1 AND IT came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag;
2 it came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head; and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and prostrated himself.
3 And David said unto him: 'From whence comest thou?' And he said unto him: 'Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped.'
4 And David said unto him: 'How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me.' And he answered: 'The people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.'
5 And David said unto the young man that told him: 'How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?'
6 And the young man that told him said: 'As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and the horsemen pressed hard upon him.
7 And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered: Here am I.
8 And he said unto me: Who art thou? And I answered him: I am an Amalekite.
9 And he said unto me: Stand, I pray thee, beside me, and slay me, for the agony hath taken hold of me; because my life is just yet in me.
10 So I stood beside him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen; and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.'
11 Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him.
12 And they wailed, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of HaShem, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.
13 And David said unto the young man that told him: 'Whence art thou?' And he answered: 'I am the son of an Amalekite stranger.'
14 And David said unto him: 'How wast thou not afraid to put forth thy hand to destroy HaShem'S anointed?'
15 And David called one of the young men, and said: 'Go near, and fall upon him.' And he smote him that he died.
16 And David said unto him: 'Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying: I have slain HaShem'S anointed.'
17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son,
18 and said--To teach the sons of Judah the bow. Behold, it is written in the book of Jashar:
19 Thy beauty, O Israel, upon thy high places is slain! How are the mighty fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew nor rain upon you, neither fields of choice fruits; for there the shield of the mighty was vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.
22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan, the lovely and the pleasant in their lives, even in their death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put ornaments of gold upon your apparel.
25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan upon thy high places is slain!
26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant hast thou been unto me; wonderful was thy love to me, passing the love of women.
27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!
Sources: Portions copyright © 1997 by Benyamin Pilant, All Rights Reserved
JPS Electronic Edition Copyright © 1998 by Larry Nelson, All Rights Reserved