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The Report of Saul’s Death to David

II Samuel 1:1-16

Victor M. Eskew


1.     Outline the text:


i.          DAVID MADE AWARE OF BATTLE RESULTS (ii Sam.  1:1-5)

ii.                  SAUL “MURDERED” BY THE AMALEKITE (II Sam. 1:6-10)

iii.                DAVID MOURNS THE NEWS OF DEFEAT (II Sam. 1:11-12)

iv.                DAVID MOVES TO HAVE THE AMALEKITE SLAIN (II Sam. 1:13-16)


2.    Who does the text say David slaughtered? (II Sam. 1:1)


Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites…


A.    The Amalekites


B.      Background:

1.        The Amalekites had entered into Ziklag, destroyed the city, and had taken the women and children captive, including David’s two wives (I Sam. 30:1-5).

2.       David pursued the Amalekites and defeated them (I Sam. 30:17-19).


And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day:  and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled.  And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away:  and David rescued his two wives.  And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small or great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil nor any thing that they had taken to them:  David recovered all.


C.     It was this battle that David had returned from fighting.


3.    Where did he abide for two days? (II Sam. 1:1)


…and David had abode two days in Ziklag.


A.    Ziklag


Image result for ziklag in bible


B.      Background:

1.        When Saul was pursuing David, he fled to Gath, one of the lordships of the Philistines (I Sam. 27:1-2).

2.       David requested a town outside the royal city.  Achish, the king of Gath, gave him Ziklag (I Sam. 27:6).

Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day:  wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day.


4.    Who came to David on the third day? (II Sam. 1:2)


It came to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul…


A.    A man from out of the camp of Saul.


B.      Remember, Saul had been doing battle with the Philistines (I Sam. 31:1).


C.     NOTE:  I am always intrigued with how the affairs of men work out.  Here is an Amalekite who happens onto Saul and takes advantage of his “good fortune” in an attempt to get a reward from David.


5.    What did the man look like? (II Sam. 1:2)


…with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head…


A.    His clothes were rent and earth was upon his head.


B.      The picture that is presented is that of a man in mourning.  Tearing the clothes and putting dirt upon the head was a common reaction to stressful events (Gen 37:29, 34, I Sam. 4:12).


C.     LESSON:  Evil men can always play the part in order to accomplish their objectives.


6.    T – F  This man fell to the earth and did obeisance to David. (II Sam. 1:2)


…and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.


A.    True


B.      All of the actions taken by this man would ingratiate him to David.

1.        The look of mourning

2.       Falling in respect at David’s feet


7.    What question did David ask the man? (II Sam. 1:3)


And David said unto him, From whence comest thou?


A.    “From whence comest thou?”  David wondered where the man came from?


8.    What was the man’s answer? (II Sam. 1:3)


…and he said unto him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped.


A.    Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped.


B.      One might wonder:  What was an Amalekite doing in the camp of Saul?


9.    What was David’s second question to the man? (II Sam. 1:4)


And David said unto him, How went the matter?  I pray thee, tell me.


A.    How went the matter?


B.      David was interested in the outcome of the battles between Israel and the Philistines.

10.  What three things did the man tell David? (II Sam. 1:4)


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.


A.    The people are fled from the battle.


B.      Many of the people also are fallen and dead.


C.     Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.


11.   What was David’s third question? (II Sam. 1:5)


And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead?


A.    How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead?


B.      David did not want just hear-say on this matter.  He wanted concrete evidence about the matter.  Thus, he questioned the man about how he knew about the deaths of Saul and Jonathan.


C.     NOTE:  The account the young man is about to give concerning the death of Saul is fabricated in an attempt to get into the good graces of David.

1.        Saul did not lean upon his spear.  He leaned upon his sword.

2.       His armor-bearer did not kill himself until he knew Saul was dead.

3.       The Amalekite was one of those who scoured the battle ground the next day and lucked upon the bodies of Saul and Jonathan.

4.       He made up his story and took the crown and bracelet hoping to bring him into the favor of David.

5.       See II Samuel 4:10


When one told me, saying Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his doings.


12.  Where was the man when he saw Saul?  (II Sam. 1:6)


And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa…


A.    He was at mount Gilboa


1 Samuel Mount Gilboa


Image result for mount gilboa


13.  In what position was Saul?  (II Sam. 1:6)


…behold, Saul leaned upon his spear…


A.    He had leaned upon his spear in an attempt to kill himself.


B.      I Samuel 31:4 contradicts the account given by the Amalekite.


Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me.  But his armourbearer would not:  for he was sore afraid.  Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.


1.        Saul did not fall upon his spear.

2.       Saul fell upon his sword.


C.     QUESTION:  Is it acceptable for a person to kill himself in order to escape capture or death by the enemy?


14.  Who was following hard after him?  (II Sam. 1:6)


…and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.


A.    The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul.


B.      He did not want to be killed by them.  Even worse, he did not want to be taken captive by them.


15.  T – F  Saul called for the man.  (II Sam. 1:7)


And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me.  And I answered, Here am I.


A.    True


16.  What question did Saul ask this man? (II Sam. 1:8)


And he said unto me, Who art thou?


A.    Who art thou?


17.  What was his answer? (II Sam. 1:8)


…And I answered him, I am an Amelekite.


18.  What did Saul ask the man to do? (II Sam. 1:9)


He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me…


A.    He asked the Amalekite to slay him.


B.      When we go back to I Samuel 31, we do find him asking his amour bearer to slay him (I Sam. 31:4).  He, however, could not do it “for he was sore afraid.”


19.  Why did he make such a request? (II Sam. 1:9)


…for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me.


A.    Even though Saul had fallen upon his sword, he had not died.


B.      The fact that the Philistines were nigh unto him caused anguish to come upon him.

1.        Anguish:

a.       Strong (7661):  entanglement, that is, (figuratively), perplexity

b.      BDB:  cramp, agony, anguish

2.       Saul knew his enemy.  They would have made his death excruciatingly painful.  Too, they would have mocked and ridiculed him until he drew his last breath.


20.  T – F  The Amalekite refused to kill Saul. (II Sam. 1:10)


So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen…


A.    False


B.      He said that he choose to kill the king because he was certain Saul was not going to live anyway.  In other words, death was inevitable.  All the Amalekite did was hasten his death and keep Saul from being delivered into the hands of the Philistines.


21.  What two things did the Amalekite take from Saul? (II Sam. 1:10)


…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.


A.    His crown


B.      A bracelet that was on his arm


22.  What was David’s immediate reaction when he heard the news? (II Sam. 1:11)


Then David took hold of his clothes, and rent them:  and likewise all the men that were with him.


A.    David knew based upon the presentation of the crown and bracelet that Saul was dead.


B.      David took hold of his clothes and tore them.


C.     As noted earlier, this was a sign of deep mourning.


23.  “And they mourned, and wept, and fasted unto even…” (II Sam. 1:12).


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.


A.    Again, this was a normal reaction and a customary reaction.


B.      We are not told when the Amalekite came to David, but the mourning process might have involved several hours.


C.     Two interesting points:

1.        There is a distinction made between “the people of the Lord” and “the house of Israel”  in the verse.

a.       The people of the Lord:  this indicated the covenant relationship Israel had with God.

b.      The people of Israel:  this is involved the fleshly relationship they had as the offspring of Jacob.

2.       “’The only deep mourning for Saul, with the exception of that of the Jabeshites (1Sa_31:11), proceeded from the man whom he had hated and persecuted for so many years even to the time of his death; just as David's successor wept over the fall of Jerusalem, even when it was about to destroy Himself’” (O. v. Gerlach as quoted by Keil and Delitzsch, e-sword).


24.  What was David’s fourth question to this bearer of bad news? (II Sam. 1:13)


And David said unto the young man that told him, Whence art thou?


A.    David asked:  “Whence art thou?”


B.      David was asking his place of origin.


25.  What was his answer? (II Sam. 1:13)


…And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite.


A.    I am the son of a stranger, that is, a stranger to Israel.


B.      He was an Amalekite.

1.        They were enemies of God’s people.

2.       David had just finished dealing with the brutality of this people toward his own family.


26.  What was David’s fifth question to the Amalekite? (II Sam. 1:14)


And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?


A.    How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?


B.      It is interesting that David did not question the veracity of the man’s story.  He was more concerned about the disposition that would allow one to destroy the Lord’s anointed.


C.     Remember:  David had been in the position to kill Saul on two occasions.  Both times, he reverence for the position of the king caused him to refuse to slay him.


D.    LESSON:  David teaches us a major lesson with regard to respect for those who are in positions of authority.  Saul was not a righteous king, but it was God who had put him in office.  Therefore, David refused to remove him.  He would allow God to do that (See I Sam. 26:9-10).



And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not:  for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?  David said furthermore, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.


27.  What was David’s instruction to one of the young man? (II Sam. 1:15)


And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him…


A.    David commanded one of his young me to “fall” upon him.


B.      Fall:  to impinge by violence, to encounter, to strike


28.  T – F  The young man refused to obey David (II Sam. 1:15)


…And he smote him that he died.


A.    False


B.      The young man smote him that he died.


C.     LESSON:  This is an act of agency.  In II Samuel 4:10, David says:  I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag.”  Whatever a servant does by the command of the Master is really the act of the master himself.


29.  Before the Amalekite was slain, what did David explain to the man? (II Sam. 1:16)


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.


A.    “Thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord’s anointed.”


B.      The very thing the man thought would bring him blessings brought him condemnation.  He was condemned by the words of his own mouth.


























The Reciting of the Psalm of the Bow

II Samuel 1:17-27

Victor M. Eskew


1.     Outline the text:


i.                    II SAMUEL 1:17-18

ii.                  II SAMUEL 1:19

iii.                II SAMUEL 1:20

iv.                II SAMUEL 1:21

v.                  II SAMUEL 1:22-23

vi.                II SAMUEL 1:24

vii.              II SAMUEL 1:25-27


2.    For whom did David lament? (II Sam. 1:17)


3.    Define:  lamented (II Sam. 1:17)


4.    What did David say should be taught the children of Judah? (II Sam. 1:18)


5.    In what book can this be found? (II Sam. 1:18)


6.    What is “the book of Jasher”? (II Sam. 1:18)


7.    “The _____________ of Israel is slain upon they high places” (II Sam. 1:19)


8.    Define:  beauty (II Sam. 1:19)


9.    “…how are the ____________________ fallen!” (II Sam. 1:19)


10.  What two cities did David not want to hear the news of Saul’s death? (II Sam. 1:20)


A.                                                      B.


11.   Why didn’t he want them to hear the news? (II Sam. 1:20)


12.  What three things did David not want to come upon the mountains of Gilboa” (II Sam. 1:21)








13.  What had been vilely cast away? (II Sam. 1:21)


14.  “…as though he had not been ___________________ with _________” (II Sam. 1:21)


15.  What is the meaning of II Samuel 1:22?


16.  “Saul and Jonathan were _________________ and ______________ in their lives…” (II Sam. 1:23)


17.  T – F  Saul and Jonathan were divided in their deaths (II Sam. 1:23)


18.  “…they were swifter than ___________________, they were stronger than __________” (II Sam. 1:23).


19.  What group of women was commanded to “weep over Saul”? (II Sam. 1:24)


20.  What had Saul done for these women? (II Sam. 1:24)







21.  ”How are the _________________ fallen in the midst of _______________!” (II Sam. 1:25)


22.  T- F   Jonathan was slain in the high places. (II Sam. 1:25)


23.  T – F  David was distressed over Jonathan. (II Sam. 1:26)


24.  Define:  distressed


25.  “…very ___________________ hast thou been unto me…” (II Sam. 1:26).


26.  Define:  pleasant


27.  What two descriptions did David give of Jonathan’s love toward him? (II Sam. 1:26)






28.  What happens to the weapons of war when the mighty fall? (II Sam. 1:27)