David Learns About Saul’s Death

Now Saul was dead. After David had defeated the Amalekites, he returned to Ziklag and stayed there 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 dirt on his head. He came and bowed facedown 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.’

10 “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.”

11 Then David tore his clothes to show his sorrow, and all the men with him did also. 12 They were very sad and cried and fasted 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 Orders the Amalekite Killed

13 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.”

14 David asked him, “Why were you not afraid to kill the Lord’s appointed king?”

15 Then David called one of his men and told him, “Go! Kill the Amalekite!” So the Israelite killed him. 16 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.’”

David’s Song About Saul and Jonathan

17 David sang a funeral song about Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this song. It is called “The Bow,” and it is written in the Book of Jashar:

19 “Israel, your leaders have been killed on the hills.

How the mighty have fallen in battle!

20 Don’t tell it in Gath.

Don’t announce it in the streets of Ashkelon.

If you do, the Philistine women will be happy.

The daughters of the Philistines will rejoice.

21 “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 dishonored.

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

22 Jonathan’s bow did not fail

to kill many soldiers.

Saul’s sword did not fail

to wound many strong men.

23 “We loved Saul and Jonathan

and enjoyed them while they lived.

They are together even in death.

They were faster than eagles.

They were stronger than lions.

24 “You daughters of Israel, cry for Saul.

Saul clothed you with red dresses

and put gold decorations on them.

25 “How the mighty have fallen in battle!

Jonathan is dead on Gilboa’s hills.

26 I cry for you, my brother Jonathan.

I enjoyed your friendship so much.

Your love to me was wonderful,

better than the love of women.

27 “How the mighty have fallen!

The weapons of war are gone.”