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CHAPTER 31 Jul. 16 
Saul’s Suicide
Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell down slain on Mount Gilboa. 2The Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons, and they killed Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. 3The battle went badly against Saul, the archers overtook him and wounded him badly. 4Then Saul said to his armour bearer, Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through and abuse me! But his armour bearer would not, for he was respectful. Therefore Saul took his sword and fell on it. 5When his armour bearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell on his sword and died with him. 6So Saul died, and his three sons and his armour bearer and all his men, that same day together. 7When the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook their cities and fled, and the Philistines came and lived in them. 8The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9They cut off his head, stripped off his armour and sent into the land of the Philistines all around to carry the news to the house of their idols and to the people. 10They put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan. 11When the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12all the valiant men arose and travelled all night and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan, and they went to Jabesh and burnt them there. 13They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.


31:4 His armour bearer would not, for he was respectful- David had been known throughout Israel for teaching by example that he would not harm the Lord’s anointed, and that anybody who did so would have to give account (24:6; 26:9-11). Although Saul’s armour bearer was likely one of his most loyal supporters in the campaign against David, David’s spiritual reasoning and example had influenced him, so that in the heat of battle he acted accordingly. We learn from this that our examples are far more powerful than we may realize.