Decisions, Decisions

1 Samuel 31; 1 Chronicles 10

Works of art by Unknown Flemish artist, Pieter Bruegel I, and Mattia Preti [circle of]
Commentaries by Peter Doebler

1 Samuel 31; 1 Chronicles 10

Bible passage (Revised Standard Version)

1 Samuel 31

31 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount Gilboʹa. 2And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan and Abinʹadab and Malʹchishuʹa, the sons of Saul. 3The battle pressed hard upon Saul, and the archers found him; and he was badly wounded by the archers. 4Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and make sport of me.” But his armor-bearer would not; for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword, and fell upon it. 5And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword, and died with him. 6Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together. 7And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley and those beyond the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook their cities and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

8 On the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboʹa. 9And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines, to carry the good news to their idols and to the people. 10They put his armor in the temple of Ashʹtaroth; and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. 11But when the inhabitants of Jaʹbesh-gilʹead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12all the valiant men arose, and 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 burnt them there. 13And they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

1 Chronicles 10

10 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount Gilboʹa. 2And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan and Abinʹadab and Malʹchishuʹa, the sons of Saul. 3The battle pressed hard upon Saul, and the archers found him; and he was wounded by the archers. 4Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and make sport of me.” But his armor-bearer would not; for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword, and fell upon it. 5And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword, and died. 6Thus Saul died; he and his three sons and all his house died together. 7And when all the men of Israel who were in the valley saw that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook their cities and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

8 On the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his sons fallen on Mount Gilboʹa. 9And they stripped him and took his head and his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines, to carry the good news to their idols and to the people. 10And they put his armor in the temple of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon. 11But when all Jaʹbesh-gilʹead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul, 12all the valiant men arose, and took away the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh. And they buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

13 So Saul died for his unfaithfulness; he was unfaithful to the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance, 14and did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord slew him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.