Unit 18: Day 2, 1 Samuel 18–24

    “Unit 18: Day 2, 1 Samuel 18–24,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)

    “Unit 18: Day 2,” Old Testament Study Guide

    Unit 18: Day 2

    1 Samuel 18–24


    Saul appointed David leader over his armies, but he became jealous and angry because of David’s success and sought to kill him. David went to various places as he fled from Saul, and he and men who joined him received help from several people. While hiding in a cave, David had the opportunity to kill Saul, but he chose to let him live.

    1 Samuel 18

    As David behaves wisely and is blessed by the Lord, Saul grows increasingly jealous

    Think of a time when you, or someone you know, made poor choices because of anger or jealousy. How did those feelings of anger or jealousy affect how you viewed everything else?

    As you study 1 Samuel 18, look for principles that can help you make wise choices rather than choices based on anger or jealousy.

    Jonathan and David

    Jonathan and David became friends.

    In 1 Samuel 18:1–5 we learn that after David defeated Goliath, he became close friends with Saul’s son Jonathan. We also learn that Saul put David in charge of his army. Jonathan could have been jealous of David’s success and selection to be the next king. However, instead of being jealous, Jonathan rejoiced in David’s successes. When Jonathan transferred his robe, garments, sword, and bow to David, he was acknowledging his support of David becoming the next king (see 1 Samuel 23:16–17).

    Read 1 Samuel 18:6–9, looking for how Saul felt when David was successful in battle.

    The phrase “Saul eyed David from that day and forward” in verse 9 refers to Saul’s growing jealousy and anger toward David. Read 1 Samuel 18:10–11, looking for what Saul did because of his jealousy and anger. (Notice how the Joseph Smith Translation changes the phrase in verse 10 from “the evil spirit from God” to “the evil spirit which was not of God” [see 1 Samuel 18:10, footnote a]).

    According to 1 Samuel 18:10–11, what temptation did Saul give in to because of his jealousy and anger toward David?

    From this account we learn the following principle: When we are jealous and angry, we allow the influence of the adversary into our lives.

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. Why do you think jealousy and anger allow the influence of the adversary into our lives?

      2. How do jealousy and anger affect our actions and decisions?

    In the following statement, underline the reasons Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave for why we should not feel envious when others receive blessings:

    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

    “There are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those.

    “Furthermore, envy is a mistake that just keeps on giving. Obviously we suffer a little when some misfortune befalls us, but envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know! … So lesson number one from the Lord’s vineyard: coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image. So be kind, and be grateful that God is kind. It is a happy way to live” (“The Laborers in the Vineyard,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 31–32).

    1. journal icon
      In your scripture study journal, explain how Elder Holland’s counsel can help you in times when you might feel jealous or envious of others. Also write what you will do to avoid feeling jealous or envious of the success of others so that you can be strengthened against temptation.

    Read 1 Samuel 18:12–16, looking for how David behaved while Saul was feeling jealous and angry.

    It may be helpful to know that the phrase “he went out and came in before them” in verse 16 means that David led the troops in their various battles.

    What do you think it means that “David behaved himself wisely” (1 Samuel 18:14)?

    Read Alma 37:35, looking for what Alma taught his son about being wise.

    Based on what Alma told his son, what is one way to behave wisely?

    What were the results of David behaving wisely and keeping the Lord’s commandments? Finish the following principle based on what you read in 1 Samuel 18:14: As we behave wisely, .

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. When have you seen someone (such as a friend or sibling) behave wisely in a difficult situation? What lessons did you learn?

      2. What can you do to behave wisely in your everyday life?

    In 1 Samuel 18:17–27 we learn that Saul devised a plan to have David killed. He offered one of his daughters for David to marry if David would kill one hundred Philistines. Saul hoped that David would be killed in battle, but David was victorious and married Saul’s daughter Michal. Read 1 Samuel 18:28–30, looking for the differences in the choices Saul and David made.

    1 Samuel 19–22

    David receives help as he flees from Saul

    If someone was chasing after you to do you harm, what would you do? Where would you hide? Whom would you trust to help you?

    In 1 Samuel 19:1–17 we learn that Saul commanded his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David. Jonathan, as a righteous friend, told David of his father’s plans and persuaded Saul to promise not to kill David. However, after David returned victorious from another battle with the Philistines, Saul’s jealousy returned, and he tried repeatedly to kill David.

    Read 1 Samuel 19:18, looking for whom David fled to for help.

    Why do you think David chose to go to the prophet Samuel?

    In 1 Samuel 19:19–22:23 we learn that Saul continued trying to kill David. He was so jealous of David that he killed some priests who had given David bread. David continued to flee from Saul, and many people helped David elude Saul.

    1 Samuel 23–24

    David defeats the Philistines and chooses not to kill Saul

    Read the following scenario:

    You are continually ridiculed and belittled by a peer at school. This person also tries to turn your friends against you. One day, you discover a way to get revenge or retaliate against that person.

    As a follower of Jesus Christ (Jehovah), how should you respond to the opportunity to get revenge? Why?

    As you study 1 Samuel 23–24, look for a principle that can guide you when you are tempted to retaliate against others.

    In 1 Samuel 23 we learn that when Saul heard David was in Keilah, he again sent his men to capture David. David and his men fled into the wilderness. Saul and his men pursued David, but when the king heard that the army of the Philistines had again invaded his land, he left his pursuit of David and went to fight the Philistines.

    Read 1 Samuel 24:1–3, looking for the situation David found himself in when Saul resumed his pursuit.

    How might you have felt if you had been in David’s position and realized that the man who had been trying to kill you was vulnerable and in the cave where you were hiding?

    Read 1 Samuel 24:4–7, looking for what David did.

    David and Saul

    David cut off a piece of Saul’s robe.

    Cutting off the skirt of Saul’s robe meant that David cut off the border of Saul’s robe that symbolized his authority (see 1 Samuel 24:4, footnote a). It also showed that David had been close enough to Saul to harm him, but he had chosen not to.

    What does David’s statement that he will not “stretch forth [his] hand against [Saul because] he is anointed of the Lord” (1 Samuel 24:6; see also 1 Samuel 24:10) teach us about David?

    If you had been in Saul’s position, how might you have felt when you found out that David had spared your life?

    Read 1 Samuel 24:8–15, looking for who David said was the judge between him and Saul.

    Who did David say was the judge between him and Saul?

    From this account we learn the truth that because the Lord is a perfect judge, we do not need to seek revenge against those who have hurt us.

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. What might be the danger in our trying to judge others?

      2. What can we learn from the preceding principle about not seeking revenge against those who have hurt us?

    Is there someone in your life who has hurt you? If so, let the Lord be the judge of your situation rather than seeking revenge against that person. Through prayer you can receive help from the Lord to overcome any desires to seek revenge you may have. (Note: Revenge is a personal effort to see others suffer because of suffering they seemingly caused us. Seeking revenge is different from seeking justice. Letting the Lord be the judge does not mean you should not seek help when it is needed. Victims of physical or sexual abuse should still seek help from parents and bishops and report the abuse to the proper authorities.)

    1. journal icon
      Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

      I have studied 1 Samuel 18–24 and completed this lesson on (date).

      Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: