David Learns of Saul's Death
1After Saul's death David came back from his victory over the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag for two days. 2The next day a young man arrived from Saul's camp. To show his grief, he had torn his clothes and put earth on his head. He went to David and bowed to the ground in respect. 3David asked him, “Where have you come from?”
“I have escaped from the Israelite camp,” he answered.
4“Tell me what happened,” David said.
“Our army ran away from the battle,” he replied, “and many of our men were killed. Saul and his son Jonathan were also killed.”
5“How do you know that Saul and Jonathan are dead?” David asked him.
6 # 1 Sam 31.1–61 Chr 10.1–6 He answered, “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and I saw that Saul was leaning on his spear and that the chariots and horsemen of the enemy were closing in on him. 7Then he turned round, saw me, and called to me. I answered, ‘Yes, sir!’ 8He asked who I was, and I told him that I was an Amalekite. 9Then he said, ‘Come here and kill me! I have been badly wounded, and I'm about to die.’ 10So I went up to him and killed him, because I knew that he would die anyway as soon as he fell. Then I took the crown from his head and the bracelet from his arm, and I have brought them to you, sir.”
11David tore his clothes in sorrow, and all his men did the same. 12They grieved and mourned and fasted until evening for Saul and Jonathan and for Israel, the people of the Lord, because so many had been killed in battle.
13David asked the young man who had brought him the news, “Where are you from?”
He answered, “I'm an Amalekite, but I live in your country.”
14David asked him, “How is it that you dared to kill the Lord's chosen king?” 15Then David called one of his men and said, “Kill him!” The man struck the Amalekite and mortally wounded him, 16and David said to the Amalekite, “You brought this on yourself. You condemned yourself when you admitted that you killed the one whom the Lord chose to be king.”
David's Lament for Saul and Jonathan
17David sang this lament for Saul and his son Jonathan, 18#Josh 10.13and ordered it#1.18 One ancient translation it; Hebrew the bow. to be taught to the people of Judah. (It is recorded in The Book of Jashar.)
19“On the hills of Israel our leaders are dead!
The bravest of our soldiers have fallen!
20Do not announce it in Gath
or in the streets of Ashkelon.
Do not make the women of Philistia glad;
do not let the daughters of pagans rejoice.
21“May no rain or dew fall on Gilboa's hills;
may its fields be always barren!
For the shields of the brave lie there in disgrace;
the shield of Saul is no longer polished with oil.
22Jonathan's bow was deadly,
the sword of Saul was merciless,
striking down the mighty, killing the enemy.
23“Saul and Jonathan, so wonderful and dear;
together in life, together in death;
swifter than eagles, stronger than lions.
24“Women of Israel, mourn for Saul!
He clothed you in rich scarlet dresses
and adorned you with jewels and gold.
25“The brave soldiers have fallen,
they were killed in battle.
Jonathan lies dead in the hills.
26“I grieve for you, my brother Jonathan;
how dear you were to me!
How wonderful was your love for me,
better even than the love of women.
27“The brave soldiers have fallen,
their weapons abandoned and useless.”