The Bible – Old Testament
Now the Philistines were at war with Israel; the Israelites fled before the Philistines, and a number of them fell, slain on Mount Gilboa.
The Philistines pressed hard after Saul and his sons. When the Philistines had killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, sons of Saul,
the whole fury of the battle descended upon Saul. Then the archers found him, and wounded him with their arrows.
Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, that these uncircumcised may not come and maltreat me.” But the armor-bearer, in great fear, refused. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it;
and seeing him dead, the armor-bearer also fell on his sword and died.
Thus, with Saul and his three sons, his whole house died at one time.
When all the Israelites who were in the valley saw that Saul and his sons had died in the rout, they left their cities and fled; thereupon the Philistines came and occupied them.
On the following day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his sons where they had fallen on Mount Gilboa.
They stripped him, cut off his head, and took his armor; these they sent throughout the land of the Philistines to convey the good news to their idols and their people.
His armor they put in the house of their gods, but his skull they impaled on the temple of Dagon.
When all the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead had heard what the Philistines had done to Saul,
its warriors rose to a man, recovered the bodies of Saul and his sons, and brought them to Jabesh. They buried their bones under the oak of Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
1 Thus Saul died because of his rebellion against the LORD in disobeying his command, and also because he had sought counsel of a necromancer,
and had not rather inquired of the LORD. Therefore the LORD slew him, and transferred his kingdom to David, the son of Jesse.
1 [13-14] The Chronicler’s comment on why Saul met his tragic end: he had disobeyed the Lord’s command given through the prophet Samuel (⇒ 1 Sam 15:3-9), and had sought counsel of a necromancer (⇒ 1 Sam 28:6-19), contrary to the Mosaic law against necromancy (⇒ Deut 18:10-11).