Who killed King Saul?

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Who killed King Saul?

Post  Waqar Daniel on Wed 10 Dec 2008, 1:49 pm

We read in 1 Samuel 31:4 that Saul took his own life but in 2 Samuel 1:8-10, we read that it was an Amalekite, who killed Saul upon his request. So the question is who killed Saul? Did Saul take his own life or did Amalekite put Saul to death?

"Then Saul said to his armor bearer, "Draw your sword and pierce me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and pierce me through and make sport of me." But his armor bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. So Saul took his sword and fell on it." (1 Samuel 31:4)

Philistine fought against Israel and they were hard on them killing even Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. During the war Saul was also injured by piercing arrows. So instead of surrendering to Philistines and facing shame, Saul asks his armor bearer to kill but he was afraid of Saul, therefore Saul fell on his own sword and took his life.

"And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ And I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ "Then he said to me, ‘Please stand beside me and kill me; for agony has seized me because my life still lingers in me.’ "So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown which was on his head and the bracelet which was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord." (2 Samuel 1:8-10)

Here in this verse an Amalekite comes to David and tells him about the death of Saul and claims that he killed him as Saul could not bear the pain of his wounds. As a proof he presents crown and bracelet of King Saul.

There is no contradiction these two passages. 1 Samuel 31:4 gives an actual account what had happened at the war between Philistines and Israel.

The account in 2 Samuel 1:8-10 talks of an Amalekite who tries to save his life from David and gives a false account of the end of Saul. Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag; (2 Samuel 1:1) As David has served Saul as his armor bearer knew that Saul would never keep an uncircumcised a non Jew his armor bearer. Moreover David knew what would have happened to the armor bearer.

When his armor bearer realized that Saul was dead, he fell on his own sword and died beside the king. (1 Samuel 31:5)

Now according to this Amalekite he was on Mount Gilboa by chance in the middle of a huge battle. "And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him." (2 Samuel 1:6)

He found Saul who begged him to kill him. First, how is it possible that a stranger found himself in the middle of a battle where according to him Philistines were chasing Saul? Second would not Saul's armor bearer be by his side? Third, would Saul allow an uncircumcised person to kill him?

David had known King Saul and had served him as his armor bearer. David knew that the Amakelite was lying to him, and must have desecrated the dead body of King Saul while he laid dead by stealing his crown and bracelet, and moreover he was not an Israelite, so he ordered this;

"And David said to the young man who told him, "Where are you from?" And he answered, "I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite." Then David said to him, "How is it you were not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?" And David called one of the young men and said, "Go, cut him down." So he struck him and he died. And David said to him, "Your blood is on your head, for your mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.'" (2 Samuel 1:13-16)


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ. (Philemon 1:3)

Waqar Daniel

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