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The Death of Saul and His Sons

31 (A)Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell slain (B)on Mount Gilboa. And the Philistines closely pursued Saul and his sons; and the Philistines struck down (C)Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. (D)And the battle became heavy against Saul, and the archers [a]hit him; and he was badly wounded by the archers. (E)Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and pierce me through with it, lest (F)these uncircumcised come and pierce me through and abuse me.” But his armor bearer was not willing, for he was greatly afraid. (G)So Saul took his sword and fell on it. Then his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, so he also fell on his sword and died with him. Thus Saul died with his three sons, his armor bearer, and all his men on that day together.

Then the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, with those who were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead. So they forsook the cities and fled; and the Philistines came and lived in them.

Now it happened on the [b]next day, that the Philistines came to strip the slain, and they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. Then they cut off his head and stripped off his weapons and sent them all around the land of the Philistines, (H)to proclaim the good news (I)to the house of their idols and to the people. 10 And they placed his weapons in the [c]house of (J)Ashtaroth and (K)fastened his body to the wall of (L)Beth-shan. 11 Then (M)the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard [d]what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 (N)so all the valiant men arose and walked all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and (O)burned them there. 13 And they took their bones and (P)buried them under (Q)the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and (R)fasted seven days.


  1. 1 Samuel 31:3 Lit found
  2. 1 Samuel 31:8 Lit morrow
  3. 1 Samuel 31:10 Or temple
  4. 1 Samuel 31:11 Lit about him what