Saul and his three sons die at the battle of Gilboa (1 Sam 31:1-31:7)

“Now the Philistines fought against Israel. The men of Israel fled before the Philistines. Many fell on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons. The Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. The battle pressed hard upon Saul. The archers found him. He was badly wounded by them. Then Saul said to his armor-bearer. ‘Draw your sword. Thrust me through with it, so that these uncircumcised may not come and thrust me through, and make sport of me.’ But his armor-bearer was unwilling. He was terrified. So Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. When his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him. Thus Saul and his three sons, his armor-bearer, and all his men died together on the same day. When the men of Israel, who were on the other side of the valley and those beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they left their towns and fled. Thus the Philistines came and occupied them.”

There were no details of this battle, like some of the others. The Philistines seem to have attacked the Israelite at Mount Gilboa that overlooked the Jezreel plain. This is one of the rare suicides when Saul kills himself after he found out that his 3 sons had died. He asked his armor-bear to kill him, but then finally did it himself because he did not want to die at the hands of an uncircumcised person. When Israel saw that Saul and his sons were dead, they fled also. Thus the Philistines came to occupy these towns and cities.

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