1 Samuel 31: Saul falls upon his own sword


Israel is routed by the Philistines. Saul realizes he is about to be killed and asks his armor bearer to kill him. He refuses to Saul falls upon his own sword so he won’t be killed by the uncircumcised. His armor bearer does the same. The Israelis flee their cities and the Philistines dwell in them. When the Philistines go out the next day to take the valuables from the dead, they find Saul and his sons and cut off Saul’s head, which they parade around to let everyone know Saul was vanquished. His armor was put in the house in Ashtaroth. His body was fastened to the wall of Bethshan. When the people in Jabeshgilead hear about this, they go and retrieve the bodies of Saul and his sons, cremate them and bury the bones under a tree in Jabesh and fast for 7 days.

In other words:

Saul is killed and Israel is occupied.

Favorite bit:

It’s a bit gruesome but I found the beheading and display of Saul to be rather interesting. (1 Samuel 31:10,11)

Not sure I believe it:

I’m not sure I believe that Saul killed himself. I think that might be a nice story to salvage this man’s reputation among the people of Israel. After all, no one was there to witness it. (1 Samuel 31:4)

Least favorite bit:

That this battle had to happen. Couldn't god just have given Saul a deadly disease instead?

Smartest bit:

When the people of Israel flee their cities and just give them to the Philistines.

Moral Lesson learned:

  • Know when to cut your losses and run. (1 Samuel 31)
  • There is no shame in admitting defeat. (1 Samuel 31)