King Saul commits suicide.
VERSE 1. Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain on Mount Gilboa.
the men of Israel fled. They ran away from the battle.
VERSE 2. The Philistines overtook Saul and on his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.
VERSE 3. The battle went hard against Saul, and the archers overtook him; and he was greatly distressed by reason of the archers.
VERSE 4. Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me!” But his armor bearer would not; for he was terrified. Therefore Saul took his sword, and fell on it.
lest these uncircumcised … abuse me! Saul is afraid of suffering.
Saul took his sword, and fell on it. King Saul committed suicide.
This seems to conflict with the narrative in the next chapter:
2 Samuel 1:9. He said to me, ‘Please stand beside me, and kill me; for anguish has taken hold of me, because my life lingers in me.’
VERSE 5. When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell on his sword, and died with him.
VERSE 6. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor bearer, and all his men, that same day together.
So Saul died. But not in battle. Rather, as we saw in verse 4 above, he committed suicide.
VERSE 7. When the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled; and the Philistines came and lived in them.
VERSE 8. On the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa.
VERSE 9. They cut off his head, stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines all around, to carry the news to the house of their idols, and to the people.
VERSE 10. They put his armor in the house of the Ashtaroth, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.
VERSE 11. When the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul,
VERSE 12. all the valiant men arose, went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan; and they came to Jabesh, and burned them there.
VERSE 13. They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
tamarisk tree. Or Salt cedar.
fasted seven days. We wonder why they fasted.
They were probably NOT mourning the death of Saul. He was a terrible human being and a terrible leader.
Maybe they were fasting because the nation was in turmoil.
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