The Death of King Saul
(1 Samuel 31.1-13)
1The Philistines fought a battle against the Israelites on Mount Gilboa. Many Israelites were killed there, and the rest of them, including King Saul and his sons, fled. 2But the Philistines caught up with them and killed three of Saul's sons, Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua. 3The fighting was heavy around Saul, and he was hit by enemy arrows and badly wounded. 4He said to the young man carrying his weapons, “Draw your sword and kill me, to keep these godless Philistines from gloating over me.” But the young man was too terrified to do it. So Saul took his own sword and threw himself on it. 5The young man saw that Saul was dead, so he too threw himself on his sword and died. 6So Saul and his three sons all died together, and none of his descendants ever ruled. 7When the Israelites who lived in Jezreel Valley heard that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and ran off. Then the Philistines came and occupied them.
8The day after the battle the Philistines went to plunder the corpses, and they found the bodies of Saul and his sons lying on Mount Gilboa. 9They cut off Saul's head, stripped off his armor, and sent messengers with them throughout Philistia to tell the good news to their idols and to their people. 10They put his weapons in one of their temples and hung his head in the temple of their god Dagon. 11When the people of Jabesh in Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12the bravest men went and got the bodies of Saul and his sons and took them to Jabesh. They buried them there under an oak and fasted for seven days.
13 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord. He disobeyed the Lord's commands; he tried to find guidance by consulting the spirits of the dead 14instead of consulting the Lord. So the Lord killed him and gave control of the kingdom to David son of Jesse.