The Tragic End of Saul and His Sons(A)

31 Now (B)the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount (C)Gilboa. Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons. And the Philistines killed (D)Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. (E)The battle became fierce against Saul. The archers [a]hit him, and he was severely wounded by the archers.

(F)Then Saul said to his armorbearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest (G)these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and [b]abuse me.”

But his armorbearer would not, (H)for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and (I)fell on it. And when his armorbearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword, and died with him. So Saul, his three sons, his armorbearer, and all his men died together that same day.

And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were on the other side of the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. So it happened the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. And they cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and sent word throughout the land of the Philistines, to (J)proclaim it in the temple of their idols and among the people. 10 (K)Then they put his armor in the temple of the (L)Ashtoreths, and (M)they fastened his body to the wall of (N)Beth[c] Shan.

11 (O)Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 (P)all the valiant men arose and traveled 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 (Q)burned them there. 13 Then they took their bones and (R)buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, (S)and fasted seven days.


  1. 1 Samuel 31:3 Lit. found him
  2. 1 Samuel 31:4 torture
  3. 1 Samuel 31:10 Beth Shean, Josh. 17:11

Bible Gateway Recommends