Saul’s Death Reported to David
(1 Samuel 31:1–6; 1 Chronicles 10:1–6)
1 After the death of Saul, David returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag two days. 2 On the third day a man with torn clothes and dust on his head arrived from Saul’s camp. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him homage.
3 “Where have you come from?” David asked.
“I have escaped from the Israelite camp,” he replied.
4 “What was the outcome?” David asked. “Please tell me.”
“The troops fled from the battle,” he replied. “Many of them fell and died. And Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.”
5 Then David asked the young man who had brought him the report, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?”
6 “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,” he replied, “and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and the cavalry closing in on him. 7 When he turned around and saw me, he called out and I answered, ‘Here I am!’
8 ‘Who are you?’ he asked.
So I told him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’
9 Then he begged me, ‘Stand over me and kill me, for agony has seized me, but my life still lingers.’
10 So I stood over 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 that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”
11 Then David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and all the men who were with him did the same. 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.
13 And David inquired of the young man who had brought him the report, “Where are you from?”
“I am the son of a foreigner,” he answered. “I am an Amalekite.”
14 So David asked him, “Why were you not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?” 15 Then David summoned one of the young men and said, “Go, execute him!” So the young man struck him down, and he died. 16 For David had said to the Amalekite, “Your blood be on your own head because your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I killed the LORD’s anointed.’ ”
David’s Song for Saul and Jonathan
19 “Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights.
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 rejoice,
and the daughters of the uncircumcised exult.
21 O mountains of Gilboa,
may you have no dew or rain,
no fields yielding offerings of grain. c
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
the shield of Saul, no longer anointed with oil.
22 From the blood of the slain,
from the fat of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not retreat,
and the sword of Saul did not return empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan, beloved and delightful in life,
were not divided in death.
They were swifter than eagles,
they were stronger than lions.
24 O daughters of Israel,
weep for Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and luxury,
who decked your garments with ornaments of gold.
25 How the mighty have fallen in the thick of battle!
Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
26 I grieve for you, Jonathan, my brother.
You were delightful to me;
your love to me was extraordinary,
surpassing the love of women.
27 How the mighty have fallen
and the weapons of war have perished!”
18 a Or be taught the use of the bow ; literally be taught the bow
18 b Or the Book of the Upright One , commonly cited as Jasher ; note that the Song of the Bow that follows is not found in known manuscripts attributed to Jasher.
21 c Or no showers falling on your terraced fields ; LXX no fields of firstfruits ; Hebrew no fields of offerings