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The Report of Saul’s Death

Now it came to pass after the (A)death of Saul, when David had returned from (B)the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had stayed two days in Ziklag, on the third day, behold, it happened that (C)a man came from Saul’s camp (D)with his clothes [a]torn and dust on his head. So it was, when he came to David, that he (E)fell to the ground and prostrated himself.

And David said to him, “Where have you come from?”

So he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.”

Then David said to him, (F)“How did the matter go? Please tell me.”

And he answered, “The people have fled from the battle, many of the people are fallen and dead, and Saul and (G)Jonathan his son are dead also.”

So David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?”

Then the young man who told him said, “As I happened by chance to be on (H)Mount Gilboa, there was (I)Saul, leaning on his spear; and indeed the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. Now when he looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ So I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ He said to me again, ‘Please stand over me and kill me, for [b]anguish has come upon me, but my life still remains in me.’ 10 So I stood over him and (J)killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord.”

11 Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and (K)tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. 12 And they (L)mourned and wept and (M)fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the (N)people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

13 Then David said to the young man who told him, “Where are you from?”

And he answered, “I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite.”

14 So David said to him, “How (O)was it you were not (P)afraid to (Q)put forth your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” 15 Then (R)David called one of the young men and said, “Go near, and execute him!” And he struck him so that he died. 16 So David said to him, (S)“Your blood is on your own head, for (T)your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.’ ”

The Song of the Bow

17 Then David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son, 18 (U)and he told them to teach the children of Judah the Song of the Bow; indeed it is written (V)in the Book [c]of Jasher:

19 “The beauty of Israel is slain on your high places!
(W)How the mighty have fallen!
20 (X)Tell it not in Gath,
Proclaim it not in the streets of (Y)Ashkelon—
Lest (Z)the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
Lest the daughters of (AA)the uncircumcised triumph.

21 “O (AB)mountains of Gilboa,
(AC)Let there be no dew nor rain upon you,
Nor fields of offerings.
For the shield of the mighty is [d]cast away there!
The shield of Saul, not (AD)anointed with oil.
22 From the blood of the slain,
From the fat of the mighty,
(AE)The bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
And the sword of Saul did not return empty.

23 “Saul and Jonathan were beloved and pleasant in their lives,
And in their (AF)death they were not divided;
They were swifter than eagles,
They were (AG)stronger than lions.

24 “O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
Who clothed you in scarlet, with luxury;
Who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.

25 “How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle!
Jonathan was slain in your high places.
26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
You have been very pleasant to me;
(AH)Your love to me was wonderful,
Surpassing the love of women.

27 “How(AI) the mighty have fallen,
And the weapons of war perished!”

Footnotes

  1. 2 Samuel 1:2 To show grief
  2. 2 Samuel 1:9 agony
  3. 2 Samuel 1:18 Lit. of the Upright
  4. 2 Samuel 1:21 Lit. defiled

David Hears of Saul’s Death(A)

After the death(B) of Saul, David returned from striking down(C) the Amalekites(D) and stayed in Ziklag two days. On the third day a man(E) arrived from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head.(F) When he came to David, he fell(G) to the ground to pay him honor.(H)

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

He answered, “I have escaped from the Israelite camp.”

“What happened?” David asked. “Tell me.”

“The men fled from the battle,” he replied. “Many of them fell and died. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”

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

“I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,(I)” the young man said, “and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and their drivers in hot pursuit. When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and I said, ‘What can I do?’

“He asked me, ‘Who are you?’

“‘An Amalekite,(J)’ I answered.

“Then he said to me, ‘Stand here by me and kill me!(K) I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’

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

11 Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore(M) them. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

13 David said to the young man who brought him the report, “Where are you from?”

“I am the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite,(N)” he answered.

14 David asked him, “Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?(O)

15 Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!”(P) So he struck him down, and he died.(Q) 16 For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head.(R) Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed.’”

David’s Lament for Saul and Jonathan

17 David took up this lament(S) concerning Saul and his son Jonathan,(T) 18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):(U)

19 “A gazelle[a] lies slain on your heights, Israel.
    How the mighty(V) have fallen!(W)

20 “Tell it not in Gath,(X)
    proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,(Y)
lest the daughters of the Philistines(Z) be glad,
    lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.(AA)

21 “Mountains of Gilboa,(AB)
    may you have neither dew(AC) nor rain,(AD)
    may no showers fall on your terraced fields.[b](AE)
For there the shield of the mighty was despised,
    the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.(AF)

22 “From the blood(AG) of the slain,
    from the flesh of the mighty,
the bow(AH) of Jonathan did not turn back,
    the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
23 Saul and Jonathan—
    in life they were loved and admired,
    and in death they were not parted.
They were swifter than eagles,(AI)
    they were stronger than lions.(AJ)

24 “Daughters of Israel,
    weep for Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and finery,
    who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.(AK)

25 “How the mighty have fallen in battle!
    Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
26 I grieve(AL) for you, Jonathan(AM) my brother;(AN)
    you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,(AO)
    more wonderful than that of women.

27 “How the mighty have fallen!
    The weapons of war have perished!”(AP)

Footnotes

  1. 2 Samuel 1:19 Gazelle here symbolizes a human dignitary.
  2. 2 Samuel 1:21 Or / nor fields that yield grain for offerings

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