10 1The Philistines went to war against Israel; the Israelites ran for their lives from the Philistines but fell, slaughtered on Mount Gilboa. 2The Philistines zeroed in on Saul and his sons and killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malki–Shua. 3The battle went hard against Saul—the archers found him and wounded him. 4Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and finish me off before these pagan pigs get to me and make a sport of my body.” But his armor bearer, restrained by both reverence and fear, wouldn’t do it. So Saul took his own sword and killed himself. 5The armor bearer, panicked because Saul was dead, then killed himself. 6So Saul and his three sons—all four the same day—died. 7When all the Israelites in the valley saw that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities and ran off; the Philistines came and moved in. 8The next day the Philistines came to plunder the dead bodies and found Saul and his sons dead on Mount Gilboa. 9They stripped Saul, removed his head and his armor, and put them on exhibit throughout Philistia, reporting the victory news to their idols and the people. 10Then they put Saul’s armor on display in the temple of their gods and placed his skull as a trophy in the temple of their god Dagon. 11The people of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul. 12All of their fighting men went into action—retrieved the bodies of Saul and his sons and brought them to Jabesh, gave them a dignified burial under the oak at Jabesh, and mourned their deaths for seven days. 13Saul died in disobedience, disobedient to God. He didn’t obey God’s words. Instead of praying, he went to a witch to seek guidance. 14Because he didn’t go to God for help, God took his life and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About