This verse describes a celebration that took place after a battle, where the Israelites had achieved a victory over the Philistines. As the soldiers returned home, women came out to greet them, singing and dancing. However, the song they sang caused jealousy and anger in Saul, who was the king of Israel at the time.
The song praises David, a young man who had fought alongside Saul and had been particularly successful in battle, by saying that he had slain ten thousand Philistines, while Saul had only slain thousands. This made Saul feel threatened by David's growing popularity and led to a series of events that would ultimately result in a falling out between the two men.
To understand the context of 1 Samuel 18:7, we need to go back to the beginning of 1 Samuel. The book tells the story of the rise of the Israelite monarchy, starting with the birth of the prophet Samuel and his anointing of Saul as the first king of Israel. Saul was initially successful in his role as king and led the Israelites in battles against their enemies, including the Philistines.
However, as time went on, Saul's leadership began to falter. He disobeyed God's commands and made rash decisions, which ultimately led to God rejecting him as king. Meanwhile, David, who was a young shepherd boy at the time, had caught the attention of Saul and had become one of his loyal supporters and a member of his court.
As the verse indicates, David became a skilled warrior and was very successful in his battles against the Philistines. The women's song praising David's victories over Saul's caused Saul to become jealous and paranoid, fearing that David was a threat to his reign. This jealousy and fear would continue to grow as David's popularity and success increased, and would eventually lead to Saul's attempts to kill David and David's rise to the throne after Saul's death.
Overall, 1 Samuel 18:7 is significant in that it marks a turning point in the relationship between Saul and David, and foreshadows the conflict that will ultimately lead to Saul's downfall and David's ascent to the throne.
1 Samuel 18:7. The women sang to one another as they played, and said, “Saul has slain his thousands, David his ten thousands.”