King Saul commits suicide.
VERSE 1. Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain on Mount Gilboa.
VERSE 2. The Philistines followed hard after Saul and after his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.
VERSE 3. The battle went hard against Saul, and the archers overtook him; and he was distressed by reason of the archers.
VERSE 4. Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me.” But his armor bearer would not, for he was terrified. Therefore Saul took his sword and fell on it.
Saul said to his armor bearer. Saul gives his armor bearer an unthinkable command. He asks to be killed.
lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. What is Saul’s motive?
- It is not the good of his nation.
- It is not the glory of God.
Rather, Saul’s motive is self-centered. He doesn’t want to suffer.
VERSE 5. When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell on his sword and died.
VERSE 6. So Saul died with his three sons; and all his house died together.
VERSE 7. When all the men of Israel who were in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and lived in them.
VERSE 8. On the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his sons fallen on Mount Gilboa.
VERSE 9. They stripped him and took his head and his armor, then sent into the land of the Philistines all around to carry the news to their idols and to the people.
VERSE 10. They put his armor in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the house of Dagon.
Saul’s remains are dispersed to three different locations:
They put his armor in the house of their gods. Saul’s armor is a trophy in the temples of their gods. Specifically, the temple of Ashtaroth, as we see in 1 Samuel 31:10.
fastened his head in the house of Dagon. Saul’s head is a trophy in the temple of Dagon.
Saul’s body is fastened to the wall of Beth Shan (see 1 Samuel 31:10)
VERSE 11. When all Jabesh Gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,
VERSE 12. all the valiant men arose and took away the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
VERSE 13. So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the LORD, because of the LORD’s word, which he didn’t keep, and also because he asked counsel of one who had a familiar spirit, to inquire,
So Saul died. This verse hints at the two reasons for the judgment of the LORD God upon Saul:
- Saul disobeyed the word of the LORD God
- Saul consulted a witch
VERSE 14. and didn’t inquire of the LORD. Therefore he killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.
and turned the kingdom over to David. The tragic end of Saul’s kingdom sets the stage for the beginning of the reign of David.
Saul’s kingship lasted from 1051 BC to 1011 BC. That was 40 years.
But David’s dynasty will last from 1011 BC to 586 BC. That will be 425 years.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.