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.

King James Version

2 Samuel 1

1Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, 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 dead; 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 him, 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.

10 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.

11 Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him:

12 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.

13 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.

14 And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?

15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.

16 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.

17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:

18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)

19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!

20 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.

21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.

22 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.

23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.

24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.

25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.

26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.

27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!