Responses to Saul’s Death
He replied to him, “I’ve escaped from the Israelite camp.”
4 “What was the outcome? Tell me,” David asked him.
“The troops fled from the battle,” he answered. “Many of the troops have fallen and are dead. Also, Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”
5 David asked the young man who had brought him the report, “How do you know 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. At that very moment the chariots and the cavalry were closing in on him. 7 When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, so I answered: I’m at your service. 8 He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ I told him: I’m an Amalekite. 9 Then he begged me, ‘Stand over me and kill me, for I’m mortally wounded,[a] but my life still lingers.’ 10 So I stood over him and killed him because I knew that after he had fallen he couldn’t survive. I took the crown that was on his head and the armband that was on his arm, and I’ve brought them here to my lord.”
11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and all the men with him did the same. 12 They mourned, wept, and fasted until the evening for those who died by the sword—for Saul, his son Jonathan, the Lord’s people, and the house of Israel.
13 David inquired of the young man who had brought him the report, “Where are you from?”
“I’m the son of a foreigner,” he said. “I’m an Amalekite.”
14 David questioned him, “How is it that you were not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” 15 Then David summoned one of his servants and said, “Come here and kill him!” The servant struck him, and he died. 16 For David had said to the Amalekite, “Your blood is on your own head because your own mouth testified against you by saying, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed.’”
17 David sang the following lament for Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he ordered that the Judahites be taught The Song of the Bow. It is written in the Book of Jashar:[b]
How the mighty have fallen!
20 Do not tell it in Gath,
don’t announce it in the marketplaces of Ashkelon,
or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice,
and the daughters of the uncircumcised will gloat.
21 Mountains of Gilboa,
let no dew or rain be on you,
or fields of offerings,[c]
for there the shield of the mighty was defiled—
the shield of Saul, no longer anointed with oil.
22 Jonathan’s bow never retreated,
Saul’s sword never returned unstained,[d]
from the blood of the slain,
from the bodies of the mighty.
23 Saul and Jonathan,
loved and delightful,
they were not parted in life or in death.
They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions.
24 Daughters of Israel, weep for Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet, with luxurious things,
who decked your garments with gold ornaments.
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 such a friend to me.
Your love for me was more wonderful
than the love of women.
27 How the mighty have fallen
and the weapons of war have perished!
- 2 Samuel 1:9 LXX reads for terrible darkness has taken hold of me
- 2 Samuel 1:18 Or of the Upright
- 2 Samuel 1:21 LXX reads firstfruits
- 2 Samuel 1:22 Lit empty