Amplified Bible

2 Samuel 1

David Learns of Saul’s Death

1Now it happened after the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, that he stayed two days in Ziklag. On the third day a man came [unexpectedly] from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head [as in mourning]. When he came to David, he bowed to the ground and lay himself face down [in an act of great respect and submission]. Then David asked him, “Where do you come from?” He said, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” David said to him, “How did it go? Please tell me.” He answered, “The people have fled from the battle. Also, many of the people have fallen and are dead; Saul and Jonathan his son are also dead.” So David said to the young man who informed him, “How do you know Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” And the young man who told him explained, “By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear, and the chariots and horsemen [of the Philistines] were close behind him. When he turned to look behind him, he saw me, and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ He said to me, ‘Stand up facing me and kill me, for [terrible] agony has come over me, yet I still live [and I will be taken alive].’ 10 So I stood facing him [a]and killed him, because I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. Then I took the crown which was on his head and the [b]band which was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”

11 Then David grasped his own clothes and tore them [in mourning]; so did all the men who were with him. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and Jonathan his son, and for the Lord’s people and the house of [c]Israel, because they had fallen by the sword [in battle]. 13 David said to the young man who informed him, “Where are you from?” He answered, “I am the son of a foreigner (resident alien, sojourner), an Amalekite.” 14 David said to him, “How is it that you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” 15 David called one of the young men and said, “Go, execute him.” So he struck the Amalekite and he died. 16 David said to the [fallen] man, “[d]Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.’”

David’s Dirge for Saul and Jonathan

17 Then David sang this dirge (funeral song) over Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he told them to teach the sons of Judah, the song of the bow. Behold, it is written in [e]the Book of Jashar:

19 
“Your glory and splendor, O Israel, is slain upon your high places!
How the mighty have fallen!
20 
“Tell it not in Gath,
Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
Or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice,
The daughters of the uncircumcised (pagans) will exult.
21 
[f]O mountains of Gilboa,
Let not dew or rain be upon you, nor fields with offerings;
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
The shield of Saul, [dry, cracked] not [g]anointed with oil.
22 
“From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty,
The bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
And the sword of Saul did not return empty.
23 
“Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely and friends in their lives,
And in their death they were not separated;
They were swifter than eagles,
They were stronger than lions.
24 
“O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
Who clothed you [h]luxuriously in scarlet,
Who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.
25 
“How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle!
Jonathan lies slain upon your high places.
26 
“I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
You have been a good friend to me.
Your [i]love toward me was more wonderful
Than the love of women.
27 
“How the mighty have fallen,
And the weapons of war have perished!”

Notas al pie

  1. 2 Samuel 1:10 The young Amalekite’s story conflicts with the description of Saul’s suicide as recounted in 1 Sam 31:3-6. He must have, at the very least, witnessed Saul’s death since he was able to obtain the crown and the arm band. He apparently expected that his story about administering the deathblow, whether true or not, would result in some sort of reward or honor.
  2. 2 Samuel 1:10 This band or armlet was not jewelry, but a piece of armor worn around the arm.
  3. 2 Samuel 1:12 In general, sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites refers to all the people (males and females) of the various tribes descended from the twelve sons (Gen 35:23-26) of Jacob (later renamed Israel by God). In verses concerning things such as warfare or circumcision sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites usually refers only to the males. Tribes of ancient people were identified by the name of their founding ancestor. Therefore, this same general rule applies when referring to individual tribal groups, e.g. sons of Reuben, Reuben, Reubenites and so throughout.
  4. 2 Samuel 1:16 I.e. your death is your own fault.
  5. 2 Samuel 1:18 An early poetic account of the wars of Israel and the heroic acts of the warriors.
  6. 2 Samuel 1:21 As an expression of his grief David curses the place of Saul’s death.
  7. 2 Samuel 1:21 It was necessary to lubricate leather shields with oil to preserve them.
  8. 2 Samuel 1:24 Lit with jewelry.
  9. 2 Samuel 1:26 Jonathan graciously accepted God’s choice of David as the next ruler of Israel, and supported him, honored him, and wanted the very best for him.

The Message

2 Samuel 1

11-2 Shortly after Saul died, David returned to Ziklag from his rout of the Amalekites. Three days later a man showed up unannounced from Saul’s army camp.

2-3 Disheveled and obviously in mourning, he fell to his knees in respect before David. David asked, “What brings you here?”

He answered, “I’ve just escaped from the camp of Israel.”

“So what happened?” said David. “What’s the news?”

He said, “The Israelites have fled the battlefield, leaving a lot of their dead comrades behind. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”

David pressed the young soldier for details: “How do you know for sure that Saul and Jonathan are dead?”

6-8 “I just happened by Mount Gilboa and came on Saul, badly wounded and leaning on his spear, with enemy chariots and horsemen bearing down hard on him. He looked behind him, saw me, and called me to him. ‘Yes sir,’ I said, ‘at your service.’ He asked me who I was, and I told him, ‘I’m an Amalekite.’”

“Come here,” he said, “and put me out of my misery. I’m nearly dead already, but my life hangs on.”

10 “So I did what he asked—I killed him. I knew he wouldn’t last much longer anyway. I removed his royal headband and bracelet, and have brought them to my master. Here they are.”

11-12 In lament, David ripped his clothes to ribbons. All the men with him did the same. They wept and fasted the rest of the day, grieving the death of Saul and his son Jonathan, and also the army of God and the nation Israel, victims in a failed battle.

13 Then David spoke to the young soldier who had brought the report: “Who are you, anyway?”

“I’m from an immigrant family—an Amalekite.”

14-15 “Do you mean to say,” said David, “that you weren’t afraid to up and kill God’s anointed king?” Right then he ordered one of his soldiers, “Strike him dead!” The soldier struck him, and he died.

16 “You asked for it,” David told him. “You sealed your death sentence when you said you killed God’s anointed king.”

17-18 Then David sang this lament over Saul and his son Jonathan, and gave orders that everyone in Judah learn it by heart. Yes, it’s even inscribed in The Book of Jashar.

19-21 Oh, oh, Gazelles of Israel, struck down on your hills,
    the mighty warriors—fallen, fallen!
Don’t announce it in the city of Gath,
    don’t post the news in the streets of Ashkelon.
Don’t give those coarse Philistine girls
    one more excuse for a drunken party!
No more dew or rain for you, hills of Gilboa,
    and not a drop from springs and wells,
For there the warriors’ shields were dragged through the mud,
    Saul’s shield left there to rot.

22 Jonathan’s bow was bold—
    the bigger they were the harder they fell.
Saul’s sword was fearless—
    once out of the scabbard, nothing could stop it.

23 Saul and Jonathan—beloved, beautiful!
    Together in life, together in death.
Swifter than plummeting eagles,
    stronger than proud lions.

24-25 Women of Israel, weep for Saul.
    He dressed you in finest cottons and silks,
    spared no expense in making you elegant.
The mighty warriors—fallen, fallen
    in the middle of the fight!
    Jonathan—struck down on your hills!

26 O my dear brother Jonathan,
    I’m crushed by your death.
Your friendship was a miracle-wonder,
    love far exceeding anything I’ve known—
    or ever hope to know.

27 The mighty warriors—fallen, fallen.
    And the arms of war broken to bits.