2 Samuel 1

David hears that Saul is dead

1 After David had won the fight against the Amalekites, he returned to Ziklag. He stayed in Ziklag for two days. Saul had already died. 2 The next day, a man arrived from the camp of Saul's army. He had dirt on his head and he had torn his clothes. When the man met David, he threw himself down on the ground to give honour to David.

1:1See 1 Samuel 31:6. The book of 2 Samuel continues the story from 1 Samuel.
1:2Saul's camp was about 130 kilometres (80 miles) north of Ziklag. The young man would have taken about three days to walk or run that distance.

3 David asked him, ‘Where have you come from?’

The man replied, ‘I have run from the Israelite army's camp.’

4 David said, ‘Tell me what happened in the battle.’

The man replied, ‘The Israelites ran away and the enemy killed many of them. Even Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.’

5 When the young man told this to David, David asked him, ‘How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?’

6 The young man said, ‘I was on Gilboa mountain. I saw Saul there. He had to use his spear like a stick to help him to stand. The enemy army with its horses and chariots were getting very near to him. 7 Saul turned round and he saw me. He shouted to me and I said, “Here I am, sir.”

8 He asked me, “Who are you?”

I said to him, “I am an Amalekite.”

9 He said to me, “Stand over me and kill me. I have a lot of pain and I am almost dead.”

10 I knew that he would soon fall down. He was too weak to live. So I stood over him and I killed him. Then I took the crown from his head and the ring that was on his arm. I have brought them here to you, my lord.’

11 Then David tore his clothes because he was very upset. The men who were with him did the same thing. 12 They cried and they wept until the evening. They did not eat any food. They were very upset about Saul and Jonathan, and all the Lord's people. They were sad because so many Israelites had died in the battle.

1:12When we write Lord like this, it is a special name for God. Sometimes people write it as ‘Yahweh’, or as ‘Jehovah’. It is his own name that he told Moses. See Exodus 3:14. It means ‘I am who I am’. This shows that God has always been there and he always will be there.

13 David asked the young man who had brought the report to him, ‘Where are you from?’

The man replied, ‘I am an Amalekite, the son of a foreign man who lives in Israel.’

14 David said to him, ‘The Lord had chosen Saul to be Israel's king. You should have been very afraid to kill him!’

15 Then David said to one of his own young men, ‘Go and knock him down!’ So the man knocked him down so that he died. 16 David had said to the Amalekite, ‘You deserve to die because of what you have said. Your own words show that you did a bad thing. You yourself said, “I have killed the Lord's chosen king.” ’

David's song to remember Saul and Jonathan

17 David sang this song to remember the death of Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 He said that the people in Judah should learn this song. It's name is ‘The Bow’. It is written down in the Book of Jashar.

1:18David was a musician. He wrote this poem and he sang it to sad music.

19 ‘The greatest men of Israel now lie on the mountains. They are dead!

Those brave men have fallen to the ground!

20 Do not tell the people in Gath about it.

Do not tell the news in the streets of Ashkelon.

If you do, the daughters of the Philistines will sing with joy.

Yes, those foreign people who do not worship God will be happy.

21 You mountains of Gilboa, I hope that no rain or dew will come on you now.

I pray that no crops will grow in your fields to make grain offerings.

In those fields, the shields of brave soldiers became useless.

No longer will anyone clean Saul's shield with oil.

1:21The Israelites made shields from leather and wood. They rubbed oil into the leather to make it strong. Then the leather did not become hard.

22 When Jonathan shot arrows from his bow,

his enemies fell to the ground, dead.

He would never turn away from them.

Saul's sword also cut down his enemies.

He always finished the job.

23 People loved Saul and Jonathan as great people while they lived.

They were still together when they died.

They moved faster than eagles

They were stronger than lions.

24 You women of Israel, weep for Saul.

He gave you beautiful clothes to wear.

He gave you gold and jewels to fix on your clothes.

25 Brave soldiers have died as they fought a great battle!

Jonathan's dead body lies on Gilboa's hills.

26 My brother, Jonathan! I am very sad about your death.

You were my good friend.

Your love for me was very special.

It was better than the love of women.

27 The brave men have fallen in the battle!

Their weapons are now useless.’