2 Samuel 1
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Report of Saul’s Death. 1 After the death of Saul, David returned from his victory over the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag two days.(A) 2 On the third day a man came from the field of battle, one of Saul’s people, with his garments torn and his head covered with dirt. Going to David, he fell to the ground in homage. 3 David asked him, “Where have you come from?” He replied, “From the Israelite camp: I have escaped.” 4 “What happened?” David said. “Tell me.” He answered that the soldiers had fled the battle and many of them had fallen and were dead; and that Saul and his son Jonathan were dead. 5 Then David said to the youth who was reporting to him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” 6 (B)The youth reporting to him replied: “I happened to find myself on Mount Gilboa and saw Saul leaning on his spear, with chariots and horsemen closing in on him. 7 He turned around and saw me, and called me to him. When I said, ‘Here I am,’ 8 he asked me, ‘Who are you?’ and I replied, ‘An Amalekite.’ 9 Then he said to me, ‘Stand over me, please, and put me to death, for I am in great suffering, but still alive.’ 10 So I stood over him and put him to death, for I knew that he could not survive his wound. I removed the crown from his head and the armlet from his arm and brought them here to my lord.”
11 David seized his garments and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him.(C) 12 They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the people of the Lord and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.(D) 13 David said to the youth who had reported to him, “Where are you from?” He replied, “I am the son of a resident alien, an Amalekite.” 14 David said to him, “How is it that you were not afraid to put forth your hand to desecrate the Lord’s anointed?”(E) 15 David then called one of the attendants and said to him, “Come, strike him down”; so he struck him and he died. 16 David said to him, “Your blood is on your head, for you testified against yourself when you said, ‘I put the Lord’s anointed to death.’”
Lament for Saul and Jonathan. 17 Then David chanted this lament for Saul and his son Jonathan 18 (he commanded that it be taught to the Judahites; it is recorded in the Book of Jashar):(F)
19 Alas! the glory of Israel,
slain upon your heights!
How can the warriors have fallen!
20 Do not report it in Gath,
as good news in Ashkelon’s streets,
Lest Philistine women rejoice,
lest the women of the uncircumcised exult!(G)
21 O mountains of Gilboa,
upon you be neither dew nor rain,
nor surging from the deeps![a]
Defiled there the warriors’ shields,
the shield of Saul—no longer anointed with oil!(H)
22 From the blood of the slain,
from the bodies of the warriors,
The bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
nor the sword of Saul return unstained.[b](I)
23 Saul and Jonathan, beloved and dear,
separated neither in life nor death,
swifter than eagles, stronger than lions!
24 Women of Israel, weep over Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and in finery,
covered your clothing with ornaments of gold.
25 How can the warriors have fallen
in the thick of battle!
Jonathan—slain upon your heights!
26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother!
Most dear have you been to me;
More wondrous your love to me
than the love of women.(J)
27 How can the warriors have fallen,
the weapons of war have perished!
- 1:21 Surging from the deeps: this conjectural reading of the Hebrew yields a parallelism with dew and rain: the mountains where the warriors have fallen in battle are to be desiccated, deprived of water from above (rain, dew) and below (the primordial deeps).
- 1:22 Unstained: lit., “empty.” The sword was conceived as a devouring mouth; see, e.g., 2:26.