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The Death of Saul(A)

After the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, David had remained two days in Ziklag. On the third day, a man came from the camp of Saul with his clothes torn and dirt upon his head. As he approached David, he fell to the ground prostrate.

David asked him, “Where have you come from?”

He responded, “I fled from the camp of Israel.”

David said to him, “Tell me, what is the report?”

So he reported, “The people fled from battle. Many of the people have fallen and died; even Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”

Then David asked the young man who was reporting to him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?”

The young man who was reporting to him answered, “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa when, in front of me, Saul was leaning on his spear with the chariots and horsemen drawing close. When he turned around, he noticed me. He summoned me, and I responded, ‘Here I am.’

“He asked me, ‘Who are you?’

“I answered, ‘I am an Amalekite.’

“Then he said to me, ‘Stand over me and kill me, for I have been mortally wounded, yet I am still alive.’

10 “So I stood beside him and killed him because I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. Then I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”

11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, as did all of the men who were with him. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul, Jonathan his son, the people of the Lord, and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

13 Then David asked the young man who was reporting to him, “Where are you from?”

He responded, “I am the son of one who sought refuge, an Amalekite.”

14 David said to him, “How is it that you did not fear raising your hand to destroy the anointed of the Lord?”

15 Then David called to one of the young men and said, “Step forward and execute him.” So he struck him and killed him. 16 But David said to him, “Your blood is upon your own head, since your mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I put an end to the anointed of the Lord.’ ”

The Lament of David

17 Then David recited this lament over Saul and Jonathan his son, 18 and he told them to teach the sons of Judah the Song of the Bow. It is written in the book of Jashar:

19 Your splendor, O Israel, has been slain upon your hills.
    How the mighty ones have fallen.

20 Do not report it in Gath,
    do not announce it in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
    or the daughters of the uncircumcised exult.

21 O mountains of Gilboa,
    may there be no rain or dew upon you
    or your bountiful fields;
for there the shield of the mighty was defiled!
    The shield of Saul is no longer anointed with oil.

22 From the blood of the slain,
    from the fat of mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
    nor did the sword of Saul return empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan,
    beloved and delightful,
    neither in life nor death will they be separated.
They were swifter than eagles,
    they were stronger than lions.

24 O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and jewels,
    who adorned your garments with gold jewelry.

25 How the mighty ones have fallen in the midst of battle!
    Jonathan was slain on your high places.
26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
    you were very dear to me;
your love was more remarkable than the love of women.

27 How the mighty have fallen,
    and the weapons of war have perished.