David Learns of Saul’s Death
1Now it happened after the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, that he stayed two days in Ziklag. 2On the third day a man came [unexpectedly] from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head [as in mourning]. When he came to David, he bowed to the ground and lay himself face down [in an act of great respect and submission]. 3Then David asked him, “Where do you come from?” He said, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” 4David said to him, “How did it go? Please tell me.” He answered, “The people have fled from the battle. Also, many of the people have fallen and are dead; Saul and Jonathan his son are also dead.” 5So David said to the young man who informed him, “How do you know Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” 6And the young man who told him explained, “By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear, and the chariots and horsemen [of the Philistines] were close behind him. 7When he turned to look behind him, he saw me, and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 8He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ 9He said to me, ‘Stand up facing me and kill me, for [terrible] agony has come over me, yet I still live [and I will be taken alive].’ 10So I stood facing him #The young Amalekite’s story conflicts with the description of Saul’s suicide as recounted in 1 Sam 31:3-6. He must have, at the very least, witnessed Saul’s death since he was able to obtain the crown and the arm band. He apparently expected that his story about administering the deathblow, whether true or not, would result in some sort of reward or honor.and killed him, because I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. Then I took the crown which was on his head and the #This band or armlet was not jewelry, but a piece of armor worn around the arm.band which was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”
11Then David grasped his own clothes and tore them [in mourning]; so did all the men who were with him. 12They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and Jonathan his son, and for the Lord’s people and the house of #In general, sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites refers to all the people (males and females) of the various tribes descended from the twelve sons (Gen 35:23-26) of Jacob (later renamed Israel by God). In verses concerning things such as warfare or circumcision sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites usually refers only to the males. Tribes of ancient people were identified by the name of their founding ancestor. Therefore, this same general rule applies when referring to individual tribal groups, e.g. sons of Reuben, Reuben, Reubenites and so throughout.Israel, because they had fallen by the sword [in battle]. 13David said to the young man who informed him, “Where are you from?” He answered, “I am the son of a foreigner (resident alien, sojourner), an Amalekite.” 14David said to him, “How is it that you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” 15David called one of the young men and said, “Go, execute him.” So he struck the Amalekite and he died. 16David said to the [fallen] man, “#I.e. your death is your own fault.Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.’ ”
David’s Dirge for Saul and Jonathan
17Then David sang this dirge (funeral song) over Saul and his son Jonathan, 18and he told them to teach the sons of Judah, the song of the bow. Behold, it is written in #An early poetic account of the wars of Israel and the heroic acts of the warriors.the Book of Jashar:
19“Your glory and splendor, O Israel, is slain upon your high places!
How the mighty have fallen!
20Tell it not in Gath,
Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
Or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice,
The daughters of the uncircumcised (pagans) will exult.
21 # As an expression of his grief David curses the place of Saul’s death. O mountains of Gilboa,
Let not dew or rain be upon you, nor fields with offerings;
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
The shield of Saul, [dry, cracked] not #It was necessary to lubricate leather shields with oil to preserve them.anointed with oil.
22From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty,
The bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
And the sword of Saul did not return empty.
23Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely and friends in their lives,
And in their death they were not separated;
They were swifter than eagles,
They were stronger than lions.
24O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
Who clothed you #Lit with jewelry.luxuriously in scarlet,
Who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.
25How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle!
Jonathan lies slain upon your high places.
26I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
You have been a good friend to me.
Your #Jonathan graciously accepted God’s choice of David as the next ruler of Israel, and supported him, honored him, and wanted the very best for him.love toward me was more wonderful
Than the love of women.
27How the mighty have fallen,
And the weapons of war have perished!”