1 How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in peace! 2 It is like the finest oils poured on the head, sweet-smelling oils flowing down to cover the beard, Flowing down the beard of Aaron, flowing down the collar of his robe. 3 It is like the gentle rain of Mount Hermon that falls on the hills of Zion. Yes, from this place, the Eternal spoke the command, from there He gave His blessing—life forever.
Soldier: The Israelites ran from the battle, and many of them were killed. King Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.
David:5 How do you know they are dead?
Soldier:6 Because I happened to be on Mount Gilboa during the attack, and I saw Saul leaning against his spear as the chariots and cavalry approached. 7 He looked around and saw me, and he called to me. I told him, “I am here, my lord.” 8 He asked who I was, and I told him I am an Amalekite. 9 Then he said, “Come here. Stand over me, and kill me because I am suffering but am still alive.” 10 So I did what he asked, because I knew he would not live after he had fallen. I took the crown from his head and his gold armlet and brought them here to you, my lord whom I recognize as the next king.
11 When David heard these words, he tore his clothing in grief; and all the men with him did the same. 12 They mourned and wept, and they fasted until evening in honor of Saul and Jonathan and the army of the Eternal One of Israel, because they were cut down by the sword of the enemy.
David(to the soldier):13 Where is your home?
Soldier: I am the son of an alien living in Israel, an Amalekite. Therefore I am bound by some of the Israelite law.
David:14 Weren’t you afraid to strike down the Eternal One’s anointed king knowing the law would require your death?
15 So David called for one of his soldiers to come forward and kill the Amalekite soldier, which he did.
David:16 You have only yourself to blame. Your own words convicted you when you said you had killed the Eternal’s anointed king.
17 Then David mourned the death of Saul and his son Jonathan with this song of grief, 18 the Song of the Bow, which he ordered taught to the people of Judah and recorded in the book of the Upright.[a]
Although Saul sought David’s death on many occasions, and although David cannot act as king until Saul dies, David executes the Amalekite mercenary who has the insolence to strike down God’s rightly-anointed king for his disrespect to the position. Demonstrating his respect for Saul, David then composes one of the most beautiful expressions of grief in the Bible, a song of loss and sadness to relay the nation’s sense of sorrow, and his own.
19 David: The beauty of Israel lies dead upon your high places. O how the mighty have fallen! 20 Don’t speak of this in the city of Gath; don’t proclaim it in the streets of Ashkelon, Or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice. The daughters of the foreigners[b] will sing for joy. 21 Mountains of Gilboa, let no rain or dew water you; may your mountain fields offer only dust. The shield of the mighty was defiled with your enemy’s blood; even the shield of Saul is no longer anointed with oil by the Eternal. 22 With the blood of the slain and with the fat of the strong, Jonathan’s bow never lost aim; Saul’s sword never came back empty. 23 Saul and Jonathan were beloved and delightful, always together in life and now in death. They were faster than eagles; they were mightier than lions. 24 O daughters of Israel, cry out for Saul, who clothed you in luxurious crimson, who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold. 25 O how the mighty have fallen in the height of the battle! Jonathan lies dead upon your high places. 26 I agonize over you, my brother Jonathan. I have delighted in you; and your love for me was wonderful, beyond even the love of women. 27 O how the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war lie broken!
27 During that year, some prophets came north from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 A prophet named Agabus stood in a meeting and made a prediction by the Holy Spirit: there would be an expansive, terrible famine in the whole region during the reign of Claudius. 29 In anticipation of the famine, the disciples determined to give an amount proportionate to their financial ability and create a relief fund for all the believers in Judea. 30 They sent Barnabas and Saul to carry this fund to the elders in Jerusalem.
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