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from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul's sons. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. Then said Saul unto his armorbearer : Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith: lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me." But his armorbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armorbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armorbearer, that same day together.
And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.
And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa. And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it to their idols and among the people. And they put his armor in the house of the Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. And when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul; all the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
David's Lament for Saul and Jonathan (2 Sam. i.). Now when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag; it came even to pass on the third day that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance. And David said unto him, "From whence comest thou?" And he said unto him, "Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped." And David said unto him: "How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me." And he answered: "That the people are
fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also."
And David said unto the young man that told him, "How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead?" And the young man that told him said: "As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. And when he looked behind hi he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I. And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite. He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me. So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord."
Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him: and they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the Lord, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.
And David said unto the young man that told him, "Whence art thou?" And he answered, "I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite." And David said unto him: "How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?" And David said unto him: "Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord's anointed." And David called one of the young men, and said, "Go near, and fall upon him." And he smote him that he died.
And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son (behold it is written in the Book of Jasher), and he said:
"Thy glory, O Israel, is slain upon thy high places!
1 The text of this passage, and of others in the poem, is badly corrupted. See H. P. Smith: Samuel (in the International Critical Commentary), pp. 258265. The opening lines were probably somewhat as follows:
"Weep, O Judah!
Grieve, O Israel!
On thy heights are the slain;
Tell it not in Gath,
Publish it not in the streets of Askelon;
Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
Ye mountains of Gilboa,
Let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon
you, ye fields of death:
For there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, The shield of Saul not anointed with oil.
From the blood of the slain,
From the fat of the mighty,
The bow of Jonathan turned not back,
And the sword of Saul returned not empty.
Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives,
And in their death they were not divided: 1
They were swifter than eagles,
They were stronger than lions.
Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
Who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights,
How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle!
O Jonathan. . .
I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan :
How are the mighty fallen,
1 This distich should be rendered:
"Saul and Jonathan, the beloved and the lovely,
2 This line is hopelessly mutilated.
David King at Hebron; Ishbaal at Mahanaim (2 Sam. ii. 1-10). And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the Lord, saying, "Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?" And the Lord said unto him, "Go up." And David said, "Whither shall I go up?" And he said, "Unto Hebron." So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal's wife the Carmelite. And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.
And they told David, saying, "The men of Jabesh-gilead were they that buried Saul." And David sent messengers unto the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said unto them: "Blessed be ye of the Lord, that ye have shewed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and have buried him. And now the Lord shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you the kindness, because ye have done this thing. Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them."
But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbaal the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; and made him king over Gilead, and over the Asherites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. But the house of Judah followed David.
Civil War (2 Sam. ii. 12-iii. 1). And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbaal the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out, and met together by the pool of Gibeon and they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. And Abner said to Joab, "Let the young men now arise, and play before us." And Joab said, "Let them arise." Then there arose and
1 Ishbaal was throughout this passage changed to Ishbosheth by the later scribes, who disliked the heathen associations of -baal, and hence substituted for it-bōsheth, 'shameful thing.' In Saul's time, however, ba'al, lord' was applied quite innocently to Jehovah.
went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ishbaal the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim,' which is in Gibeon.
And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David. And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe. And Asahel pursued after Abner; and in going he turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner. Then Abner looked behind him, and said, "Art thou Asahel?" And he answered: "I am." And Abner said to him: "Turn thee aside to thy right hand or to thy left, and lay thee hold on one of the young men, and take thee his armor." But Asahel would not turn aside from following of him. And Abner said again to Asahel: "Turn thee aside from following me: wherefore should I smite thee to the ground? how then should I hold up my face to Joab thy brother?" Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place. Joab also and Abishai pursued after Abner: and the sun went down when they were come to the hill of Ammah, that lieth before Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon.
And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of the hill. Then Abner called to Joab, and said: "Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?" And Joab said: "As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother." So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more. And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim. And Joab returned from following Abner: and when he had gathered all the people
1 Helkath-hazzurim. 'Field of the Enemies' or 'Field of Sharp Knives.'