1 Samuel 31:12

12 all their mighty warriors traveled through the night to Beth-shan and took the bodies of Saul and his sons down from the wall. They brought them to Jabesh, where they burned the bodies.

1 Samuel 31:12 Meaning and Commentary

1 Samuel 31:12

All the valiant men arose
Of the city of Jabeshgilead, fired with indignation at the Philistines' ill usage of Saul and the bodies of his sons:

and went all night;
not only for secrecy, but for haste:

and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of
Bethshan, and came to Jabesh;
brought them with them thither, the Philistines either having no knowledge of it, or not daring to oppose them:

and burnt them there:
that is, the flesh of them, for the bones they buried, as in ( 1 Samuel 31:13 ) ; and this they did, contrary to the common usage of the country, which was not to burn; but this they did, that if the Philistines should come to recover them, they would not be able to do it: though the Targum is,

``they burnt over them, as they burn over their kings there;''

they made a burning for them of spices over them; or of their beds, and other household goods, as Kimchi and Ben Melech observe, though they prefer the other sense; see ( 2 Chronicles 16:14 ) ( 21:19 ) perhaps the true reason might be, because they were putrid and infectious.

1 Samuel 31:12 In-Context

10 They placed his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths, and they fastened his body to the wall of the city of Beth-shan.
11 But when the people of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul,
12 all their mighty warriors traveled through the night to Beth-shan and took the bodies of Saul and his sons down from the wall. They brought them to Jabesh, where they burned the bodies.
13 Then they took their bones and buried them beneath the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted for seven days.