After the death of Saul, David returned from his victory over the Amalekites and spent two days in Ziklag.
On the third day after David's return, a man arrived from the Israelite battlefront. He had torn his clothes and put dirt on his head to show that he was in mourning. He fell to the ground before David in deep respect.
"Where have you come from?" David asked. "I escaped from the Israelite camp," the man replied.
"What happened?" David demanded. "Tell me how the battle went." The man replied, "Our entire army fled. Many men are dead and wounded on the battlefield, and Saul and his son Jonathan have been killed."
"How do you know that Saul and Jonathan are dead?" David demanded.
The young man answered, "I happened to be on Mount Gilboa. I saw Saul there leaning on his spear with the enemy chariots closing in on him.
When he turned and saw me, he cried out for me to come to him. 'How can I help?' I asked him.
And he said to me, 'Who are you?' I replied, 'I am an Amalekite.'"
Then he begged me, 'Come over here and put me out of my misery, for I am in terrible pain and want to die.'
"So I killed him," the Amalekite told David, "for I knew he couldn't live. Then I took his crown and one of his bracelets so I could bring them to you, my lord."
David and his men tore their clothes in sorrow when they heard the news.
They mourned and wept and fasted all day for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the LORD's army and the nation of Israel, because so many had died that day.
Then David said to the young man who had brought the news, "Where are you from?" And he replied, "I am a foreigner, an Amalekite, who lives in your land."
"Were you not afraid to kill the LORD's anointed one?" David asked.
Then David said to one of his men, "Kill him!" So the man thrust his sword into the Amalekite and killed him.
"You die self-condemned," David said, "for you yourself confessed that you killed the LORD's anointed one."
Then David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan.
Later he commanded that it be taught to all the people of Judah. It is known as the Song of the Bow, and it is recorded in The Book of Jashar. a19
Your pride and joy, O Israel, lies dead on the hills! How the mighty heroes have fallen!
Don't announce the news in Gath, or the Philistines will rejoice. Don't proclaim it in the streets of Ashkelon, or the pagans will laugh in triumph.
O mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you or your slopes. For there the shield of the mighty was defiled; the shield of Saul will no longer be anointed with oil.
Both Saul and Jonathan killed their strongest foes; they did not return from battle empty-handed.
How beloved and gracious were Saul and Jonathan! They were together in life and in death. They were swifter than eagles; they were stronger than lions.
O women of Israel, weep for Saul, for he dressed you in fine clothing and gold ornaments.
How the mighty heroes have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies dead upon the hills.
How I weep for you, my brother Jonathan! Oh, how much I loved you! And your love for me was deep, deeper than the love of women!
How the mighty heroes have fallen! Stripped of their weapons, they lie dead.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)