

Suddenly David is living at home again, running errands between his father and his older brothers at the war-camp. David, his father, his brothers, and Goliath are all introduced to the reader again, as if for the first time. Saul asks the name of this young man (again), then insists on taking him from his father's home (again), and making him a member of the royal court (again). Saul becomes suspicious of David to the point of trying to murder him in broad daylight, twice, and then Saul attempts to marry two of his daughters to David.

The shorter version of the story is found in the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures. The longer version is found in the Masoretic Text, the Medieval form of the Hebrew bible as passed on by the rabbis.

The simple solution to the narrative contradictions is that the Septuagint preserves the (more) original version of the story: David is a warrior and musician, becomes a close member of King Saul's court, and kills Goliath while at war with Saul against the Philistines. A more dramatic alternate version of this story, where David kills Goliath before joining Saul's court and becomes a warrior, and where he befriends Saul's son Jonathan instead of marrying his daughter Michal, has been preserved (to whatever degree) in tradition behind the Masoretic text. This alternate version was shoved into the original version at a few points, with small editorial additions made in an attempt to hide the seams.

(By the way: The Book of Chronicles was written to be a condensed revision of the Book of Kingdoms. One of these revisions included 1 Chronicles 20.5. Elhanan is no longer identified as the one who killed Goliath. Instead, Elhanan killed Goliath's brother. Convenient.)

Below, you can see the embellished Masoretic and simpler Septuagint versions in parallel. After that, I have also provided the first fourteen Masoretic-only paragraphs on their own; you can see how they form a mostly cohesive story separately.

Masoretic // Septuagint

Yahweh said to Samuel, 'How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.' And the Lord said to Samuel, 'How long are you grieving over Saul? And it is I that have set him to naught not to be king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil, and come, let me send you to Jesse as far as to Bethlehem, for I have observed among his sons one to be king for me.'
Samuel said, 'How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.' And Samuel said, 'How am I to go? Saul will both hear and kill me.'
And Yahweh said, 'Take a heifer with you, and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh.' Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.' And the Lord said, 'Take a heifer of the oxen in your hand, and you will say, 'I have came to sacrifice to the Lord,' and you shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do, and you shall anoint whomever I say to you.'
Samuel did what Yahweh commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, 'Do you come peaceably?' And Samuel did all that the Lord spoke to him and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the city were surprised at meeting him and said, 'Is your entering peace, you seer?'
He said, 'Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to Yahweh; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.' And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. And he said, 'Peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and be glad with me today.' And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, 'Surely the Lord's anointed is now before Yahweh.' And it happened, when they entered, and he looked on Eliab that he said, 'To be sure, before the Lord is his anointed.'
But Yahweh said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for Yahweh does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks on the heart.' And the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the posture of his size, because I have rejected him, for God will not look as a mortal will see, for a mortal will see into a face, but God will see into a heart.'
Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, 'Neither has Yahweh chosen this one.' And Jesse called Aminadab, and he passed before Samuel. And he said, 'Neither has the Lord chosen this one.'
Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, 'Neither has Yahweh chosen this one.' And Jesse brought forward Sama. And he said, 'Also for this one the Lord has not chosen.'
Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, 'Yahweh has not chosen any of these.' And Jesse brought his seven sons forward before Samuel, and Samuel said, 'The Lord has not chosen among these.'
Samuel said to Jesse, 'Are all your sons here?' And Samuel said to Jesse, 'Have the boys come to an end?'
And he said, 'There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.' And he said, 'There is yet the smallest; behold, he is shepherding among the flock.'
And Samuel said to Jesse, 'Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.' He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. And Samuel said to Jesse, 'Send, and fetch him; for we will definitely not recline until he comes.' And he sent and brought him in. And this one was ruddy with beauty of eyes and was good in appearance to the Lord.
Yahweh said, 'Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.' Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of Yahweh came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah. And the Lord said to Samuel, 'Rise, and anoint David; for this one is good.' And Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and a spirit of the Lord sprang upon David from that day and onward. And Samuel rose and returned to Hramathaim.
Now the spirit of Yahweh departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Yahweh tormented him. And Saul's servants said to him, 'See now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command the servants who attend you to look for someone who is skillful in playing the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will feel better.' And a spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. And Saul's servants said to him, 'See now, an evil spirit from the Lord is tormenting you. Let now your slaves speak before you, and let them seek for our lord a man who has learned to play on a cinyra, and it will be, when an evil spirit is upon you, that he will play on his cinyra, and it will be good for you, and it will give you respite.'
So Saul said to his servants, 'Provide for me someone who can play well, and bring him to me.' And Saul said to his servants, 'Do look out for me for a man who plays well, and bring him to him.'
One of the young men answered, 'I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a warrior, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence; and Yahweh is with him.' And one of his lads answered and said, 'Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse a Bethlehemite, and he knows how to play music, and the man is intelligent, and the man is a warrior and prudent with words, and a man good in appearance, and the Lord is with him.'
So Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, 'Send me your son David who is with the sheep.' And Saul sent messengers to Jesse, saying, 'Send me your son David who is with your flock.'
Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a kid, and sent them by his son David to Saul. And David came to Saul, and entered his service. Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. And Jesse took a gomor of bread and a skin of wine and one kid of the goats and sent them by the hand of his son David to Saul. And David came in to Saul and stood before him. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became to him one that would bear his armor.
Saul sent to Jesse, saying, 'Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.' And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, 'Do let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my eyes.' And it happened, when an evil spirit came upon Saul, that David would take the cinyra and play it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved, and it was good for him, and the evil spirit would depart from him.
Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle; they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. Saul and the Israelites gathered and encamped in the valley of Elah, and formed ranks against the Philistines. The Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. And the foreigners gathered their armies for battle, and they were gathered at Sokchoth of Judea, and they encamped between Sokchoth and between Azeka, in Ephermem. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered and encamped in the valley; they formed ranks for battle opposite the foreigners. And the foreigners stood on the mountain here, and Israel stood on the mountain there, and the valley was between them.
And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. He had greaves of bronze on his legs and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and his shield-bearer went before him. And a mighty man came out from the ranks of the foreigners; Goliath was his name, from Gath; his height was four cubits and a span. And he had a helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of chain mail, and the weight of his coat was five thousand shekels of bronze and iron. And there were bronze greaves on his legs, and a bronze shield between his shoulders. And the shaft of his spear was like a beam of weavers, and his spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron, and the one who carried his armor would go before him.
He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, 'Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.' And he stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said to them, 'Why do you come out to draw up for battle opposite us? Am I not an foreigner, and are you not Hebrews of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me, and if he is able to fight against me and strike me, then we will be to you for slaves, but if I am able and kill him, then you shall be to us slaves and be subject to us.'
And the Philistine said, 'Today I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man, that we may fight together.' When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. And the foreigner said, 'Behold, today on this very day I have chided the ranks of Israel. Give me a man, and we both will fight in single combat.' And Saul and all Israel heard these words of the foreigner, and they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons. In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years. The three eldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle; the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. David was the youngest; the three eldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem. For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening.
Jesse said to his son David, 'Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers; also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See how your brothers fare, and bring some token from them.'
Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, took the provisions, and went as Jesse had commanded him. He came to the encampment as the army was going forth to the battle line, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage, ran to the ranks, and went and greeted his brothers. As he talked with them, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him. All the Israelites, when they saw the man, fled from him and were very much afraid.
The Israelites said, 'Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. The king will greatly enrich the man who kills him, and will give him his daughter and make his family free in Israel.'
David said to the men who stood by him, 'What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?'
The people answered him in the same way, 'So shall it be done for the man who kills him.'
His eldest brother Eliab heard him talking to the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David. He said, 'Why have you come down? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart; for you have come down just to see the battle.'
David said, 'What have I done now? It was only a question.' He turned away from him toward another and spoke in the same way; and the people answered him again as before.
When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul; and he sent for him.
David said to Saul, 'Let no one's heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.' And David said to Saul, 'On no account let the heart of my lord collapse upon him; your slave will go and will fight with this foreigner.'
Saul said to David, 'You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.' And Saul said to David, 'You will definitely not be able to go against the foreigner to fight with him, for you are a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.'
But David said to Saul, 'Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it. Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.' And David said to Saul, 'Your slave was tending the flock for his father, and when the lion and the bear would come and take a sheep from the herd, and I would go after it, then I struck it and pulled from its mouth, and if it turned against me, then I caught it by its throat and struck it down and put it to death. And your slave would smite both the bear and the lion, and the uncircumcised foreigner shall be like one of these. Shall I not go and smite him and take away today a reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised one who reproached the ranks of the living God?
David said, 'Yahweh, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine. The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, he himself will rescue me from the hand of this uncircumcised foreigner.'
So Saul said to David, 'Go, and may Yahweh be with you!' And Saul said to David, 'Go, and the Lord will be with you!'
Saul clothed David with his armor; he put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail. David strapped Saul's sword over the armor, and he tried in vain to walk, for he was not used to them. Then David said to Saul, 'I cannot walk with these; for I am not used to them.' So David removed them. And Saul put a woolen cloak on David, and a bronze helmet around his head, and he girded David with his sword over his woolen cloak, and he grew tired walking once and twice. And David said to Saul, 'I shall definitely not be able to go in these, for I am not experienced.' And they remove them from him.
Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd's bag, in the pouch; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine. And he took his staff in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in his shepherd's bag, which he had with him for collecting, and his sling in his hand, and he advanced against the man, the foreigner.
The Philistine came on and drew near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him.
When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was only a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. The Philistine said to David, 'Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?' And Goliad saw David, and he disdained him, for he was a boy, and he was ruddy with beauty of eyes. And the foreigner said to David, 'Am I like a dog, that you come upon me with a rod and stones?'
And David said, 'No, but worse than a dog.'
And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, 'Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the field.' And the foreigner cursed David by his gods. And the foreigner said to David, 'Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the animals of the earth.'
But David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of Yahweh of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.This very day Yahweh will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army this very day to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that Yahweh does not save by sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's and he will give you into our hand.' And David said to the foreigner, 'You come to me with sword and with spear and with shield, and I am coming to you in the name of the Lord Sabaoth, the God of the ranks of Israel, which you have reproached today. And today the Lord will shut you up into my hand, and I will kill you and remove your head from you, and I will give your limbs and the limbs of the camp of the foreigners on this day to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth, and all the earth will know that there is a God in Israel, and all this assembly will know that the Lord does not save by sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord's, and the Lord will give you into our hands.'
When the Philistine drew nearer to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in his bag, took out a stone, slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. And the foreigner arose and came to meet David, and David stretched out his hand into the bag and took out from there one stone and slung it and struck the foreigner on his forehead, and the stone penetrated through the helmet into his forehead, and he fell on his face on the ground.
So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, striking down the Philistine and killing him; there was no sword in David's hand.
Then David ran and stood over the Philistine; he grasped his sword, drew it out of its sheath, and killed him; then he cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. The troops of Israel and Judah rose up with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. The Israelites came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armor in his tent. And David ran and stood over him and took his sword and put him to death and cut off his head. And the foreigners saw that their mighty one was dead, and they fled. And the men of Israel and Judah rose up and shouted and pursued after them, as far as the entrance to Geth and as far as the gate of Ascalon, and the wounded of the foreigners fell on the way of the gates, even as far as Geth and as far as Akkaron. And the men of Israel came back from turning aside after the foreigners, and they trampled their camps. And David took the head of the foreigner and brought it into Jerusalem, and he put his armor in his covert.
When Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, 'Abner, whose son is this young man?' Abner said, 'As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.' The king said, 'Inquire whose son the stripling is.' On David's return from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand. Saul said to him, 'Whose son are you, young man?' And David answered, 'I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.'
When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him; as a result, Saul set him over the army. And all the people, even the servants of Saul, approved.
As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the dancers came to meet David out of all the towns of Israel, with drums and with rejoicing and with cymbals.
And the women sang to one another as they made merry, 'Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands.' And the women began and were saying, 'Saul killed amongst his thousands, and David among his ten thousands.'
Saul was very angry, for this saying displeased him. He said, 'They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands; And the matter appeared evil in the eyes of Saul concerning this word, and he said, 'They ascribed to David the ten thousands, and to me they ascribed the thousands.'
what more can he have but the kingdom?'
So Saul eyed David from that day on. And Saul was eyeing David with suspicion from that day and beyond.
The next day an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand;and Saul threw the spear, for he thought, 'I will pin David to the wall.' But David eluded him twice.
Saul was afraid of David, And Saul was afraid from before David,
because Yahweh was with him but had departed from Saul.
So Saul removed him from his presence, and made him a commander of a thousand; and David marched out and came in, leading the army. David had success in all his undertakings; for Yahweh was with him. When Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in awe of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David; for it was he who marched out and came in leading them. and he removed him from him and made him an officer of a thousand for himself, and he was going out and coming in before the people. And David was prudent in all his ways, and the Lord was with him. And Saul saw how he acted very prudently, and he was afraid from before him. And all Israel and Judah loved David, for he was going out and coming in from before the people.
Then Saul said to David, 'Here is my elder daughter Merab; I will give her to you as a wife; only be valiant for me and fight the Lord's battles.' For Saul thought, 'I will not raise a hand against him; let the Philistines deal with him.' David said to Saul, 'Who am I and who are my kinsfolk, my father's family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?' But at the time when Saul's daughter Merab should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.
Now Saul's daughter Michal loved David. Saul was told, and the thing pleased him. Saul thought, 'Let me give her to him that she may be a snare for him And Saul's daughter Michal loved David, and Saul was told, and it was right in his eyes. And Saul said, 'I will give her to him, and she will be a snare to him.'
and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.' And the hand of the foreigners was against Saul,
Therefore Saul said to David a second time, 'You shall now be my son-in-law.'
Saul commanded his servants, 'Speak to David in private and say, "See, the king is delighted with you, and all his servants love you; now then, become the king's son-in-law."' and Saul commanded his servants, saying, 'Speak to David secretly, saying, "Behold, the king wants you, and all his servants love you, and as for you, become the king's son-in-law."'
So Saul's servants reported these words to David in private. And David said, 'Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king's son-in-law, seeing that I am a poor man and of no repute?' And Saul's servants spoke these words in the hearing of David. And David said, 'Does it seem light in your eyes to become the king's son-in-law? And as for me, I am a humble man and of no repute.'
The servants of Saul told him, 'This is what David said.' And the servants of Saul reported to him according to these things that David said.
Then Saul said, 'Thus shall you say to David, "The king desires no marriage present except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged on the king's enemies."' And Saul said, 'This is what you shall say to David, "The king does not desire to avenge for the king's enemies with a present, except with a hundred foreskins of the foreigners."'
Now Saul planned to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. When his servants told David these words, David was well pleased to be the king's son-in-law. And Saul counted on casting him into the hand of the foreigners. And the servants of Saul told David these words, and the matter was right in the eyes of David to be the king's son-in-law.
Before the time had expired,
David rose and went, along with his men, and killed one hundred of the Philistines; and David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king's son-in-law. And David rose and went, he and his men, and smote one hundred men among the foreigners and brought their foreskins to the king, and he became the king's son-in-law,
Saul gave him his daughter Michal as a wife. But when Saul realized that Yahweh was with David, and that Saul's daughter Michal loved him, Saul was still more afraid of David. and he give him his daughter Michal for him as a wife. And Saul saw that the Lord was with David and that all Israel loved him, and he continued to be afraid of David even more.
So Saul was David's enemy from that time forward. Then the commanders of the Philistines came out to battle; and as often as they came out, David had more success than all the servants of Saul, so that his fame became very great.

Masoretic-Only Version

Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons. In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years. The three eldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle; the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. David was the youngest; the three eldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.

Jesse said to his son David, 'Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers; also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See how your brothers fare, and bring some token from them.'

Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, took the provisions, and went as Jesse had commanded him. He came to the encampment as the army was going forth to the battle line, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage, ran to the ranks, and went and greeted his brothers. As he talked with them, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him. All the Israelites, when they saw the man, fled from him and were very much afraid.

The Israelites said, 'Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. The king will greatly enrich the man who kills him, and will give him his daughter and make his family free in Israel.'

David said to the men who stood by him, 'What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?'

The people answered him in the same way, 'So shall it be done for the man who kills him.'

His eldest brother Eliab heard him talking to the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David. He said, 'Why have you come down? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart; for you have come down just to see the battle.'

David said, 'What have I done now? It was only a question.' He turned away from him toward another and spoke in the same way; and the people answered him again as before.

When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul; and he sent for him.

David said, 'Yahweh, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine. The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, he himself will rescue me from the hand of this uncircumcised foreigner.'

The Philistine came on and drew near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him.

So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, striking down the Philistine and killing him; there was no sword in David's hand.

When Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, 'Abner, whose son is this young man?' Abner said, 'As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.' The king said, 'Inquire whose son the stripling is.' On David's return from killing the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand. Saul said to him, 'Whose son are you, young man?' And David answered, 'I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.'

When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him; as a result, Saul set him over the army. And all the people, even the servants of Saul, approved.