1 Samuel 18

1 David returned an instant hero. Certainly, many people wanted to befriend David because of his fame. Jonathan, however, was not superficial -- he loved David for who he was.

The "knitting" of souls is also used in Gen 44:30 to describe Israel's relationship with his son, Benjamin. This describes the deepest kind of caring and commitment that any two people can have with each other.

2 Saul was so impressed with David's courage and ability that he wanted him to be a leader of troops. Also, David had instantly raised the moral of the army, and Saul could not afford to lose him.
3 Jonathan and David made a solemn promise to be there for each other. They would guard each other with their lives if necessary.
4 Jonathan's commitment was so strong that he was even willing to share his kingdom with David.

Symbolically, some have looked at this as a picture of Jesus' love for us. The Son of God loves us even more than Jonathan loved David. Jesus blesses us with kingly blessings, and we are too poor to offer anything but love in return. Jesus loved us so much that He died in our place. Fulfilled in Jesus, this is the kind of commitment that Jonathan had towards David.

This verse is prophetic in the sense that one day David would not just wear the robe and armor of a king, but the crown as well. This is a foretaste of the passing of the kingdom from Saul to David as prophesied by Samuel (1 Sam 15:28).

5 David did not let fame "go to his head." His behavior was tempered by his obedience to God and the strong work ethic he learned as a shepherd boy. In so doing, he gave the people a hero and roll model that they would gladly look up to.
7 History books were unavailable to the public, and writing materials were too expensive for common use. Instead, history was often passed down in the form of poetry and songs that made memorizing events easier than simple retellings.

Battles were typically credited to the commander. It was apparent to everyone that Saul had not lead and inspired Israel's army in this battle. Although it is recorded that David only killed one man, his felling of the Philistine hero inspired the entire army to win the battle. We are not given an exact count of the Philistine army, but it is apparent that there were at least 20,000. This was probably Israel's most spectacular victory up to this point in their history. Saul had led other battles, but less than 10,000 enemy deaths are credited to him.

8 Saul did not dispute the numbers, but he became jealous that the people held David in such high esteem. The people honored David for the victory over the Philistines, even though Saul was present and "in command." Saul was also unnerved to see his popularity slipping. Israel had become demoralized under his rule, and then David came along as a charismatic leader that drew all the people to him. Saul was suspicious that David might use his popularity to take over the kingdom.
9 It is apparent that the end of Saul's reign was overshadowed by his obsession with protecting the throne from David. Repeatedly David would prove that he had no interest of taking Saul's throne by force. Yet, Samuel's prophecy and the people's fascination with David made him suspicious for the rest of his life.