The Tragedy of Saul Comes to an End

Alt Text

1 Samuel 31

Chapter Summary

The Tragedy of Saul Comes to an End

After years and years of unstable rule, and of chasing and trying to destroy the man God had chosen to take his place, Saul finally died in battle—the very battle that David was supposed to join but didn’t. All three of his sons, plus his armor bearer, died with him. Heaven must have mourned for the ending of the man whose life had begun with such promise. When someone dies, those who remain always mourn, but it’s worse when we have had a painful relationship with them, and worst of all if it seems they died without God. Try to imagine the mixed-up feelings of the brave men who came to claim and bury the bodies of Saul and his sons. How do you think David will react?

Day 281

O merciful Lord, You never go against our choices, but You try to the day of our deaths to bring us back to You if we stray. You must have mourned for one who had once been Your son. I will be faithful, so You never mourn like that for me.

Today's Study Verses

1 Samuel 31:6

1 Samuel 31


31 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.

And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul’s sons.

And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.

Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.

So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.

And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa.

And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people.

10 And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.

11 And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul;

12 All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there.

13 And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.