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2 Samuel 1Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag; it came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance. And David said unto him, From whence comest thou? And he said unto him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped. And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also. And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead? And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I. And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite. He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me. 10 So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord. 11 Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him: 12 and they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the Lord, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.

13 And David said unto the young man that told him, Whence art thou? And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite. 14 And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed? 15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died. 16 And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord’s anointed.

17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: 18 (also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)

19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places:
how are the mighty fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon;
lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew,
neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings:
for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away,
the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.
22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan turned not back,
and the sword of Saul returned not empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives,
and in their death they were not divided:
they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights,
who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.
25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle!
O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.
26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan:
very pleasant hast thou been unto me:
thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
27 How are the mighty fallen,
and the weapons of war perished!

Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

KJV reproduced by permission of Cambridge University Press, the Crown’s patentee in the UK.

2 Samuel 1New International Version (NIV)

David Hears of Saul’s Death

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

“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,” 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,’ I answered.

“Then he said to me, ‘Stand here by me and kill me! 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 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 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,” he answered.

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

15 Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died. 16 For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. 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 concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):

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

20 “Tell it not in Gath,
    proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,
    lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.

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

22 “From the blood of the slain,
    from the flesh of the mighty,
the bow 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,
    they were stronger than lions.

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

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

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

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
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

2 Samuel 1New Living Translation (NLT)

David Learns of Saul’s Death

After the death of Saul, David returned from his victory over the Amalekites and spent two days in Ziklag. On the third day a man arrived from Saul’s army camp. He had torn his clothes and put dirt on his head to show that he was in mourning. He fell to the ground before David in deep respect.

“Where have you come from?” David asked.

“I escaped from the Israelite camp,” the man replied.

“What happened?” David demanded. “Tell me how the battle went.”

The man replied, “Our entire army fled from the battle. Many of the men are dead, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.”

“How do you know Saul and Jonathan are dead?” David demanded of the young man.

The man answered, “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear with the enemy chariots and charioteers closing in on him. When he turned and saw me, he cried out for me to come to him. ‘How can I help?’ I asked him.

“He responded, ‘Who are you?’

“‘I am an Amalekite,’ I told him.

“Then he begged me, ‘Come over here and put me out of my misery, for I am in terrible pain and want to die.’

10 “So I killed him,” the Amalekite told David, “for I knew he couldn’t live. Then I took his crown and his armband, and I have brought them here to you, my lord.”

11 David and his men tore their clothes in sorrow when they heard the news. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted all day for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the Lord’s army and the nation of Israel, because they had died by the sword that day.

13 Then David said to the young man who had brought the news, “Where are you from?”

And he replied, “I am a foreigner, an Amalekite, who lives in your land.”

14 “Why were you not afraid to kill the Lord’s anointed one?” David asked.

15 Then David said to one of his men, “Kill him!” So the man thrust his sword into the Amalekite and killed him. 16 “You have condemned yourself,” David said, “for you yourself confessed that you killed the Lord’s anointed one.”

David’s Song for Saul and Jonathan

17 Then David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan, 18 and he commanded that it be taught to the people of Judah. It is known as the Song of the Bow, and it is recorded in The Book of Jashar.[a]

19 Your pride and joy, O Israel, lies dead on the hills!
    Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen!
20 Don’t announce the news in Gath,
    don’t proclaim it in the streets of Ashkelon,
or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice
    and the pagans will laugh in triumph.

21 O mountains of Gilboa,
    let there be no dew or rain upon you,
    nor fruitful fields producing offerings of grain.[b]
For there the shield of the mighty heroes was defiled;
    the shield of Saul will no longer be anointed with oil.
22 The bow of Jonathan was powerful,
    and the sword of Saul did its mighty work.
They shed the blood of their enemies
    and pierced the bodies of mighty heroes.

23 How beloved and gracious were Saul and Jonathan!
    They were together in life and in death.
They were swifter than eagles,
    stronger than lions.
24 O women of Israel, weep for Saul,
for he dressed you in luxurious scarlet clothing,
    in garments decorated with gold.

25 Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen in battle!
    Jonathan lies dead on the hills.
26 How I weep for you, my brother Jonathan!
    Oh, how much I loved you!
And your love for me was deep,
    deeper than the love of women!

27 Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen!
    Stripped of their weapons, they lie dead.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:18 Or The Book of the Upright.
  2. 1:21 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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