Old Testament

2 Samuel
The second book of Samuel is titled The Second Book of Kingdoms in the Greek Old Testament, because it continues the story reported in The First Book of Kingdoms (1 Samuel). It reports the history of David's reign. It was probably written shortly after David's reign, perhaps around 900 BC. The author is unknown.
11After the death of Saul, when David had returned from defeating the Amalekites, he stayed at Ziklag for two days. 2Then, on the third day, a man arrived from Saul's camp. His clothing was torn, and there was dirt on his head. When he approached David, he fell to the ground and bowed down to him.
3David said to him, “Where are you coming from?”
He answered, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.”
4David said to him, “What was the outcome? Tell me!”
The man said, “The people fled from the battle. Many of the people were struck down and died. Even Saul and his son Jonathan have died.”
5David said to the young man who was talking to him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?”
6The young man who was talking to him said, “I happened to be by Mount Gilboa. There I saw Saul, leaning on his spear. The chariots and charioteers[] were closing in on him. 7When Saul looked behind him, he saw me and called to me and I answered, ‘I am here.’
8“He said to me, ‘Who are you?’
“I said to him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’
9“Saul said to me, ‘Please stand beside me and put me to death. I am losing consciousness, but I am still alive.’[] 10So I stood beside him and ended his life, because I knew that he could not live after being so severely wounded. I took the crown on his head and the armlet on his arm, and I brought them here to my lord.”
11David and all the men with him grabbed their clothing and tore it. 12Until evening they mourned, wept, and fasted for Saul, for his son Jonathan, for the people of the Lord, and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
13David asked the young man who had told him about Saul, “Where are you from?”
He said, “I am an Amalekite, who resides here as an alien.”
14David asked him, “Why were you not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?”
15David called to one of the young men, “Come here. Kill him!” He struck him down, and he died.
16David said to him, “Your blood will be on your own head, because your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I have killed the Lord's anointed.’”
David's Lament
17David mourned with this funeral song about Saul and his son Jonathan. 18He gave orders to teach the men of Judah this song, which was named “The Bow,” so it was recorded in the Book of Jashar.[]
19The splendor of Israel has been slain upon your high places.
How the mighty warriors have fallen!
20You must not tell about it in Gath.
You must not publish it in the streets of Ashkelon.
If you do, the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice.
The daughters of the uncircumcised will celebrate.
21You mountains of Gilboa, may no dew or rain fall on you.
May your fields produce no special offerings.[]
For there the shield of the mighty was desecrated.
The shield of Saul was not anointed with oil.
22From the blood of the slain,
from the fat[] of the mighty warriors,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
and the sword of Saul never returned empty.
23Saul and Jonathan were the most loved and admired during their lives,
and in their deaths they were not separated.
They were swifter than eagles.
They were stronger than lions.
24Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul.
He clothed you in scarlet and luxury.
He provided gold ornaments for your clothing.
25How the mighty warriors have fallen in the midst of battle!
Jonathan lies slain on your high places!
26I grieve over you, my brother Jonathan!
You were very dear to me.
Your love was more wonderful to me than the love of women.
27How the mighty warriors have fallen!
The weapons of war have perished!


  • 1:6 Many translate this word horsemen, but since there is no evidence that cavalry was used in battle at this time, the term likely refers to the occupants of the chariots.
  • 1:9 The meaning of the word translated losing consciousness is uncertain.
  • 1:18 Or the Book of the Upright
  • 1:21 The whole line reads fields of special offerings.
  • 1:22 Fat is sometimes a term for strength in Hebrew. The combination of blood and fat may picture the fallen warriors as sacrifices.