D K1 1 Sam. 31:1-13. The battle. K2 2 Sam. 1:1-27. Report of the battle.
K1 w1 1-3. Israel. Defeat. x 4-6. Saul's death. w2 7. Israel. Flight. x 8-10. Saul. Indignities. w3 11-13. Israel. Rescue of bodies.
1 Samuel 31)
1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. (God was not with them. He had departed from Saul.)
2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab (called Ishui [14:49]), and Melchishua, Saul's sons.
3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was in sore anguish of the archers.
4 Then said Saul to his armourbearer, "Draw your sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and insult me." But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. (One of the few cases of suicide in God's Word.)
5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. (People loved him even though an evil spirit had him possessed.)
6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together. (The end of king #1. Cp. 1 Chron. 10:13,14. Here, history from human standpoint; in Chronicles, God's standpoint, and reasons of the history. If Saul was 30 years of age when anointed, he would now be 70; and Jonathan 53/54. See 13:1)
7 And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. (They didn't put up a fight; they ran.)
8 And it came to pass on the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa.
9 And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people. (In their religious places.)
10 And they put his armor in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body (This is additional to 1 Chron. 10:10; and "his head", there, is additional to 1 Sam. 31:10. The 2 Books and accounts are independent, and supplementary, and complimentary)
to the wall of Bethshan (it had remained Canaanite, and therefore friendly to the Philistines [Judg. 1:27]).
11 And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done about Saul;
12 All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. (One of the few mentions of cremation in the Bible.)
13 And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days. (Brings about purification.)