Illustration from the Roda Bible, c.1050-1100AD
1 Samuel 31
The Death of Saul and His Sons
Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and many fell on Mount Gilboa.
2 The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.
3 The battle pressed hard upon Saul; the archers found him, and he was badly wounded by them.
4 Then Saul said to his armour-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, so that these uncircumcised may not come and thrust me through, and make sport of me.’ But his armour-bearer was unwilling; for he was terrified. So Saul took his own sword and fell upon it.
5 When his armour-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him.
6 So Saul and his three sons and his armour-bearer and all his men died together on the same day.
(1 Samuel 31:1-6)
David Mourns for Saul and Jonathan
2 Samuel 1
After the death of Saul, when David had returned from defeating the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag.
2 On the third day, a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground and did obeisance.
3 David said to him, ‘Where have you come from?’ He said to him, ‘I have escaped from the camp of Israel.’
4 David said to him, ‘How did things go? Tell me!’ He answered, ‘The army fled from the battle, but also many of the army fell and died; and Saul and his son Jonathan also died.’
5 Then David asked the young man who was reporting to him, ‘How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan died?’
6 The young man reporting to him said, ‘I happened to be on Mount Gilboa; and there was Saul leaning on his spear, while the chariots and the horsemen drew close to him.
7 When he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. I answered, “Here, sir.”
8 And he said to me, “Who are you?” I answered him, “I am an Amalekite.”
9 He said to me, “Come, stand over me and kill me; for convulsions have seized me, and yet my life still lingers.”
10 So I stood over him, and killed him, for I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.’
11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them; and all the men who were with him did the same.
12 They mourned and wept, and fasted until evening for Saul and for his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
13 David said to the young man who had reported to him, ‘Where do you come from?’ He answered, ‘I am the son of a resident alien, an Amalekite.’
14 David said to him, ‘Were you not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?’
15 Then David called one of the young men and said, ‘Come here and strike him down.’ So he struck him down and he died.
16 David said to him, ‘Your blood be on your head; for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, “I have killed the Lord’s anointed.” ’
(2 Samuel 1:1-16)
Biblia Sancti Petri Rodensis. Ms Latin 6 (2) folio 021r
Death of Saul at the Battle of Mount Gilboa /Click for a detail image.
David and the Amalekite /
2 Samuel 2
David Anointed King of Judah
After this David inquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?’ The Lord said to him, ‘Go up.’ David said, ‘To which shall I go up?’ He said, ‘To Hebron.’
2 So David went up there, along with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.
3 David brought up the men who were with him, every one with his household; and they settled in the towns of Hebron.
4 Then the people of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. When they told David, ‘It was the people of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul’,
5 David sent messengers to the people of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, ‘May you be blessed by the Lord, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord, and buried him!
6 Now may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you! And I too will reward you because you have done this thing.
7 Therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant; for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.’
Ishbaal King of Israel
8 But Abner son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ishbaal son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim.
9 He made him king over Gilead, the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and over all Israel.
10 Ishbaal, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned for two years. But the house of Judah followed David.
11 The time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
The Battle of Gibeon
12 Abner son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbaal son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.
13 Joab son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. One group sat on one side of the pool, while the other sat on the other side of the pool.
14 Abner said to Joab, ‘Let the young men come forward and have a contest before us.’ Joab said, ‘Let them come forward.’
15 So they came forward and were counted as they passed by, twelve for Benjamin and Ishbaal son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.
16 Each grasped his opponent by the head, and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is at Gibeon.
17 The battle was very fierce that day; and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten by the servants of David.
(2 Samuel 2:1-17)
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