New International Reader's Version

2 Samuel 1

David Hears That Saul Has Died

1After Saul died, David returned to Ziklag. He had won the battle over the Amalekites. He stayed in Ziklag for two days. On the third day a man arrived from Saul’s camp. His clothes were torn. He had dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to show him respect.

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

He answered, “I’ve escaped from Israel’s camp.”

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

He said, “Israel’s men ran away from the battle. Many of them were killed. Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”

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

“I just happened to be there on Mount Gilboa,” the young man said. “Saul was there too. He was leaning on his spear. The enemy chariots and chariot drivers had almost caught up with him. Then he turned around and saw me. He called out to me. I said, ‘What do you want me to 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 close to death, but I’m still alive.’

10 “So I stood beside him and killed him. I did it because I knew that after he had lost the battle he would be killed anyway. So I took the crown that was on his head. I also took his armband. I’ve brought them here to you. You are my master.”

11 Then David tore his clothes. And all his men tore their clothes. 12 All of them were filled with sadness. They mourned over the whole nation of Israel. They didn’t eat anything until evening. That’s because Saul and Jonathan and the Lord’s army had been killed by swords.

13 David spoke to the young man who had brought him the report. He asked, “Where are you from?”

“I’m the son of an outsider, an Amalekite,” he answered.

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

15 Then David called for one of his men. He said, “Go! Strike him down!” So he struck the man down, and the man died. 16 That’s because David had said to him, “Anything that happens to you will be your own fault. What your own mouth has spoken is a witness against you. You said, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed king.’ ”

David’s Song of Sadness About Saul and Jonathan

17 David sang a song of sadness about Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 He ordered that it be taught to the people of Judah. It is a song that is played on a stringed instrument. It is written down in the Book of Jashar. David sang,

19 “Israel, a gazelle lies dead on your hills.
    Your mighty men have fallen.

20 “Don’t announce it in Gath.
    Don’t tell it in the streets of Ashkelon.
If you do, the daughters of the Philistines will be glad.
    The daughters of men who haven’t been circumcised will be joyful.

21 “Mountains of Gilboa,
    may no dew or rain fall on you.
    May no showers fall on your hillside fields.
The shield of the mighty king wasn’t respected there.
    The shield of Saul lies there. It isn’t rubbed with oil anymore.
22 The bow of Jonathan didn’t turn back.
    The sword of Saul didn’t return without being satisfied.
They spilled the blood of their enemies.
    They killed mighty men.

23 “When they lived, Saul and Jonathan were loved and respected.
    When they died, they were not parted.
They were faster than eagles.
    They were stronger than lions.

24 “Daughters of Israel, mourn over Saul.
He dressed you in the finest clothes.
    He decorated your clothes with ornaments of gold.

25 “Your mighty men have fallen in battle.
    Jonathan lies dead on your hills.
26 My brother Jonathan, I’m filled with sadness because of you.
    You were very special to me.
Your love for me was wonderful.
    It was more wonderful than the love of women.

27 “Israel’s mighty men have fallen.
    Their weapons of war are broken.”

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!