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2 Samuel 1 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

David Learns About Saul’s Death

Now Saul was dead. And after David had defeated the Amalekites, he returned to Ziklag. He stayed there two days. On the third day a young man came to Ziklag. He came from Saul’s camp. 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 him, “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. Many of them have fallen dead. Saul and his son Jonathan are dead also.”

David said to 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. 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. They did not eat until evening. They cried for Saul and his son Jonathan. And they cried for the Israelites who had been killed with swords.

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. I am 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. David told him, “Go! Kill the Amalekite!” So the Israelite killed the Amalekite. 16 David had said to the Amalekite, “You are responsible for your own death. You have spoken against yourself! You said, ‘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 David ordered that the people of Judah be taught this song. It is called “The Bow.” This song is written in the Book of Jashar:

19 “Israel, your leaders have been killed on the hills.
    How the mighty men have fallen in battle!
20 Don’t tell it in Gath.
    Don’t announce it in the streets of Ashkelon.
If you do, the daughters of the Philistines will be happy.
    The daughters of the Philistines will rejoice.

21 “May there be no dew or rain on the mountains of Gilboa.
    May their fields produce no grain.
This is because there the mighty warrior’s shield was dishonored.
    Saul’s shield was no longer rubbed with oil.
22 Jonathan’s bow killed its share of enemies.
    And Saul’s sword killed its share, too.
Their weapons are stained with the blood of dead men.
    Their weapons have stabbed the flesh of strong men.

23 “We loved Saul and Jonathan.
    We enjoyed them while they lived.
    Saul and Jonathan 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.
    He put gold decorations on your dresses.

25 “How the mighty men 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,
    more wonderful than the love of women.

27 “How the mighty men have fallen in battle!
    The weapons of war are gone.”

International Children’s Bible (ICB)

The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

2 Samuel 1 New International Version (NIV)

David Hears of Saul’s Death

After the death of Saul, David returned from striking down the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag two days. On the third day a man arrived from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him honor.

“Where have you come from?” David asked him.

He answered, “I have escaped from the Israelite camp.”

“What happened?” David asked. “Tell me.”

“The men fled from the battle,” he replied. “Many of them fell and died. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”

Then David said to the young man who brought him the report, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?”

“I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,” the young man said, “and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and their drivers in hot pursuit. When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and I said, ‘What can I do?’

“He asked me, ‘Who are you?’

“‘An Amalekite,’ I answered.

“Then he said to me, ‘Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’

10 “So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen he could not survive. And I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and have brought them here to my lord.”

11 Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

13 David said to the young man who brought him the report, “Where are you from?”

“I am the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite,” he answered.

14 David asked him, “Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?

15 Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died. 16 For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed.’”

David’s Lament for Saul and Jonathan

17 David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):

19 “A gazelle[a] lies slain on your heights, Israel.
    How the mighty have fallen!

20 “Tell it not in Gath,
    proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,
    lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.

21 “Mountains of Gilboa,
    may you have neither dew nor rain,
    may no showers fall on your terraced fields.[b]
For there the shield of the mighty was despised,
    the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.

22 “From the blood of the slain,
    from the flesh of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
    the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
23 Saul and Jonathan—
    in life they were loved and admired,
    and in death they were not parted.
They were swifter than eagles,
    they were stronger than lions.

24 “Daughters of Israel,
    weep for Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and finery,
    who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.

25 “How the mighty have fallen in battle!
    Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
    you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
    more wonderful than that of women.

27 “How the mighty have fallen!
    The weapons of war have perished!”

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 1:19 Gazelle here symbolizes a human dignitary.
  2. 2 Samuel 1:21 Or / nor fields that yield grain for offerings
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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