The Death of King Saul
1Now the Philistines attacked Israel, and the men of Israel fled before them. Many were slaughtered on the slopes of Mount Gilboa. 2The Philistines closed in on Saul and his sons, and they killed three of his sons—Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malkishua. 3The fighting grew very fierce around Saul, and the Philistine archers caught up with him and wounded him.
4Saul groaned to his armor bearer, “Take your sword and kill me before these pagan Philistines come to taunt and torture me.”
But his armor bearer was afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it. 5When his armor bearer realized that Saul was dead, he fell on his own sword and died. 6So Saul and his three sons died there together, bringing his dynasty to an end.
7When all the Israelites in the Jezreel Valley saw that their army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their towns and fled. So the Philistines moved in and occupied their towns.
8The next day, when the Philistines went out to strip the dead, they found the bodies of Saul and his sons on Mount Gilboa. 9So they stripped off Saul’s armor and cut off his head. Then they proclaimed the good news of Saul’s death before their idols and to the people throughout the land of Philistia. 10They placed his armor in the temple of their gods, and they fastened his head to the temple of Dagon.
11But when everyone in Jabesh-gilead heard about everything the Philistines had done to Saul, 12all their mighty warriors brought the bodies of Saul and his sons back to Jabesh. Then they buried their bones beneath the great tree at Jabesh, and they fasted for seven days.
13So Saul died because he was unfaithful to the lord. He failed to obey the lord’s command, and he even consulted a medium 14instead of asking the lord for guidance. So the lord killed him and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.