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Saul Killed by the Philistines(A)

31 The Philistines fought against Israel, and the army[a] of Israel fled before the Philistines. They fell slain on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines pursued Saul and his sons. The Philistines struck down Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, Saul’s sons. The heaviest fighting was directed toward Saul,[b] and when the bowmen who were shooting located Saul, he was severely wounded by them.[c]

Saul told his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through with it, or these uncircumcised people will come and run me through and make sport of me.” But his armor bearer did not want to do it[d] because he was very frightened, so Saul took the sword and fell on it. When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died with him. As a result, Saul, his three sons, his armor bearer, and all his men died together that day. When the men of Israel who were across the valley and who were across the Jordan saw that the army[e] of Israel had fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled, and the Philistines came and occupied them.

The Philistines Desecrate Saul’s Body(B)

The next day, the Philistines came to strip the dead, and they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. They cut off his head and stripped him of his weapons. They sent people throughout the territory of the Philistines to report the good news in the temples of their idols and to the people. 10 They put Saul’s[f] weapons in the temple of Asherah[g] and fastened his corpse to the wall of Beth-shan.

The People of Jabesh-gilead Give Saul a Proper Burial(C)

11 When the residents of Jabesh-gilead heard what[h] the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 every valiant soldier[i] got up, traveled all night, and removed Saul’s body and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan. Then they went to Jabesh and cremated the bodies[j] there. 13 They took their bones, buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted for seven days.


  1. 1 Samuel 31:1 Lit. and the men
  2. 1 Samuel 31:3 Lit. was heavy toward
  3. 1 Samuel 31:3 Lit. the archers
  4. 1 Samuel 31:4 The Heb. lacks to do it
  5. 1 Samuel 31:7 Lit. men
  6. 1 Samuel 31:10 Lit. his
  7. 1 Samuel 31:10 Asherah was a female deity worshipped by the Canaanites and the Philistines
  8. 1 Samuel 31:11 Lit. heard about it, what
  9. 1 Samuel 31:12 Lit. man
  10. 1 Samuel 31:12 Lit. them

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