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1 Samuel 31

1 When the Philistines fought Israel, the men of Israel fled from the Philistines and were killed in battle on Mount Gilboa.

2 The Philistines caught up to Saul and his sons. They killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons.

3 The heaviest fighting was against Saul. When the archers got him in their range, he was badly wounded by them.

4 He said to the young man carrying his weapons: »Draw your sword and kill me. That way these godless Philistines will not gloat over me and kill me.« But the young man was too terrified to do it. So Saul took his own sword and threw himself on it.

5 The young man saw that Saul was dead. Then he too threw himself on his own sword and died with Saul.

6 That is how Saul, his three sons, and the young man died. All of Saul’s men died that day.

7 The Israelites on the other side of Jezreel Valley and east of the Jordan River heard that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had been killed. They abandoned their towns and fled. Then the Philistines came and occupied the towns.

8 The next day the Philistines came to strip the dead. They found Saul and his three sons lying on Mount Gilboa.

9 They cut off his head and stripped off his armor. Then they sent men throughout Philistine territory to tell the people this good news in their idols’ temples.

10 They put his armor in the temple of their goddesses the Asherahs and fastened his corpse to the wall of Beth Shan.

11 The people living in Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul.

12 All the fighting men marched all night and took the dead bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan. They came back to Jabesh and burned the bodies.

13 They buried the bones under a small tree in Jabesh. Then for seven days, they went without eating to show their sorrow.

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