King Saul and his three sons die at the battle of Gilboa (1 Chr 10:1-10:7)

“Now the Philistines fought against Israel. The men of Israel fled before the Philistines. They fell slain on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons. The Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. The battle pressed hard on Saul. The archers found him. He was wounded by the archers. Then Saul said to his armor-bearer. ‘Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, so that these uncircumcised may not come and make sport of me.’ But his armor-bearer was unwilling, for 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 on his sword, and died. Thus Saul died. He and his three sons and his entire house died together. When all the men of Israel who were in the valley saw that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their towns and fled. The Philistines came and occupied them.”

This is almost exactly the same as in 1 Samuel, chapter 31. There were no details of this battle, like some of the others. The Philistines seem to have attacked the Israelites 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 the Israelites saw that Saul and his sons were dead, they fled also. Thus the Philistines came to occupy these towns and cities.

22 thoughts on “King Saul and his three sons die at the battle of Gilboa (1 Chr 10:1-10:7)

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