But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it...
The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. They cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and they sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news in the temple of their idols and among their people. They put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.
When the people of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all their valiant men marched through the night to Beth Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and went to Jabesh, where they burned them. Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days."
- First Samuel 31:4, 8-13
Saul's Death, Suicide and the Philistine's Desecration
While Saul was holding out on Mount Gilboa, his troops were being overrun by the Philistines. Soon the Philistine archers found their mark, Saul, on Mount Gilboa and their arrows overtook him. Critically wounded, yet not dead, Saul feared the worst – that he would be captured and tortured by the Philistines.
Saul’s fears were well-founded because defeated kings and their conquered troops were typically mistreated at this time in history. Think of the kings who had their toes cut off (Judges 1:7) or Samson when he was blinded and forced to publicly grind grain like a woman (Judges 16:21). At this time many were hung on poles or city walls. (Ancient relief images: lips hooked and blinding, impaled and heads piled.) Often heads, hands or lips where cut off to help keep an accurate account of the dead. (Details). One Assyrian relief shows captured enemies (even a king) being flayed alive in public (Image).
Saul’s armor-bearer was faithful to his duty and refused to kill the king. But, Saul took his own life by falling on his own sword. When the Philistines found Saul and his son’s bodies they hung his body on the wall of the Beth Shan, a city at the eastern base of Mount Gilboa. (Beth Shan, Beth Shean 1, 2)
Saul’s first act as the king of Israel was the deliverance of the people of Jabesh in Gilead on the east side of the Jordan from the Ammonite king, Nahash, (1 Sam. 11). Upon hearing of Saul’s death and the desecration of his body at Beth Shan, the people of Jabesh Gilead make the quick trip across the Jordan to retrieve Saul’s body so that they could honor their deliverer with an appropriate burial back home.
I will honor the Lord with obedience in order that I may have the privilege and confidence of having his presence with me in life and in death.
Someone to Quote
Something to Ponder
- All Scripture is inspired
(2 Tm. 3:16)
- Scripture comes from the mouth of God
(2 Tm. 3:16)
- Scripture reveals God’s plan and Gods’ ways
(2 Tm. 3:16)
- Scripture did not originate in the thoughts of man
(2 Pt. 1:20)
- Scripture came through men who were carried along by the Holy Spirit
(2 Pt. 1:20)
- The words of Scripture were written through inspiration
(1 Co. 2:13)
- The words of Scripture continue to be inspired throughout all time
Here’s a Fact
BEREKHYAHU SON OF
NERIYAHU THE SCRIBE
This is an impression made by the seal of Jeremiah’s scribe “Baruch son of Neriah” mentioned in Jeremiah 36:4 and other places in Jeremiah’s book. It appears from this seal that Baruch was one of the royal scribes. It is possible that King Josiah he assigned Baruch the responsibility of assisting Jeremiah before Josiah was killed in battle.
(Details 1, 2, 3. Photo 1.)
- Proverbs 5:8-10
New International Version (NIV)
The Branch From Jesse
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean.
He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.
Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish, and Judah’s enemies will be destroyed; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.
They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west; together they will plunder the people to the east. They will subdue Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will be subject to them.
The Lord will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven streams so that anyone can cross over in sandals.
There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt.
Songs of Praise
12 In that day you will say:
“I will praise you, Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
4 In that day you will say:
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”
A Prophecy Against Babylon
13 A prophecy against Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw:
Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles.
I have commanded those I prepared for battle; I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath— those who rejoice in my triumph.
Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The Lord Almighty is mustering an army for war.
They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens— the Lord and the weapons of his wrath— to destroy the whole country.
Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
Because of this, all hands will go limp, every heart will melt with fear.
Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame.
See, the day of the Lord is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger— to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.
The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.
I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
I will make people scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir.
Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty, in the day of his burning anger.
Like a hunted gazelle, like sheep without a shepherd, they will all return to their own people, they will flee to their native land.
Whoever is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword.
Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives violated.
See, I will stir up against them the Medes, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold.
Their bows will strike down the young men; they will have no mercy on infants, nor will they look with compassion on children.
Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the pride and glory of the Babylonians, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah.
She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; there no nomads will pitch their tents, there no shepherds will rest their flocks.
But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about.
Hyenas will inhabit her strongholds, jackals her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged.
The Lord will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Foreigners will join them and unite with the descendants of Jacob.
Nations will take them and bring them to their own place. And Israel will take possession of the nations and make them male and female servants in the Lord’s land. They will make captives of their captors and rule over their oppressors.
3 On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, 4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:
How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!
The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers,
which in anger struck down peoples with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations with relentless aggression.
All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing.
Even the junipers and the cedars of Lebanon gloat over you and say, “Now that you have been laid low, no one comes to cut us down.”
The realm of the dead below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you— all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones— all those who were kings over the nations.
They will all respond, they will say to you, “You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us.”
All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you.
How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.
Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble,
the man who made the world a wilderness, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?”
All the kings of the nations lie in state, each in his own tomb.
But you are cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch; you are covered with the slain, with those pierced by the sword, those who descend to the stones of the pit. Like a corpse trampled underfoot,
you will not join them in burial, for you have destroyed your land and killed your people.
Let the offspring of the wicked never be mentioned again.
Prepare a place to slaughter his children for the sins of their ancestors; they are not to rise to inherit the land and cover the earth with their cities.
“I will rise up against them,” declares the Lord Almighty. “I will wipe out Babylon’s name and survivors, her offspring and descendants,” declares the Lord.
“I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction,” declares the Lord Almighty.
24 The Lord Almighty has sworn,
“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.
I will crush the Assyrian in my land; on my mountains I will trample him down. His yoke will be taken from my people, and his burden removed from their shoulders.”
This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations.
For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?
A Prophecy Against the Philistines
28 This prophecy came in the year King Ahaz died:
Do not rejoice, all you Philistines, that the rod that struck you is broken; from the root of that snake will spring up a viper, its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent.
The poorest of the poor will find pasture, and the needy will lie down in safety. But your root I will destroy by famine; it will slay your survivors.
Wail, you gate! Howl, you city! Melt away, all you Philistines! A cloud of smoke comes from the north, and there is not a straggler in its ranks.
What answer shall be given to the envoys of that nation? “The Lord has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.”
New International Version (NIV)
Wanderings in the Wilderness
2 Then we turned back and set out toward the wilderness along the route to the Red Sea, as the Lord had directed me. For a long time we made our way around the hill country of Seir.
2 Then the Lord said to me, 3 “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north. 4 Give the people these orders: ‘You are about to pass through the territory of your relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. They will be afraid of you, but be very careful. 5 Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on. I have given Esau the hill country of Seir as his own. 6 You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.’”
7 The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.
8 So we went on past our relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. We turned from the Arabah road, which comes up from Elath and Ezion Geber, and traveled along the desert road of Moab.
9 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land. I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession.”
10 (The Emites used to live there—a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites. 11 Like the Anakites, they too were considered Rephaites, but the Moabites called them Emites. 12 Horites used to live in Seir, but the descendants of Esau drove them out. They destroyed the Horites from before them and settled in their place, just as Israel did in the land the Lord gave them as their possession.)
13 And the Lord said, “Now get up and cross the Zered Valley.” So we crossed the valley.
14 Thirty-eight years passed from the time we left Kadesh Barnea until we crossed the Zered Valley. By then, that entire generation of fighting men had perished from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them. 15 The Lord’s hand was against them until he had completely eliminated them from the camp.
16 Now when the last of these fighting men among the people had died, 17 the Lord said to me, 18 “Today you are to pass by the region of Moab at Ar. 19 When you come to the Ammonites, do not harass them or provoke them to war, for I will not give you possession of any land belonging to the Ammonites. I have given it as a possession to the descendants of Lot.”
20 (That too was considered a land of the Rephaites, who used to live there; but the Ammonites called them Zamzummites. 21 They were a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites. The Lord destroyed them from before the Ammonites, who drove them out and settled in their place. 22 The Lord had done the same for the descendants of Esau, who lived in Seir, when he destroyed the Horites from before them. They drove them out and have lived in their place to this day. 23 And as for the Avvites who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorites coming out from Caphtor destroyed them and settled in their place.)
Defeat of Sihon King of Heshbon
24 “Set out now and cross the Arnon Gorge. See, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his country. Begin to take possession of it and engage him in battle. 25 This very day I will begin to put the terror and fear of you on all the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you and will tremble and be in anguish because of you.”
26 From the Desert of Kedemoth I sent messengers to Sihon king of Heshbon offering peace and saying, 27 “Let us pass through your country. We will stay on the main road; we will not turn aside to the right or to the left. 28 Sell us food to eat and water to drink for their price in silver. Only let us pass through on foot— 29 as the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir, and the Moabites, who live in Ar, did for us—until we cross the Jordan into the land the Lord our God is giving us.” 30 But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the Lord your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done.
31 The Lord said to me, “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.”
32 When Sihon and all his army came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz, 33 the Lord our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army. 34 At that time we took all his towns and completely destroyed them—men, women and children. We left no survivors. 35 But the livestock and the plunder from the towns we had captured we carried off for ourselves. 36 From Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge, and from the town in the gorge, even as far as Gilead, not one town was too strong for us. The Lord our God gave us all of them. 37 But in accordance with the command of the Lord our God, you did not encroach on any of the land of the Ammonites, neither the land along the course of the Jabbok nor that around the towns in the hills.
New International Version (NIV)
Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.
I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
New International Version (NIV)
Samson and Delilah
16 One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. 2 The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.”
3 But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.
4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. 5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.”
6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”
7 Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
8 Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. 9 With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.
10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.”
11 He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.
13 Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.”
He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric 14 and tightened it with the pin.
Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.
15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” 16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.
17 So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. 19 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him.
20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”
He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.
21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.
The Death of Samson
23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”
24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying,
“Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.”
25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them.
When they stood him among the pillars, 26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. 28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
31 Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led Israel twenty years.
17 Now a man named Micah from the hill country of Ephraim 2 said to his mother, “The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you and about which I heard you utter a curse—I have that silver with me; I took it.”
Then his mother said, “The Lord bless you, my son!”
3 When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, “I solemnly consecrate my silver to the Lord for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you.”
4 So after he returned the silver to his mother, she took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who used them to make the idol. And it was put in Micah’s house.
5 Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest. 6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
7 A young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, who had been living within the clan of Judah, 8 left that town in search of some other place to stay. On his way he came to Micah’s house in the hill country of Ephraim.
9 Micah asked him, “Where are you from?”
“I’m a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah,” he said, “and I’m looking for a place to stay.”
10 Then Micah said to him, “Live with me and be my father and priest, and I’ll give you ten shekels of silver a year, your clothes and your food.” 11 So the Levite agreed to live with him, and the young man became like one of his sons to him. 12 Then Micah installed the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in his house. 13 And Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest.”