The News of Saul’s Death

Scripture Passage: 
2 Samuel 1:1-27

INTRODUCTION: When you compare the description of Saul’s death in this chapter with that in 1 Samuel 31, you will find two different stories of how Saul died. 1 Samuel 31:4-5 tells us that he died at his own hand by falling on his own sword. In 2 Samuel 1:9-10, we are told that he was killed by the Amalekite. Is there a contradiction? No. The second account is that of the Amalekite himself who thought he would receive a reward for killing David’s enemy. He was surprised when he was killed instead. Did David know he was lying? Perhaps. He covers himself when he says, “Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee” (2 Samuel 1:16). The Amalekite died because he testified that he had killed the Lord’s anointed. The fact that he was lying did not change his fate.

  1. THE AMALEKITE TESTIFIES OF SAUL’S DEATH (2 Samuel 1:1-12)
    1. The Return of David (2 Samuel 1:1)
      1. David returned to Ziklag from the slaughter of the Amalekites.
      2. He had been in Ziklag for two days.
    2. The Visit from an Amalekite (2 Samuel 1:2-10)
      1. The circumstances of his visit (2 Samuel 1:2)
        1. He arrives on the third day of David’s return to Ziklag.
        2. He comes with his clothes rent and earth upon his head.
        3. He falls to the earth before David and does obeisance.
      2. The questions of his visit (2 Samuel 1:3-10)
        1. The question of his location (2 Samuel 1:3)
          1. David asks him where he came from.
          2. He states that he escaped out of the camp of Israel.
        2. The question of the battle (2 Samuel 1:4)
          1. David asks how the battle went.
          2. He responds with bad news.
            1. The people are fled from the battle.
            2. Many of the people are fallen and dead.
            3. Saul and Jonathan are dead.
        3. The question of his information (2 Samuel 1:5-10)
          1. David asks how the young man obtained this information (2 Samuel 1:5).
          2. The young man gives his account of the events of the battle (2 Samuel 1:6-10).
            1. He “happened by chance” to the place where Saul was fallen from his wound (2 Samuel 1:6).
            2. Saul leaned upon his spear because the chariots and horsemen were following hard after him (2 Samuel 1:6).
            3. Saul happened to see this young man and asked him to slay him (2 Samuel 1:7-9).
            4. He stood upon Saul and slew him out of mercy (2 Samuel 1:10). Note: See notes on Euthanasia.
      3. The purpose of his visit (2 Samuel 1:10)
        1. The young man took the crown from Saul’s head and the bracelet from his arm.
        2. He brought them to David.
    3. The Reaction of David and His Men (2 Samuel 1:11-12)
      1. They rent their clothes (2 Samuel 1:11).
      2. They mourned, wept, and fasted until even for (2 Samuel 1:12)
        1. Saul
        2. Jonathan
        3. The people of the Lord
        4. The house of Israel
  2. THE AMALEKITE DIES FOR HIS TESTIMONY (2 Samuel 1:13-16)
    1. David Rebukes the Young Man (2 Samuel 1:13-14).
      1. David asks the young man about his place of birth (2 Samuel 1:13).
      2. The young man states that he is the son of a stranger, an Amalekite (2 Samuel 1:13).
      3. David questions his lack of reverence for the life of the Lord’s anointed (2 Samuel 1:14).
    2. David Orders the Death of the Young Man (2 Samuel 1:15-16).
      1. David calls upon one of his young men to execute the Amalekite (2 Samuel 1:15).
      2. David explains the reasons of execution to the Amalekite (2 Samuel 1:16).
        1. Thy blood be upon thy head.
        2. Thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD'S anointed.
  3. DAVID LAMENTS THE LOSS OF SAUL AND JONATHAN (2 Samuel 1:17-27)
    1. David Speaks Concerning Saul’s Death (2 Samuel 1:17-18).
      1. He laments a lamentation over Saul and Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:17).
      2. He bade the people to teach the children of Judah the use of the bow (2 Samuel 1:18).
        1. This is said to be recorded in the book of Jasher.
        2. The book of Jasher is also mentioned in Joshua 10:13.
        3. We have absolutely no reason to believe this book ought to have been included in the canon of Scripture.
    2. The Content of David’s Lamentation (2 Samuel 1:19-27)
      1. The slaying of the beauty of Israel (2 Samuel 1:19)
        1. The beauty of Israel is slain upon the high places. Note: David remembers Saul in the light of his position in the Lord rather than in light of his rebellion against the Lord.
        2. The mighty are fallen.
      2. The need for silence (2 Samuel 1:20)
        1. A need to keep silence in the land of the Philistines
          1. Tell it not in Gath.
          2. Publish it not in the streets of Askelon.
        2. Lest the Philistines rejoice over Saul’s death
      3. The curse upon Gilboa (2 Samuel 1:21-22)
        1. No dew or rain upon Gilboa (2 Samuel 1:21)
        2. Because this was the location of Saul and Jonathan’s death (2 Samuel 1:21-22).
      4. The legacy of Saul and Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:23)
        1. They were lovely and pleasant in their lives.
        2. In their death they were not divided.
        3. They were swifter than eagles.
        4. They were stronger than lions.
      5. The mourning for Saul (2 Samuel 1:24)
        1. Who clothed them in scarlet
        2. Who put on ornaments of gold upon their apparel
      6. The mourning for Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:25-26)
        1. He was slain in his high places (2 Samuel 1:25).
        2. He had been “very pleasant” unto David (2 Samuel 1:26).
        3. His love had passed the love of women for David (2 Samuel 1:26). Note: This does not suggest an ungodly relationship between David and Jonathan; rather, it signifies the strength of friendship held by them.
      7. The concluding thoughts (2 Samuel 1:27)
        1. The mighty are fallen.
        2. The weapons of war are perished.

CONCLUSION: The candle of Saul’s life is out, but David is not rejoicing. He takes the life of the young man who claimed to take Saul’s life, and he presents a beautiful lamentation at the remembrance of Saul and Jonathan.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 20:11

Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.