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David Hears of Saul's Death

1After the death of Saul, when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. 2And on the third day, behold, a man came from Saul's camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and paid homage. 3David said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” 4And David said to him, “How did it go? Tell me.” And he answered, “The people fled from the battle, and also many of the people have fallen and are dead, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.” 5Then David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” 6And the young man who told him said, “By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear, and behold, the chariots and the horsemen were close upon him. 7And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 8And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ 9And he said to me ‘Stand beside me and kill me, for anguish has seized me, and yet my life still lingers.’ 10So I stood beside him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”

11Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. 12And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 13And David said to the young man who told him, “Where do you come from?” And he answered, “I am the son of a sojourner, an Amalekite.” 14David said to him, “How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?” 15Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go, execute him.” And he struck him down so that he died. 16And David said to him, “Your blood be on your head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord's anointed.’”

David's Lament for Saul and Jonathan

17And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and Jonathan his son, 18and he said it11Septuagint; Hebrew the Bow, which may be the name of the lament's tune should be taught to the people of Judah; behold, it is written in the Book of Jashar.22Or of the upright He said:

19“Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places!
How the mighty have fallen!
20Tell it not in Gath,
publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult.

21“You mountains of Gilboa,
let there be no dew or rain upon you,
nor fields of offerings!33Septuagint firstfruits
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
the shield of Saul, not 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, beloved and lovely!
In life and in death they were not divided;
they were swifter than eagles;
they were stronger than lions.

24“You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet,
who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.

25“How the mighty have fallen
in the midst of the battle!

“Jonathan lies slain on your high places.
26I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
very pleasant have you been to me;
your love to me was extraordinary,
surpassing the love of women.

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


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Verses 1–10

The blow which opened David's way to the throne was given about the time he had been sorely distressed. Those who commit their concerns to the Lord, will quietly abide his will. It shows that he desired not Saul's death, and he was not impatient to come to the throne.

Verses 11–16

David was sincere in his mourning for Saul; and all with him humbled themselves under the hand of God, laid so heavily upon Israel by this defeat. The man who brought the tidings, David put to death, as a murderer of his prince. David herein did not do unjustly; the Amalekite confessed the crime. If he did as he said, he deserved to die for treason; and his lying to David, if indeed it were a lie, proved, as sooner or later that sin will prove, lying against himself. Hereby David showed himself zealous for public justice, without regard to his own private interest.

Verses 11–16

David was sincere in his mourning for Saul; and all with him humbled themselves under the hand of God, laid so heavily upon Israel by this defeat. The man who brought the tidings, David put to death, as a murderer of his prince. David herein did not do unjustly; the Amalekite confessed the crime. If he did as he said, he deserved to die for treason; and his lying to David, if indeed it were a lie, proved, as sooner or later that sin will prove, lying against himself. Hereby David showed himself zealous for public justice, without regard to his own private interest.

Verses 17–27

Kasheth, or “the bow,” probably was the title of this mournful, funeral song. David does not commend Saul for what he was not; and says nothing of his piety or goodness. Jonathan was a dutiful son, Saul an affectionate father, therefore dear to each other. David had reason to say, that Jonathan's love to him was wonderful. Next to the love between Christ and his people, that affection which springs form it, produces the strongest friendship. The trouble of the Lord's people, and triumphs of his enemies, will always grieve true believers, whatever advantages they may obtain by them.




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