1 Samuel 31

The Death of Saul

31 The Philistines fought against Israel, and the Israelites ran away from them. Many Israelites were killed on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines fought hard against Saul and his sons, killing his sons Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malki-Shua. 3 The fighting was heavy around Saul. The archers shot him, and he was badly wounded. 4 He said to the officer who carried his armor, “Pull out your sword and kill me. Then those uncircumcised men won’t make fun of me and kill me.” But Saul’s officer refused, because he was afraid. So Saul took his own sword and threw himself on it. 5 When the officer saw that Saul was dead, he threw himself on his own sword, and he died with Saul. 6 So Saul, his three sons, and the officer who carried his armor died together that day.

7 When the Israelites who lived across the Jezreel Valley and those who lived across the Jordan River saw how the Israelite army had run away, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they left their cities and ran away. Then the Philistines came and lived there.

8 The next day when the Philistines came to take all the valuable things from the dead soldiers, they found Saul and his three sons dead on Mount Gilboa. 9 They cut off Saul’s head and took off his armor. Then they sent messengers through all the land of the Philistines to tell the news in the temple of their idols and to their people. 10 They put Saul’s armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and hung his body on the wall of Beth Shan.

11 When the people living in Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 the brave men of Jabesh marched all night and came to Beth Shan. They removed the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and brought them to Jabesh. There they burned the bodies. 13 They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh. Then the people of Jabesh fasted for seven days.

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