1 After the death of Saul, David returned from attacking the Amalekites. He stayed in Ziklag for two days. 2 Then on the third day a man arrived from Saul's camp. His clothes were torn and he had dust on his head. When he approached David, he bowed before him, and fell to the ground in respect.
3 “Where have you come from?” David asked him.
“I got away from the Israelite camp,” he replied.
4 “Tell me what happened,” David asked.
“The army ran away from the battle,” the man replied. “Many of them died, and Saul and his son Jonathan also died.”
5 “How do you know Saul and Jonathan died?” David asked the man giving the report.
6 “I just happened to be there on Mount Gilboa,” he replied. “I saw Saul, leaning on his spear, with the enemy chariots and the charioteers advancing on him. 7 He turned around and saw me. He called out and I replied, ‘I'm here to help!’
8 He asked me, ‘Who are you?’
I told him, ‘I'm an Amalekite.’
9 Then he told me, ‘Please come over here and kill me! I'm in terrible agony but life is still hanging on.’
10 So I went over him and killed him, because I knew that wounded as he was he couldn't last long. I took the crown from his head and his bracelet from his arm, and I've brought them here to you, my lord.”
11 David grabbed hold of his clothes and ripped them,* A sign of extreme emotion, usually grief. as did his men. 12 They mourned and cried and fasted until the evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord, the Israelites, that had been killed by the sword.
13 David asked man who brought him the report, “Where are you from?”
“I'm the son of a foreigner,” he replied “I'm an Amalekite.”
14 “Why weren't you worried about killing the Lord's anointed one?” David asked.
15 David called over one of his men and said, “Go ahead, kill him!” So the man cut the Amalekite down and killed him.
16 David had told the Amalekite, “Your death is your own fault because you testified against yourself when you said, ‘I killed the Lord's anointed one.’ ”
17 Then David sang this lament for Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 He ordered it to be taught to the people of Judah. It is called “the Bow” and is recorded in the Book of the Just:
19 “Israel, the glorious one lies dead on your mountains. How the mighty have fallen! 20 Don't announce it in the town of Gath, don't proclaim it in the streets of Ashkelon, so that the Philistine women won't rejoice, so that the heathen women won't celebrate. 21 Mountains of Gilboa, may no dew or rain fall on you! May you have no fields that produce offerings of grain. For it was there that the shield of the mighty was defiled; Saul's shield, no longer cared for with olive oil.† Saul's shield would be ritually defiled by blood, and would no longer be looked after by regular applications of olive oil. 22 Jonathan with his bow did not retreat from attacking the enemy; Saul with his sword did not return empty-handed from shedding blood. 23 During their lives, Saul and Jonathan were much loved and very pleasant, and death did not divide them. They were faster than eagles, stronger than lions. 24 Women of Israel, mourn for Saul, who gave you fine scarlet clothes decorated with gold ornaments. 25 How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies dead on your mountains. 26 I weep so much for you, my brother Jonathan! You were so very dear to me! Your love for me was so wonderful, greater than the love women have! 27 How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war are gone!”
*1:11 A sign of extreme emotion, usually grief.
†1:21 Saul's shield would be ritually defiled by blood, and would no longer be looked after by regular applications of olive oil.