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Saul and Jonathan Die on Mount Gilboa

31 Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and they fell slain on Mount Gilboa. And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malki-Shua, the sons of Saul. Saul was in the thick of the battle,[a] and the archers[b] spotted[c] him, and he was badly wounded by the archers. Then Saul said to his armor bearer,[d] “Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, so that these uncircumcised do not come and thrust me through and make a fool of me!” But his armor bearer[e] was not willing to do so because he was very afraid. So Saul took the sword and fell on it. And when his armor bearer[f] saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died with him. So Saul died, and his three sons, his armor bearer,[g] and all his men together that same day.

And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley and those who were beyond the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the towns and fled. Thus the Philistines came and lived in them.

And then[h] the next day, the Philistines came to strip the dead and they found Saul and his three sons lying dead on Mount Gilboa. So they cut off his head and stripped off his armor. Then they sent messengers around in the land of the Philistines to proclaim victory in the temples[i] of their idols and to the people. 10 And they put his armor in the temple[j] of the Ashtoreth,[k] and they fastened his corpse to the wall of Beth Shan. 11 When the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard about it, what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all of the valiant men[l] set out and went all night and took the corpse of Saul and the corpses of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan, and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk in Jabesh, and they fasted for seven days.


  1. 1 Samuel 31:3 Literally “The battle weighed heavily on Saul”
  2. 1 Samuel 31:3 Literally “the shooters, the men with the bow”
  3. 1 Samuel 31:3 Hebrew “found”
  4. 1 Samuel 31:4 Literally “the carrier of his weapons”
  5. 1 Samuel 31:4 Literally “the carrier of his weapons”
  6. 1 Samuel 31:5 Literally “the carrier of his weapons”
  7. 1 Samuel 31:6 Literally “the carrier of his weapons”
  8. 1 Samuel 31:8 Literally, “And it happened”
  9. 1 Samuel 31:9 Or “houses”
  10. 1 Samuel 31:10 Or “house”
  11. 1 Samuel 31:10 Hebrew plural “Ashtaroth” (Ashtoreth was the female consort of Ba’al)
  12. 1 Samuel 31:12 Literally “the men of ability”