Q&A – 1 Samuel 18:25-27

Every so often, I get a question that just makes me smile because of the subjects it brings up. This is one of those questions. It was based off of this passage…

1 Samuel 18:25-27

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. When the attendants told David these things, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, David and his men went out and killed two hundred Philistines. He brought their foreskins and presented the full number to the king so that he might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

Q: Why did Saul tell David he wanted 100 foreskins? What is the point of the foreskins?

A: Thanks for your email. That is an interesting question. King Saul didn’t really want the foreskins. He was manipulating David to go fight the Philistines again in the hope that David would be killed in the battle. Saul was jealous of David and his popularity and was trying to find a way to get rid of him. He had already promised his daughter to David and instead of David paying a dowry (a gift for his daughter), he asked for 100 foreskins of his enemies the Philistines. The purpose for the foreskins is that this was the only proof that David could bring back that he had actually killed that many male enemy soldiers (The Israelites were already circumcised, the only place to get foreskins was from their male enemies). David brought back double the number and Saul’s plan obviously failed. Please let me know if I can help answer any more questions for you.

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