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How Did King Saul Die? What Did David Do After Saul’s Death?

How Did King Saul Die? The fact that there are two accounts of King Saul’s death is sometimes cited as a “contradiction” by those who are critical of the Bible. According to 1 Samuel 31:4, Saul committed himself after suffering an injury in battle. An Amalekite is reported to have claimed responsibility for Saul’s death in 2 Samuel 1:10. Is the Bible really contradictory here? Which of these two versions of Saul’s death is correct?

How Did King Saul Die?

According to 1 Samuel 31, Saul took his own life by falling on his sword. According to 2 Samuel 1, an Amalekite assassinated Saul right as the king was ready to fall on his sword.

It’s odd that Saul defied God by sparing some Amalekites but not all of them. If he had, the account of Saul’s death would not have involved an Amalekite.

This is what happened, as it is stated explicitly in 1 Samuel 31: “Saul drew a sword and fell on it,” and Saul’s armour bearer saw that Saul was dead. The account given in 1 Samuel 31 is borne out by the events of 1 Chronicle 10.

An Amalekite delivered the news of Saul’s death to David in 2 Samuel 1, accompanied by the king’s crown and armlet. The Amalekite stated that Saul committed suicide by leaning on his spear rather than his sword and that he had done so at Saul’s instruction.

The Amalekite’s deceitful statement was made in the hopes of gaining favour with David and earning a prize. The Amalekite may have been aware of David’s mercy for Saul and wanted to win favour by claiming that he had killed David’s opponent out of devotion to God’s anointed king. The Amalekite tried to trick David, but he was executed anyhow.

Accordingly, the correct account can be found in 1 Samuel 31 and 1 Chronicles 10, whereas the Amalekite’s version is reported in 2 Samuel 1.

Was David aware of the reality? To the extent that we do, he almost certainly did as well. According to legend, 2 Samuel was written by the Prophet Gad, who would have had firsthand knowledge of Saul’s grisly end. Prophet Gad was one of David’s advisors. So, David might have had some inkling that the Amalekite was exaggerating, and he might have punished him accordingly. Assuming David did not suspect the Amalekite of lying, David would have executed him only for the crime he committed.

How Did King Saul Die

The irony is that under Mosaic Law, lying was not always a capital offence. However, the death penalty was always the consequence of murder. If David believed the Amalekite’s story that he murdered Saul, which was a lie, then the Amalekite was executed for a crime that did not warrant death.

It’s likely the Amalekite was feeling particularly risky, as only a few days prior the Amalekites had stormed Ziklag and kidnapped David’s women, forcing David to chase and soundly destroy them in battle.

Was Saul’s decision to take his own life while he was mortally wounded and surrounded by enemies understandable? No. Six suicides are mentioned in the Bible, yet none of them is viewed as being sanctioned by God.

  1.  Abimelech (Judges 9),
  2. Samson (Judges 16),
  3.  Saul (1 Samuel 31), (1 Samuel 31),
  4.  Zimri (1 Kings 16),
  5. Ahithophel  (2 Samuel 17),
  6.  Judas (Matthew 27).
  7. God bans all forms of murder, even one’s own, which makes suicide an abomination.

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What Happened to King Saul and Jonathan?

Fighting the Philistines at Mount Gilboa resulted in the deaths of Saul, Jonathan, and Jonathan’s brothers. The dead, which had been looted and left exposed by the Philistines, was recovered by men from Jabesh-Gilead and reinterred in the city of Jabesh. After many years had passed, David had the body reinterred in the tomb of Kish in Benjamin.

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What Did David Do After Saul’s Death?

A Portal to the Bible The New International Version of 2 Samuel 1. David returned after his victory over the Amalekites after Saul’s death and stayed in Ziklag for two days.

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