Saul and His Sons are Killed in Battle

I Samuel 31


1-6 | Philistines kill Saul’s sons: Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, and wound Saul; Saul kills himself; so does his armor bearer who refused to kill him
7 | The Israelites flee when they hear Saul is dead, leaving the cities to the Philistines
8-13 | Saul and his sons found by the Philistines and made a spectacle at Beth-shan; inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead rescue the bodies and buried them at Jabesh and mourned 7 days


Saul reign over Israel comes to an end.  His sons had been killed in battle and he was wounded by an archer’s arrow.  He asked his armor bearer to kill him so that the Philistines wouldn’t be able to and make sport of him while doing so.  But the armor bearer refused, so Saul took his own life, and his armor bearer did the same when he saw what Saul had done.

The death of their king caused the men of Israel to disperse and the battle ended.  The Philistines found the bodies of Saul and his sons among the dead on Mount Gilboa and set about making sport of them: they beheaded Saul and sent his head and weapons throughout their territory so the people could see that they had been victorious.  They also took the bodies of Saul and his sons and hung them on the wall of the city of Beth-shan.

The men of Jabesh-gilead heard of the bodies being hung on the wall of Beth-shan and traveled through the night to the city to remove the bodies and bring them back to Jabesh.  Once back at Jabesh, they burned the bodies and buried the bones under a tamarisk tree and fasted for seven days.

Saul’s kingship was blessed early on because he followed after God but when he became increasingly distant from following God, his kingdom was taken from him and given to another, namely David.  This ends the royal line of Saul.  The lesson to be learned from Saul’s life: Never stray from following after God.

Lord God, Saul was chosen to be the first king of Israel but was unable to remain steadfast in following after You and his life ended in a tragic manner.  We pray that Your Spirit will expose the areas of our life to us where we need to lovingly submit to Your ways and live to honor You.  Forgive us we pray when we stumble and sin against You.  Help us to resist the temptations that will come and cause the devil to flee from us, just as it is written in Your word.  May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

1 Samuel 31 - Saul and His Son are Killed in Battle
1 Samuel 31 - Saul and His Son are Killed in Battle
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