Saul Wars Episode IV: The King is Dead. Long Live the King.
1 Samuel 31:
You remember yesterday’s adventure when David and his men got rejected from the Philistine army and then had to launch a rescue party to save their wives and kids from the Amalekite raiders? Ok, well, while David and his guys were busy with their own adventures, the Philistine attack still happened. Basically, it went down like this:
The Philistines were in hot pursuit of King Saul, his sons, and the army of Israel at Mount Gilboa. They killed Saul’s three sons, Prince Jonathan, Abinidab, and Malki-Shua. Sad day! Jonathan was David’s BFF so you know that there’s going to be a lot of weeping and crying going on in later episodes. This is the worst news ever.
It gets worse, though. On top of all that, the fighting grew fierce around Saul and the Philistine archers rained down arrows, striking him. Saul said, “I’m mortally wounded! This is the end! Quick, someone finish me off so the wicked Philistines don’t come and torture me as I lay dying.” He said this to his armor-bearer, and that guy was like, “Uh uh, don’t look at me, man. I can’t do that!” So Saul fell atop his own sword, taking his own life. King Saul and Prince Jonathan were dead.
The Israelites abandoned their cities and town, and the Philistines took over everything. They nailed up the bodies of the dead king and prince to the wall of Beth Shan. Some of the guys in Jabesh Gilead said, “Hey, they can’t do that to our king! Let’s go rescue the bodies.” So they marched through the night and rescued their dead king. They gave him a proper burial under the tamarisk tree. Thus ends the first volume that we call Samuel. The king is dead. Long live the king.