2 Samuel

The Report of Saul’s Death by the Amalekite

After[a] the death of Saul, David returned from defeating the Amalekites and he stayed at Ziklag two days. On the third day, a man came from the camp from being with Saul, with his clothes torn and with dirt on his head. When he came[b] to David, he fell to the ground and bowed down. David said to him, “Where did you come from?” He said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” Then David said to him, “How did things go?[c] Please tell me.” He answered, “When[d] the army fled from the battle, and many of the people fell; also, Saul and Jonathan his son died.” Then David asked the young man who was reporting to him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan died?” The young man who was reporting to him said, “I merely happened to be on Mount Gilboa. Here Saul was leaning on his spear, and look, the chariots and the horsemen were getting close to him. When he turned around and saw me, he called to me, and I said, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ And I said to him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ He said to me, ‘Please stand over me and kill me, for convulsions have seized me, even though my life is still in me.’ 10 So I stood over him and killed him, for I knew that he could not live after his falling; I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet which was on his arm; and here, I have brought them to my lord. 11 David grabbed at his clothes and tore them, as did all of the men who were with him. 12 Then they mourned and wept and fasted over Saul and Jonathan his son until the evening, as well as over the people of Yahweh and over the house of Israel because they had fallen by the sword. 13 Then David said to the young man who was reporting to him, “Where are you from?” And he said, “I am the son of an alien man. I am an Amalekite.” 14 David said to him, “How is it that you were not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy Yahweh’s anointed one?” 15 Then David called to one of the young men and said to him, “Come near; strike him.” So he struck him down and he died. 16 David said to him, “Your blood is on your head, for your mouth has testified against you by saying, ‘I killed Yahweh’s anointed one!’”

David Laments Jonathan with the “Song of the Bow”

17 Then David sang this funeral song over Saul and over Jonathan his son. 18 And he ordered “The Bow” to be taught to the children of Judah. Look, it is written on the scroll of Jashar.[e]

19 “The glory of Israel is on your high places; how the mighty have fallen!

20 Do not tell it in Gath; do not proclaim it in the streets of Ashkelon,

lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,

lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult.

21 O mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you

or on the fields of grain for offerings,

for there the small shield of the mighty was defiled,

the small shield of Saul was not anointed with oil.

22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty,

the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,

and the sword of Saul did not return without effect.[f]

23 Saul and Jonathan were beloved and pleasant in their lives

and were not separated in their death.

They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions.

24 O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,

the one who clothed you with crimson,

the one who adorned your clothing with golden ornaments.[g]

25 How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle;

Jonathan lies slain on your high places.

26 I am distressed[h] over you, my brother Jonathan.

you were very dear to me;

your love was more wonderful to me than the love of women.

27 How the mighty have fallen and the weapons of warfare perished.”


  1. 2 Samuel 1:1 Literally “And it happened after”
  2. 2 Samuel 1:2 Literally “And it happened at his coming”
  3. 2 Samuel 1:4 Literally “What was the thing”
  4. 2 Samuel 1:4 Literally “That”
  5. 2 Samuel 1:18 The Book of Jashar (“the upright”) is also mentioned in Josh 10:13.
  6. 2 Samuel 1:22 Literally “empty handedly”
  7. 2 Samuel 1:24 Literally “put gold ornaments on your clothing”
  8. 2 Samuel 1:26 Literally “Distress is for me”