1 Samuel
Chapter 31

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling.
Click to switch to the Standard KJV.

+     Text Size    

1 Nowe the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell downe slaine in mount Gilboa.

2 And the Philistines followed hard vpon Saul, and vpon his sonnes, and the Philistines slewe Ionathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Sauls sonnes.

3 And the battell went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was sore wounded of the archers.

4 Then said Saul vnto his armour bearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith, lest these vncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse mee. But his armour bearer would not, for he was sore afraid: therfore Saul tooke a sword, & fell vpon it.

5 And when his armour bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise vpon his sword, and died with him.

6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armour bearer, and all his men that same day together.

7 And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Iordane, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sonnes were dead, they forsooke the cities and fled, and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

8 And it came to passe on the morrow when the Philistines came to strip the slaine, that they found Saul, and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa.

9 And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about to publish it in the house of their idoles, and among the people.

10 And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.

11 And when the inhabitants of Iabesh Gilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul:

12 All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and tooke the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sonnes from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Iabesh, and burnt them there.

13 And they tooke their bones, and buried them vnder a tree at Iabesh, and fasted seuen dayes.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
Click to switch to the Standard KJV.

Commentary for 1 Samuel 31

Saul's defeat and death. (1-7) Saul's body rescued by the men of Jabesh-gilead. (8-13)1-7 We cannot judge of the spiritual or eternal state of any by the manner of their death; for in that, there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked. Saul, when sorely wounded, and unable to resist or to flee, expressed no concern about his never-dying soul; but only desired that the Philistines might not insult over him, or put him to pain, and he became his own murderer. As it is the grand deceit of the devil, to persuade sinners, under great difficulties, to fly to this last act of desperation, it is well to fortify the mind against it, by a serious consideration of its sinfulness before God, and its miserable consequences in society. But our security is not in ourselves. Let us seek protection from Him who keepeth Israel. Let us watch and pray; and take unto us the whole armour of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

8-13 The Scripture makes no mention what became of the souls of Saul and his sons, after they were dead; but of their bodies only: secret things belong not to us. It is of little consequence by what means we die, or what is done with our dead bodies. If our souls are saved, our bodies will be raised incorruptible and glorious; but not to fear His wrath, who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell, is the extreme of folly and wickedness. How useless is the respect of fellow-creatures to those who are suffering the wrath of God! While pompous funerals, grand monuments, and he praises of men, honour the memory of the deceased, the soul may be suffering in the regions of darkness and despair! Let us seek that honour which cometh from God only.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Bible Options

Sponsored Links