David’s Lament for Saul and Jonathan

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

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

20 “Tell it not in Gath,(F)
    proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,(G)
lest the daughters of the Philistines(H) be glad,
    lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.(I)

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

22 “From the blood(O) of the slain,
    from the flesh of the mighty,
the bow(P) 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,(Q)
    they were stronger than lions.(R)

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

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

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

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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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