2 Samuel 1

A man tells David that Saul is dead

1 David won the fight with the Amalekites and he returned to Ziklag. That was after Saul was dead. David stayed in Ziklag for two days. 2 The next day, a man came from Saul's camp to see David. He had dirt on his head and he had torn his clothes. He fell on the ground when he came to David. That was because he wanted to honour him.

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 ‘Where have you come from?’ David asked him.

‘I have run from the Israelite camp,’ he answered.

4 ‘Tell me what happened,’ David said.

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

5 Then David asked the young man who had said this, ‘How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?’

6 The young man said, ‘I was on the mountain called Gilboa. And I saw Saul. He was only standing up with the help of his spear. The enemy army with its horses and chariots were getting very near him. 7 He turned round and he saw me. He shouted to me. I said “What can I do for you?”

8 “Who are you?” he asked me.

“I am an Amalekite”, I replied.

9 “Stand over me and kill me”, he said. “I am nearly dead but I am still alive.”

10 He would die if he fell down. I knew that. So I stood over him and I killed him. And I took the crown from his head and the ring from his arm. And I have brought them here to you, my lord.’

11 Then David and all the men that were with him took their clothes. And they tore them. 12 They cried and they wept until the evening. And they did not eat any food. They were very sad about Saul and Jonathan and the Lord's people and the Israelites. They were sad because so many people had died in the fight.

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

‘I am the son of a foreign man, an Amalekite,’ he answered.

14 David said to him, ‘You should have been afraid to kill the man that the Lord had anointed!’

15 Then David spoke to one of his own young men. ‘Go and punish him,’ he said. So the man hit him and he died. 16 David had said to the Amalekite, ‘This is because you have done a wrong thing. Your blood must pay because you killed the Lord's anointed king. You killed the man that the Lord had anointed. You said yourself that you had done it.’

David's sad song for the deaths of Saul and Jonathan

17 David sang this sad song for Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 He said that the people in Judah should teach this war song to all Judah's men. (It is written in the Book of Jashar.)

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

19 ‘They have killed the best men from Israel on the mountains.

They have caused great strong men to fall down.

20 Do not tell the people in Gath about it.

Do not say anything in the streets of Ashkelon.

If you do, the daughters of the Philistines might be happy.

The daughters of men that their parents have not circumcised might feel happy.

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

I pray, “Do not let those mountains have any fields where grain for offerings to God can grow.”

That is because the strong man's shield became disgusting on you.

And Saul was not alive to clean his 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 break or become hard.

22 Jonathan was not afraid of the blood of dead men or of the fat of strong men.

His bow did not turn away.

And Saul's sword did not return before he had used it.

23 We loved Saul and Jonathan when they were alive.

They were beautiful.

And they were together when they died.

They moved faster than large birds;

they were stronger than lions.

24 You daughters of Israel, weep for Saul.

He gave you beautiful red clothes.

He hung pretty stones and gold rings over your clothes.

25 The strong men have very sadly fallen in the fight!

Jonathan's dead body is lying on your mountain.

26 I am really very sorry that you are no longer here. I am very, very sad, Jonathan, my brother.

I loved you very much.

Your love was great,

better than the love of women.

27 The great strong men have very sadly fallen!

Our enemies have destroyed all our weapons.’