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The Death of Saul(A)

31 When the Philistines were fighting against Israel, the men of Israel fled from the Philistines and were killed in battle on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines caught up to Saul and his sons. They killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. The heaviest fighting was against Saul. When the archers got him in their range, he was badly wounded by them.

Saul told his armorbearer, “Draw your sword! Stab me, or these godless men will come, stab me, and make fun of me.” But his armorbearer refused because he was terrified. So Saul took the sword and fell on it. When the 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 day.

When the people of Israel on the other side of the valley and across the Jordan River saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities. So the Philistines came to live in these cities.

The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons lying on Mount Gilboa. They cut off his head and stripped off his armor. Then they sent men throughout Philistine territory to tell the people this good news in their idols’ temples. 10 They put his armor in the temple of their goddesses—the Asherahs—and fastened his corpse to the wall of Beth Shan.

11 When the people living in Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the fighting men marched all night and took the dead bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan. They came back to Jabesh and burned the bodies there. 13 They took the bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh. Then they fasted seven days.

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