David mourns for Jonathan and Saul. David’s eulogy for Jonathan and Saul. UPDATED.
VERSE 1. After the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had stayed two days in Ziklag;
David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites. David had punished the Amalekites for kidnapping his two wives.
VERSE 2. on the third day, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul, with his clothes torn, and earth on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the earth, and showed respect.
Behold. The Hebrew word is הִנֵּה. It means look at, take notice, observe, see, or gaze at. It is often used as an interjection.
VERSE 3. David said to him, “Where do you come from?” He said to him, “I have escaped out of the camp of Israel.”
VERSE 4. David said to him, “How did it go? Please tell me.” He answered, “The people have fled from the battle, and many of the people also have fallen and are dead. Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.”
VERSE 5. David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?”
VERSE 6. The young man who told him said, “As I happened by chance on Mount Gilboa, behold, Saul was leaning on his spear; and behold, the chariots and the horsemen followed close behind him.
VERSE 7. When he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. I answered, ‘Here I am.’
VERSE 8. He said to me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’
VERSE 9. He said to me, ‘Please stand beside me, and kill me; for anguish has taken hold of me, because my life lingers in me.’
This seems to conflict with the narrative in the previous chapter:
1 Samuel 31:4. Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me!” But his armor bearer would not; for he was terrified. Therefore Saul took his sword, and fell on it.
This man may have fabricated his report.
VERSE 10. So I stood beside him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord.”
VERSE 11. Then David took hold on his clothes, and tore them; and all the men who were with him did likewise.
VERSE 12. They mourned, wept, and fasted until evening, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they had fallen by the sword.
They mourned, wept, and fasted. Why? Here are four theories:
Theory 1. For Saul. However, Saul was an unlikeable person, a terrible king, and an apostate to the faith.
Theory 2. For Jonathan. Because David was very close to Jonathan?
Theory 3. For the people of the LORD. Because Saul had corrupted their faith?
Theory 4. For the house of Israel. Because Saul had weakened the nation?
the LORD. When rendered in all caps, this is a paraphrase of God’s Proper Name.
VERSE 13. David said to the young man who told him, “Where are you from?” He answered, “I am the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite.”
VERSE 14. David said to him, “Why were you not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?”
VERSE 15. David called one of the young men, and said, “Go near, and cut him down!” He struck him so that he died.
Go near, and cut him down! David is so enraged that he has this messenger executed.
VERSE 16. David said to him, “Your blood be on your head; for your mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have slain the LORD’s anointed.’ ”
VERSE 17. David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son
VERSE 18. (and he commanded them to teach the children of Judah the song of the bow; behold, it is written in the book of Jashar):
How the mighty have fallen! This is a gross exaggeration.
King Saul was not mighty. He was a terrible human being and a terrible leader.
VERSE 20. Don’t tell it in Gath. Don’t publish it in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
VERSE 21. You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain on you, and no fields of offerings; For there the shield of the mighty was defiled and cast away, The shield of Saul was not anointed with oil.
VERSE 22. From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, Jonathan’s bow didn’t turn back. Saul’s sword didn’t return empty.
VERSE 23. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives. In their death, they were not divided. They were swifter than eagles. They were stronger than lions.
VERSE 24. You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you delicately in scarlet, who put ornaments of gold on your clothing.
VERSE 25. How the mighty have fallen in the middle of the battle! Jonathan was slain on your high places.
VERSE 26. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan. You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
NASB translation: I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was more wonderful Than the love of women.
Your love was more wonderful Than the love of women. David and Jonathan greatly delighted in each other. They kissed each other. David preferred Jonathan’s love more than love from women. Read more »
VERSE 27. How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war have perished!”
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.