2 Samuel Chapter 1

This is the beginning of a new book in the Old Testament, which is otherwise known as the Second Book of the Kings. According the the Bible Dictionary, this was part of the same book in the Hebrew version of the Old Testament, but has been split in the version which is used in the King James version. I believe the split has to do with it being the record of two kings in Israel. In the narrative of the first book of Samuel or the First Book of the Kings, the people of Israel chose to have an earthly king rather than follow the prophets under the direction of the Lord. The first king, anointed by the Lord, was Saul. Saul allowed the influences of the world and the temptations of the adversary, to creep into his heart. He became a wicked man and the Lord withdrew from Him. David was chosen and anointed to be the next king, though he did not become the king right away. King Saul feared David and after several attempts at killing him, David showed his good character, and spared Saul’s life more than once. David trusted in the timing of the Lord. Eventually, Saul met his end in a battle against the Philistines. This second book will tell of the reign of David and it begins as follows:

1 Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag;
2 It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.
3 And David said unto him, From whence comest thou? And he said unto him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped.
4 And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.
5 And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead?
6 And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.
7 And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I.
8 And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite.
9 He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me.
10 So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.
11 Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him:
12 And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the Lord, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.

David had been in his home in Ziklag, for just two days, when a man from Saul’s army, came mourning and he bowed down to David. The man told him that he was from the camp of Israel, and that he had escaped. He told David that the Israelites had fled and that many had died, including Saul and his son, Jonathan. When asked how he knew these things, the man said that he had seen Saul leaning upon his spear, as the Philistines came upon him. Saul saw the man and asked who he was. The man told him he was an Amalekite. He said that Saul told him to kill him, and so he did. The man took his crown and bracelet and brought them to David. David rent his clothes and fasted, in mourning for their king and for Jonathan, as well as all those who they had lost in that battle.

It seems that the Amalekite was making a claim to something happening in a way that the previous chapter told differently. It is my guess that the Amalekite hoped that in claiming to kill Saul, he would find favor in the sight of David, because it was known that Saul had made himself an enemy to David.

13 And David said unto the young man that told him, Whence art thou? And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite.
14 And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?
15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.
16 And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord’s anointed.

David asked the man where he was from, and the man told him he was an Amalekite stranger. Then David asked how he was able to kill the anointed of the Lord without any fear. I think in saying these things to the man, he was telling him that he was wrong to think that David would have been pleased to hear these tidings. Instead, David was prepared to punish the man for it. David commanded one of his men to kill this man who claimed to have killed Saul and he told him that he had brought this upon himself by his own testimony.

17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:
18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)
19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil.
22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.
25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.
26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

David lamented over the death of Saul and Jonathan with a song to go with an instrument. This would have been fitting, since David had first served Saul in playing for him. I find it interesting that it says it was written in the book of Jasher, which is not one that we currently have in our Bible. This must be among the lost scriptures. It is always a wonder to me, all the things that we possibly do not know, because they are in the lost scriptures of the prophets of old.

The song of David tells the Israelites to not give the Philistines more opportunities to boast of how they had killed the mighty men of Israel. He sang of the mountains receiving no moisture where Saul, the anointed, had fallen. He praised both Jonathan and Saul and told Israel to weep for Saul who had brought them good fortune. He hints to the loyalty of Jonathan to his father, in spite of the things that we know Saul did to him, by saying that they were not divided in death. Jonathan was there to fight under the command of his king and his father. David mourned for the loss of Jonathan, whom he loved more dearly than he loved any woman. The Israelites had lost much in this fight.

It is good to know that, even though Saul had brought a lot of trials and tribulations into David’s life, he did not rejoice in his death. He knew that Saul had done many good things in his life, and that he had done a lot of good for Israel. He honored Saul, because Saul was his king, anointed by the Lord to be such, and he deserved great respect for it. David was not seeking after the throne or power. He was a man of honor and integrity, and at least at this point in his life, he was a great example to Israel.

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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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