New English Translation
David Learns of the Deaths of Saul and Jonathan
1 After the death of Saul, when David had returned from defeating the Amalekites, he stayed at Ziklag for two days. 2 On the third day a man arrived from the camp of Saul with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. When he approached David, the man threw himself to the ground.
3 David asked him, "Where are you coming from?" He replied, "I have escaped from the camp of Israel." 4 David inquired, "How were things going? Tell me!" He replied, "The people fled from the battle and many of them fell dead. Even Saul and his son Jonathan are dead!" 5 David said to the young man who was telling him this, "How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?" 6 The young man who was telling him this said, "I just happened to be on Mount Gilboa and came across Saul leaning on his spear for support. The chariots and leaders of the horsemen were in hot pursuit of him. 7 When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me. I answered, 'Here I am!' 8 He asked me, 'Who are you?' I told him, 'I'm an Amalekite.' 9 He said to me, 'Stand over me and finish me off! I'm very dizzy, even though I'm still alive.' 10 So I stood over him and put him to death, since I knew that he couldn't live in such a condition. Then I took the crown which was on his head and the bracelet which was on his arm. I have brought them here to my LORD."
11 David then grabbed his own clothes and tore them, as did all the men who were with him. 12 They lamented and wept and fasted until evening because Saul, his son Jonathan, the LORD's people, and the house of Israel had fallen by the sword.
13 David said to the young man who told this to him, "Where are you from?" He replied, "I am an Amalekite, the son of a resident foreigner." 14 David replied to him, "How is it that you were not afraid to reach out your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?" 15 Then David called one of the soldiers and said, "Come here and strike him down!" So he struck him down, and he died. 16 David said to him, "Your blood be on your own head! Your own mouth has testified against you, saying 'I have put the LORD's anointed to death.'"
David's Tribute to Saul and Jonathan
17 Then David chanted this lament over Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 (He gave instructions that the people of Judah should be taught "The Bow." Indeed, it is written down in the Book of Yashar.)
19 The beauty of Israel lies slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen!
20 Don't report it in Gath, don't spread the news in the streets of Ashkelon, or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice, the daughters of the uncircumcised will celebrate!
21 O mountains of Gilboa, may there be no dew or rain on you, nor fields of grain offerings! For it was there that the shield of warriors was defiled; the shield of Saul lies neglected without oil.
22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of warriors, the bow of Jonathan was not turned away. The sword of Saul never returned empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan were greatly loved during their lives, and not even in their deaths were they separated. They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions.
24 O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet as well as jewelry, who put gold jewelry on your clothes.
25 How the warriors have fallen in the midst of battle! Jonathan lies slain on your high places!
26 I grieve over you, my brother Jonathan! You were very dear to me. Your love was more special to me than the love of women.
27 How the warriors have fallen! The weapons of war are destroyed!
King James Version
1 Now 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 did obeisance.
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, That 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 be 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 horsemen followed hard after 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 He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me.
10 So I stood upon 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 mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, 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 a stranger, an Amalekite.
14 And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD'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 the LORD'S anointed.
17 ¶ And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:
18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)
19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been 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 were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and 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 on ornaments of gold upon your apparel.
25 How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places.
26 I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.
27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!