Otherwise Called

"Report of the Battle, Saul Dead [1-16]."
"The Lamentation of "The Bow" [17-27]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by

As was stated at the beginning of the book of I Samuel, in the original writings there was no division of these two books. Second Samuel was a continuation of the first book, however in many other bibles other than the King James version, the two books of Samuel were called I and II Kings, with the other books of Kings listed as the third and fourth book of Kings. It was all taken from the same manuscripts, only broken down by the translators in different ways.

We saw that as the first book of Samuel ended, Saul had just taken his own life after he saw his three sons lying dead on the battle field. Saul fell on his own sword when he knew that he could not survive from the many arrows that had struck him. When the Philistines found Saul's body along with this three sons, they desecrated the bodies, and hung their body parts on the walls of their heathen temple.

When the men of Jabesh-gilead heard of the evil acts against Saul's dead body and that of his sons, they became angry and together went to the temple of Beth-shan. The men of Bethshan took Saul's body along with his three sons, and brought them back to Jabesh-gilead, and cremated and buried the remains. This is one of the very few places in all the scripture that cremation was used in the Bible, however remember that the body was badly cut up and abused. There is nothing wrong with cremation, for upon death of the body, the soul of that body returns to the Father who sent it, and the flesh body decays to the elements that it is composed of. The flesh will never rise again, nor have any use in the future, for it is the soul of the individual that has already passed on into the spiritual body to be with the Father at death.

So the first book of Samuel gave us a complete view into the life of Saul, the first of the anointed kings of God to lead Israel. In this Second book of Samuel we will see the rise and reign of David, also anointed by Samuel. This book starts three days after the death of Saul, the first king of Israel.

II Samuel 1:1 "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;"

Remember from the last book that David and his men had just returned to Ziklag, after rescuing his family and the families of his men from the Amalekites. When David and his men had overcome the Amalekites, they slaughtered every one of them. All that is except for those that escaped on their camels. They took back their wives and children and returned to Ziklag, and were now resting from their battle.

II Samuel 1:2 "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 abeisance."

This was definitely not a good place nor time for any Amalekite to appear in David's camp. To have your cloths rent and dirt on your head meant that you were mourning and in great loss of a loved one. This is the appearance that this young Amalekite presented when he came to David. Only God and those with the Spirit of God can read inside this man's heart.

II Samuel 1:3 "And David said unto him, "From whence comest thou? And he said unto him, "Out of the camp of Isreal am I escaped."

This was his first lie, for in his statement "out of the camp of Israel am I escaped" meant that he was either a Israelite, which was not true, or he had been in the camp after the battle when the dead were lying on the battle field. Only those men that came on the field at that time were there for the sole purpose of robbing the dead. This man is trying to tell David that he was fighting with the Israelites, and David being a former General in Saul's army knew that this man was lying and not a soldier.

II Samuel 1:4 "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."

David is now letting the man hang himself by his own words. David asked the Amalekite how the battle went, for this surely would tell exactly who this man was. This Amalekite believed that David will receive his words as good news, for it was well known amongst the Philistines that David and Saul had a falling out, and David had to flee for his life. If this young man was truly on the battle field, he had to be their as part of the Philistine army, and remained on the field to clean up and collect bodies. Remember that the Amalekites on the whole were friends and allies of the Philistines. This young man was expecting a reward for the news that he brought David.

However, remember also that David loved Saul, who was his father in law, while Jonathan was David's best friend, as well as his brother in law. Jonathan and David had made a covenant between themselves concerning the royalty of the family, and their respect for each other. Jonathan knew that Samuel the prophet had anointed David by God's order to be the next king of Israel. Jonathan knew that it would be David and not himself that would rule.

II Samuel 1:5 "And David said unto the young man that told him, "How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead?"

So now after all this news has come forth out of the mouth of this Amalekite, David wanted to know how all this information had come to him. Much of the knowledge would be privileged information, unless you were actually part of the massacre. This Amalekite man would have had to be right on the scene, with the knowledge of what Saul and his son actually looked like to be able to identify the two corpses.

II Samuel 1:6 "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 horsement followed hard after him."

No one just happens by chance into a battle field where thousands upon thousands of men are fighting a war, and then by chance wander upon the king of the enemy without one of his guards stopping him.

II Samuel 1:7 "And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me, And I answered, `Here am I'."

We know the record of how Saul died, for those details were covered in the last verses of the book of First Samuel. Saul fell on his sword, and so did his armor bearer. This is a lie that the Amalekite, and we know what really happened.

II Samuel 1:8 "And he said unto me, `Who art thou?' And I answered, `I am an Amalekite.' "

From our first view here, we would tend to believe that Saul's life was taken by one that he had spared, from what is written in I Samuel 15:3. Remember that God's order to Saul was; "to go and smite the Amalek and all his people, the women and children alike, including the animals." Yet Saul did not, he killed the men but saved the women and children, and took the animals.

II Samuel 1:9 "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.' "

We know the truth of the matter, that it was Saul's armor bearer that Saul made this request to, to finish his life, because he also was mortally wounded. Naturally the armor-bearer refused to kill his master, for they both committed suicide. Even though the man was lying, he still had to have been there to know the fact of what really took place. This is partially the truth, for Saul did ask this of his trusted guard, however this Amalekite has inserted himself in the role of the armor bearer.

So who were those people that hung around the battle field during the war, and came in when the battle was finished? These men were grave robbers, taking the spoils off the dead before their bodies were claimed. So now we see how "by chance" this man had stumbled across the body of Saul and taken the crown, bracelet, and the sword of Saul. He was robbing Saul's corpse. Here it appears that one of those that Saul spared some years prior came back to claim the death of Saul. This was an humiliation of the body of Saul, and no doubt it was even this man that called attention to the Philistines as to who Jonathan and Saul were, for he had the crown and the bracelets of the Saul.

It was at this man's words that identified Saul to where the Philistines could take the bodies and desecrate them in the temple of their gods at Beth-shar. Remember the worship at Beth-Shar was Ashorath, the religion of sex orgies and idols, and they used Saul's parts and those of his son Jonathan, separated and hung on the wall as part of these Philistines religious practices. Can you see why David was getting outraged over the whole matter. David knows that this man was responsible for all the disrespect that came to Saul and his friend Jonathan.

II Samuel 1:10 "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." "

It is obvious that this Amalekite was lying through his teeth here, and when he confessed to taking the crown, or kings battle helmet off Saul's head, and bracelet on his arm, this part probable was true, for it would be after the fact. He did not kill Saul but was trying to take credit for the killing, however he did robbed the corpse of Saul. It was no accident that this man came into David's camp, for he wanted to exchange the booty of the robbery for great wealth from David. Everybody knew who David was in those days, from the day that he slew Goliath.

II Samuel 1:11 "Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him:"

This Amalekite did not know it at the time, but he gave David all the ammunition he needed to claim the life of this man. We know what David thinks of the Amalekites, for they had just destroyed his town and taken all the wives and children. David went after them and slaughtered thousands of them, and now this Amalekite stumbles into town and tells David his had just killed his best friend and this father in law. However, David allowed this man to prove the facts through his own mouth, and those very words are enough to condemn the man.

II Samuel 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."

I suspect that this Amalekite man, as he witnesses the mourning and fasting and sorrow that is going on at Ziklag, was starting to see that he is not the bearer of glad tidings. When this sorrow turns to rage, he will be the one that they will take their rage out on.

II Samuel 1:13 "And David said unto the young man that told him, "Whence art thou?" And he answered, "I am the son of a stranger, and Amalekite."

When David turned to this man to ask just who he was, the young man was trying to represent himself as a stranger and nobody, just an Amalekite. That was the wrong thing to say at Ziklag, especially after the Amalekites had just burned the town and made off with the women and children.

II Samuel 1:14 "And David said unto him, "How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?"

The man has just figured out that he is in deep trouble, for he has taken the credit for killing an anointed of God. There is no forgiveness for this, and his lie has just condemned him. He thought he would be a hero to David and have a good life, but his lies promised him one thing.

II Samuel 1:15 "And David called one of the young men, and said, "Go near, and fall upon him," And he smote him that he died."

This young man was probably one of the boys that were hauled away by the Amalekites, and now David was allowing this young man to take the life of the Amalekite. There is some justice in this, for Saul was humiliated to the greatest degree by this Amalekite identifying him to the Philistines. David was allowing a child to kill the man that claimed the death and caused this great humility to come upon Saul, God's anointed. This man was out for the money and gain to himself, for he had the crown of identity and bracelets from the king. He had the payoff from the Philistines, and now he thought he could get a greater payoff from David.

II Samuel 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 anointed.' "

God has always said, "touch not mine anointed", and this man's lie and touching of God's anointed has cost him his life.

II Samuel 1:17 "And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:"

"Lamented with this lamentation" means that David wrote a song about the life of Saul and Jonathan, and this song would be well recorded and sung for many years to come. This was a song that David would insist that all the people learn and sing, much the same way as we respect our songs of heritage. David was always loyal to Saul the anointed of God, but David was also loyal to his best friend Jonathan. David was wise enough to know that it was the evil spirit of Satan that caused Saul to seek David's life.

It takes real maturity in God and His Word to know whom to blame when evil comes our way. Many times we blame those closest to us, for something that an evil spirit has caused them to do.

II Samuel 1:18 "(Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)"

Within the footnotes of the Companion bible, we see that this verse had been added to the original writings. The "lamentation" is still the object being talked about here, and the "bow" is the subject of the lamentation. This verse has nothing to do with the teaching the Israelites how to shoot and the use of the bow. The title of the song is called "the bow", and David is going to teach the people the words and music of the song.

II Samuel 1:19 "The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high place; How are the mighty fallen! "

II Samuel 1:20 "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."

When the song was written in Ziklag, David did not know all the facts as to how the daughters of the Philistines did rejoice, nor the heathen filth as they drug Saul and Jonathan's body through the streets. Even the body parts and their armor itself was nailed to their houses of idolatry.

II Samuel 1:21 "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."

This points out the degradation that was brought about after the battle.

II Samuel 1:22 "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."

Saul and Jonathan were of the tribe of Benjamin, and they were always known for their excellence in the use of the bow. This was the reason that Jonathan was a skilled archer. Their use of the bow gives us the title of this song, in remembrance that they were of the tribe of Benjamin.

II Samuel 1:23 "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."

We can see in these words of David that he still had held no grudge against Saul, even for all the threats on his life. Saul took everything that David had, even his wife, and gave her to another man. Yet David still loved Saul. As a Christian do you have that kind of love in your heart for another person of the anointed of God. To have this kind of love, you must have the love of God and the wisdom to know that it was Satan that caused all the trouble in Saul's life.

II Samuel 1:24 "Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, Who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, Who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel."

II Samuel 1:25 "How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places."

It was in the high places that men went into combat, and when David went into combat with Jonathan in those high places, it sealed a bond between them. Their bond was not only because they were brothers in marriage, but because they had both faced death together and survived.

II Samuel 1:26 "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."

Don't you dare try to make something perverted from this, for by doing that you have missed the entire point. Sodomites and perverts like to point to this verse to cover over their own evil Satanic life style. God will hold them accountable for their twisting of a truth in His Word. However these two men were both men of God, dedicated to God and to His laws and judgments. Their friendship was bonded on the battle field, in their family, and through their covenant that drew them together in their commitments to each other. Jonathan went with his armor bearer and together they climbed the hill, killing Philistines as they went, and when they reached the top, they killed every last one of them. Yes, David and Jonathan were both great warriors, with respect for each other, and for God and His ways. There is no way to compare this relationship to the love of a man for a woman.

II Samuel 1:27 "How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!"

The men of Jabesh-gilead did make it right when these mighty men of war perished. The went into that heathen temple and took Saul and Jonathan's remains and gave them a honorable cremation and burial. This song was written at a place and time before David knew the facts as to what had happened.

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