27 July 2 Samuel 1:1-16

27 July.  David hears about Saul’s death

“Now Saul was dead. After David had defeated the Amalekites, he returned to Ziklag and stayed there for two days. On the third day a young man from Saul’s camp came to Ziklag. To show his sadness, his clothes were torn and he had dust on his head.”

“He came and bowed face down on the ground before David. David asked him, ‘Where did you come from?’ The man answered, ‘I escaped from the Israelite camp.’ David asked him, ‘What happened? Please tell me!’”

“The man answered, ‘The people have run away from the battle, and many of them have fallen and are dead. Saul and his son Jonathan are dead also.’ David asked him, ‘How do you know Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?’”

“The young man answered, ‘I happened to be on Mount Gilboa. There I saw Saul leaning on his spear. The Philistine chariots and the men riding in them were coming closer to Saul. When he looked back and saw me, he called to me. I answered him, “Here I am!” ‘”

“Then Saul asked me, ‘Who are you?’ I told him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ Then Saul said to me, ‘Please come here and kill me. I am badly hurt and am almost dead already.’ So I went over and killed him. He had been hurt so badly I knew he couldn’t live. Then I took the crown from his head and the bracelet from his arm, and I have brought them here to you, my master.’”

“Then David tore his clothes to show his sorrow, and all the men with him did also. They were very sad and cried and did not eat until evening. They cried for Saul and his son Jonathan and for all the people of the LORD and for all the Israelites who had died in the battle.”

“David asked the young man who brought the report, ‘Where are you from?’ The young man answered, ‘I am the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite.’ David asked him, ‘Why were you not afraid to kill the LORD’s appointed king?’”

“Then David called one of his men and told him, ‘Go! Kill the Amalekite!’ So the Israelite killed him. David had said to the Amalekite, ‘You are responsible for your own death. You confessed by saying, “I have killed the LORD’s appointed king.”’”

          (2 Samuel 1:1-16)

 

 

In today’s passage, from the Second Book of Samuel, we have a second (and somewhat different) account of Saul’s death at Mount Gilboa. In the first account (in 1 Samuel 31:4), Saul took his own life by throwing himself on his sword because his armour-bearer refused to kill him when he was badly wounded.

In the second account, we’re told that an Amalekite mercenary fighting with the Israelites killed Saul when asked to do so by the king when he was badly wounded (see 2 Samuel 1:10).

We’re then told that the Amalekite took Saul’s crown from his head and the bracelet from his arm, and brought them to David at Ziklag, presumably expecting a reward for saving the Israelite crown jewels falling into the hands of the Philistines.

Instead of giving a reward, David was furious that the Amalekite had killed the LORD’s appointed king, and ordered his death – which was immediately carried out by one of his men.

David and his men then commenced a time of mourning for Saul and his son Jonathan, and David composed a funeral song called ‘The Bow’ which was written down in the ‘Book of Jashar’ so it could be taught to the people of Judah:

‘Israel, your leaders have been killed on the hills.

How the mighty have fallen in battle! …

May there be no dew or rain on the mountains of Gilboa,

And may their fields produce no grain,

Because there the mighty warrior’s shield was dishonoured.

Saul’s shield will no longer be rubbed with oil…

We loved Saul and Jonathan

And enjoyed them while they lived.

They are together even in death…’

                  (see 2 Samuel 1:19-27 for the whole of David’s song)

The map shows the location of Ziklag (see 1 on the map) and other events during David's reign.

You can read more @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/30-israel-becomes-a-kingdom-under-saul-and-david/david-becomes-king-of-judah-and-israel/


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