2 Samuel 1 The Message (MSG)
1 1-2 Shortly after Saul died, David returned to Ziklag from his rout of the Amalekites. Three days later a man showed up unannounced from Saul’s army camp.
2-3 Disheveled and obviously in mourning, he fell to his knees in respect before David. David asked, “What brings you here?”
He answered, “I’ve just escaped from the camp of Israel.”
4 “So what happened?” said David. “What’s the news?”
He said, “The Israelites have fled the battlefield, leaving a lot of their dead comrades behind. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”
5 David pressed the young soldier for details: “How do you know for sure that Saul and Jonathan are dead?”
6-8 “I just happened by Mount Gilboa and came on Saul, badly wounded and leaning on his spear, with enemy chariots and horsemen bearing down hard on him. He looked behind him, saw me, and called me to him. ‘Yes sir,’ I said, ‘at your service.’ He asked me who I was, and I told him, ‘I’m an Amalekite.’”
9 “Come here,” he said, “and put me out of my misery. I’m nearly dead already, but my life hangs on.”
10 “So I did what he asked—I killed him. I knew he wouldn’t last much longer anyway. I removed his royal headband and bracelet, and have brought them to my master. Here they are.”
11-12 In lament, David ripped his clothes to ribbons. All the men with him did the same. They wept and fasted the rest of the day, grieving the death of Saul and his son Jonathan, and also the army of God and the nation Israel, victims in a failed battle.
13 Then David spoke to the young soldier who had brought the report: “Who are you, anyway?”
“I’m from an immigrant family—an Amalekite.”
14-15 “Do you mean to say,” said David, “that you weren’t afraid to up and kill God’s anointed king?” Right then he ordered one of his soldiers, “Strike him dead!” The soldier struck him, and he died.
16 “You asked for it,” David told him. “You sealed your death sentence when you said you killed God’s anointed king.”
17-18 Then David sang this lament over Saul and his son Jonathan, and gave orders that everyone in Judah learn it by heart. Yes, it’s even inscribed in The Book of Jashar.
19-21 Oh, oh, Gazelles of Israel, struck down on your hills,
22 Jonathan’s bow was bold—
23 Saul and Jonathan—beloved, beautiful!
24-25 Women of Israel, weep for Saul.
26 O my dear brother Jonathan,
27 The mighty warriors—fallen, fallen.