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1 Samuel 31 (New International Reader's Version)

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Saul Takes His Own Life

1 The Philistines fought against Israel. The men of Israel ran away from them. But many Israelites were killed on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines kept chasing Saul and his sons. They killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. 3 The fighting was heavy around Saul. Men who were armed with bows and arrows caught up with him. They shot their arrows at him and wounded him badly. 4 Saul spoke to the man who was carrying his armor. He said, "Pull out your sword. Stick it through me. If you don't, those fellows who aren't circumcised will come. They'll stick their swords through me and hurt me badly." But the man was terrified. He wouldn't do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it. 5 The man saw that Saul was dead. So he fell on his own sword and died with him. 6 Saul and his three sons died together that same day. The man who carried his armor also died with them that day. So did all of Saul's men. 7 The Israelites who lived along the valley saw that their army had run away. So did those who lived across the Jordan River. They saw that Saul and his sons were dead. So they left their towns and ran away. Then the Philistines came and settled down in them. 8 The day after the Philistines had won the battle, they came to take what they wanted from the dead bodies. They found Saul and his three sons dead on Mount Gilboa. 9 So they cut off Saul's head. They took his armor from his body. Then they sent messengers through the whole land of the Philistines. They announced the news in the temple where they had set up statues of their gods. They also announced it among their people. 10 They put Saul's armor in the temple where they had set up statues of goddesses that were named after Ashtoreth. They hung his body up on the wall of Beth Shan. 11 The people of Jabesh Gilead heard about what the Philistines had done to Saul. 12 So all of their brave men traveled through the night to Beth Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan. They brought them to Jabesh. There they burned them. 13 Then they got the bones of Saul and his sons and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh. They didn't eat anything for seven days.
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