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FRAMEWORKS: 1 Chronicles

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FRAMEWORKS: 1 Chronicles 10: The Death of Saul


[Introductory Notes: With the counting of Israel complete, the recorder moves on to the history of the kings of Israel, but beginning with the death of the first king, Saul, which occurred at the hands of their old enemy, the Philistines. The final two verses sum up the cause.]


v.1-6 The death of saul & his sons by the Philistines


v.1   Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa.

v.2  The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua.

v.3  The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him.

v.4  Saul said to his armour-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and abuse me.'

But his armour-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it.

v.5  When the armour-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died.

v.So Saul and his three sons died, and all his house died together.


[Notes: Israel retreat before the Philistines and Jonathan and the other sons of Saul are killed in the rout. Saul is struck by the enemy archers but rather than allow himself to be taken alive by the enemy, who would no doubt taunt and torture him, Saul instructs his armour-bearer to kill him, but he refuses to raise a hand against him, so Saul kills himself.]


v.7-10 The triumphant Philistines take Saul's body


v.7  When all the Israelites in the valley saw that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them.

v.8  The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his sons fallen on Mount Gilboa.

v.9  They stripped him and took his head and his armour, and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news among their idols and their people.

v.10  They put his armour in the temple of their gods and hung up his head in the temple of Dagon.


[Notes: The Israelites flee before the Philistines and the enemy, plundering the dead bodies on the battle field, come across the dead Saul and stripped him and took his body and put the head in their temple.]


v.11,12 Some Israelites recover Saul's body and bury it


v.11  When all the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul,

v.12  all their valiant men went and took the bodies of Saul and his sons and brought them to Jabesh. Then they buried their bones under the great tree in Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.


[Notes: A group of the Israelites hear what has happened and recover the bodies of Saul and his sons and bury them.]


v.13,14 The final assessment of Saul


v.13  Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord ; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance,

v.14  and did not enquire of the Lord . So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.


[Notes: The recorders are unflinching in their assessment of Saul's death and the fourfold reasons behind it.]



Continue to Ch.11