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2 Samuel 1 New Life Version (NLV)

David Hears of Saul’s Death

Now after the death of Saul, David returned from killing the Amalekites and stayed two days in Ziklag. On the third day, a man came from the tents of Saul. His clothes were torn and he had dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell with his face to the ground. David said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he answered, “I have run away from the tents of Israel.” David said to him, “How did it go? Tell me.” And the man said, “The people have run from the battle. Many have fallen and are dead. Saul and his son Jonathan are dead also.” David said to the young man, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” The young man said, “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa. There I saw Saul holding himself up with his spear. The war-wagons and the horsemen were coming close after him. When he looked behind him, he saw me. He called to me and I said, ‘Here I am.’ He said to me, ‘Who are you?’ And I answered, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ Then he said to me, ‘I beg you, stand beside me and kill me. I am in pain, and yet I am still alive.’ 10 So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew he could not live after he had fallen. Then I took the crown which was on his head and the beautiful gold band which he wore on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”

11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. 12 They cried in sorrow and did not eat until evening, because of Saul and his son Jonathan, and of the people of the Lord and of the family of Israel. For they had fallen by the sword. 13 David said to the young man, “Where are you from?” And he answered, “I am the son of one from another land, an Amalekite.” 14 Then David said to him, “Why were you not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the Lord’s chosen one?” 15 Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go, cut him down.” So he hit him and he died. 16 David said to him, “Your blood is on your head. Because your mouth has spoken against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s chosen one.’”

David’s Song of Sorrow for Saul and Jonathan

17 Then David sang a song of sorrow for Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 He told them to teach the song of the bow to the people of Judah. See, it is written in the book of Jashar. 19 “O Israel, your beauty is destroyed on your high places! How have the powerful fallen! 20 Do not tell about it in Gath. Do not tell about it in the streets of Ashkelon, or the daughters of the Philistines might be filled with joy. The daughters of those who have not gone through our religious act might be filled with joy. 21 O mountains of Gilboa, do not let the water that is on the grass in the early morning or rain be on you. Let not grass be grown on your fields. For there the covering of the powerful was made dirty, the covering of Saul, as if he had not been set apart with oil. 22 The bow of Jonathan did not turn away. The sword of Saul did not return empty. They did not turn from the blood of the dead and the fat of the powerful. 23 Saul and Jonathan were loved and pleasing in their life. And they were not divided in their death. They were faster than eagles. They were stronger than lions. 24 O daughters of Israel, cry for Saul. He dressed you in fine red clothing. He put on your clothing objects of gold. 25 How have the powerful fallen in the center of the battle! Jonathan has been killed on your high places. 26 I am troubled because of you, my brother Jonathan. You have been very pleasing to me. Your love to me was greater than the love of women. 27 How have the powerful fallen, and the bows and swords of war destroyed!”

New Life Version (NLV)

Copyright © 1969, 2003 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.

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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