1 Samuel 31:1-13. In oral tradition it is easier to remember 40+40+40=120. Even though he reigned for less than a full 40 years. The end of an approximately 32-year reign of King Saul.
In this time he went from being a good king to being an evil king in God’s eyes.
1043BC – 1011BC.
The name Saul in Hebrew means: asked for.
Both King Saul and his son Jonathan died in battle.
Saul Takes His Life but His Sons were Killed the Philistines
31:1 The Philistines fought against Israel, and the army of Israel fled before the Philistines. They fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines pursued Saul and his sons. The Philistines struck down Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, Saul’s sons. 3 The heaviest fighting was directed toward Saul, and when the bowmen who were shooting located Saul, he was severely wounded by them.
4 Saul told his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through with it, or these uncircumcised people will come and run me through and make sport of me.” But his armor bearer did not want to do it because he was very frightened, so Saul took the sword and fell on it. 5 When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died with him. 6 As a result, Saul, his three sons, his armor bearer, and all his men died together that day. 7 When the men of Israel who were across the valley and who were across the Jordan saw that the army of Israel had fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled, and the Philistines came and occupied them.
The Philistines Desecrate Saul’s Body
8 The next day, the Philistines came to strip the dead, and they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 They cut off his head and stripped him of his weapons. They sent people throughout the territory of the Philistines to report the good news in the temples of their idols and to the people. 10 They put Saul’s weapons in the temple of Asherah and fastened his corpse to the wall of Beth-shan.
The People of Jabesh-gilead Give Saul a Proper Burial
11 When the residents of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 every valiant soldier got up, traveled all night, and removed Saul’s body and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan. Then they went to Jabesh and cremated the bodies there. 13 They took their bones, buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted for seven days.
1 Samuel 31:1-13
also read: 1 Chronicles 10:1-7, 10:8-10, 10:11-13
David Hears of Saul’s Death – David Mourns for Saul and Jonathan
2:1 Shortly after Saul had died, David returned from defeating the Amalekites and remained in Ziklag for two days. 2 The next day, a man escaped from Saul’s camp! With torn clothes and dirty hair, he approached David, fell to the ground, and bowed down to him.
3 David asked him, “Where did you come from?
He answered him, “I just escaped from Israel’s encampment.”
4 David continued questioning him, “How did things go? Please tell me!”
He replied, “The army has fled the battlefield, many of the army are wounded or have died, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.”
5 David asked the young man who related the story, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?”
6 The young man who had been relating the story answered, “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa and there was Saul, leaning on his spear! Meanwhile, the chariots and horsemen were rapidly drawing near. 7 Saul glanced behind him, saw me, and called out to me, so I replied, ‘Here I am!’ 8 He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ So I answered him, ‘I’m an Amalekite!’ 9 He begged me, ‘Please—come stand here next to me and kill me, because I’m still alive.’ 10 So I stood next to him and killed him, because I knew that he wouldn’t live after he had fallen. I took the crown that had been on his head, along with the bracelet that had been on his arm, and I have brought them to your majesty.”
11 On hearing this, David grabbed his clothes and tore them, as did all the men who were attending to him. 12 They mourned and wept, and then decided to fast until dusk for Saul, for his son Jonathan, for the army of the LORD, and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen in battle.
13 Meanwhile, David asked the young man who had told him the story, “Where are you from?”
He answered, “I’m an Amalekite, the son of a foreign man.”
14 At this David asked him, “How is it that you weren’t afraid to raise your hand to strike the LORD’s anointed?”
15 Then David called out to one of his young men and ordered him, “Go up to him and cut him down!” So he attacked him and killed him.
16 David told him, “Your blood is on your own head, because your own words testified against you! After all, you said, ‘I myself have killed the LORD’s anointed!’”
David’s Song for Saul and Jonathan
17 So David intoned this song of lament about Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he gave orders to teach the descendants of Judah the art of warfare, as is recorded in the Book of Jashar:
19 “Your beauty, Israel, lies slain on your high places!
O, how the valiant have fallen!
20Don’t make it known in Gath!
Don’t declare it in the avenues of Ashkelon!
Otherwise, the daughters of Philistia will rejoice;
and the daughters of the uncircumcised will triumph.
21 Mountains of Gilboa,
let no dew or rain fall on you,
and may none of your fields be filled with plenty,
because in that place the shield of the valiant ones was defiled,
the shield of Saul without an anointing with oil.
22 From the blood of the slain,
from the blood of the valiant,
Jonathan’s bow would not retreat
nor would Saul’s sword return empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan, loved and handsome in life,
in death were not separated.
Swifter than eagles they were,
and more valiant than lions.
24 Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul!
He clothed you in scarlet luxury
and decorated your garments with gold.
25 How have the valiant fallen in the tumult of battle!
Jonathan lies slain on your high places.
26 I am in distress for you, my brother Jonathan.
You have been most kind to me.
Your love for me was extraordinary —
beyond love from women.
27 How the valiant have fallen!
How the weapons of war are destroyed!”
2 Samuel 1:1-27
Saul Takes His Life and his sons die also
10:1 The Philistines were fighting against Israel, and each soldier of Israel fled before the Philistines. They fell slain on the mountain of Gilboa. 2 The Philistines followed after Saul and after his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, Saul’s sons. 3 The heaviest fighting was against Saul, and when the archers who were shooting located Saul, he was gravely wounded by them.
4 Saul ordered his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through with it, or these uncircumcised people will come and abuse me.”
But his armor bearer did not want to do it because he was very frightened, so Saul took the sword and fell on it. 5 When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died. 6 Therefore Saul, his three sons, and all his entire household died together. 7 When that part of the army of Israel that was in the valley saw that the rest of the army of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities and fled, and the Philistines came and occupied them.
The Philistines Desecrate Saul’s Body
8 The Philistines came to strip the dead the next day, and they found Saul dead on Gilboa mountain, along with his sons. 9 They stripped him, took his head and armor, and sent messengers throughout the territory of the Philistines to report the news to their idols and to the people. 10 Then they put Saul’s armor in the temple of their gods and fastened his skull to the wall of the temple of Dagon.
1 Chronicles 10:1-14
Also read: 1 Samuel 31:1-7, 31:8-10.
Other modules in this unit:
- Samuel the fifteenth Judge of Israel anoints Saul
- King Saul starts his reign of about thirty-two years
- King Saul reigned for 40 years. He was the 1st of 3 kings
- Samuel the fifteenth Judge of Israel anoints David as king
- David plays for his King
- David uses his slingshot
- The giant Goliath is killed by David
- King Saul tries to kill David with a spear
- Jonathan, David’s faithful friend
- Soldiers of David’s army
- Abigail acted quickly
- 40-year reign of King Saul ends
- King Ishbosheth
- Start of 40 Year reign of King David
- David becomes king in God’s time
- David conquers Jerusalem
- The Ark brought to Jerusalem
- Bathsheba and King David
- Amnon and Tamar
- The end of King David’s 40 year Reign
- The start of the 40-year reign of King Solomon
- King Solomon’s reign established
- A sword gets the truth, Solomon’s Wise Ruling
- Solomon’s Temple
- The Queen of Sheba visits King Solomon
- The end of 40-year reign of King Solomon
- Questions 1-13
- Questions 14-26
- Timeline for the Three Kings
- Background Information: Three Kings
- Resources – Three Kings – Saul, David, and Solomon
- Next Module – Kings of Judah » »