1 Samuel 31

Saul's Overthrow and Death

Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before them, and many fell slain on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons, and they killed Saul’s sons Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua. When the battle intensified against Saul, the archers overtook him and wounded him critically. Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run it through me, or these uncircumcised men will come and run me through and torture me!” But the armor-bearer refused, because he was terrified. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it. When his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his own sword and died with him. So on that day, Saul died together with his three sons, his armor-bearer, and all his men.

The Philistines Possess the Towns

When the Israelites along the valley and those on the other side of the Jordan saw that the army of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their cities and ran away. So the Philistines came and occupied them. The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. They cut off Saul’s head, stripped off his armor, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news in the temples of their idols and among their people. 10  They put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and hung his body on the wall of Beth-shan.

Jabesh-gilead's Tribute to Saul

11  When the people of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12  all their valiant warriors set out, journeyed all night, and retrieved the bodies of Saul [and] his sons from the wall of Beth-shan. When they arrived at Jabesh, they burned the bodies there. 13  Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.
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