Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 1

David weeps because of Saul’s death

2 Samuel 1:11-12

David listened in a deep sense of shock to the man’s account of Saul’s death. Saul had been Israel’s first king, whom God had appointed to lead his people (1 Samuel 10:1). So David loved and respected Saul, even as he (David) loved his own father. Even when Saul’s anger against David was severe, David would not allow himself to think any bitter thought against Saul (1 Samuel 24:11-13).

In the past, David had often brought comfort to Saul when Saul was in a desperate state (1 Samuel 16:14-23). David would have wanted to be present to help Saul as Saul was dying. However, instead, this young man from Amalek was there. He had no desire to help or to comfort the dying king; he did not show to Saul the honour that Saul deserved. Instead, he murdered Saul and then he robbed his body. Even then, he was not ashamed. He even dared to speak proudly about what he had done.

Still, perhaps, David hoped that the man’s report may be untrue. However, suddenly, the man destroyed even that slight hope. He produced, perhaps from a bag, Saul’s crown and other objects that he had stolen from Saul. David knew that crown; there could be no doubt about that matter. He could no longer control his feelings. He began to weep. He tore his own clothes – that was a custom, to show how deeply sad he was. He, and the people with him, joined in sad prayers. Such Psalms as Psalms 74, 79 and 88 are examples of the kind of prayers that they would offer on such occasions. They knew that they must still give honour to God (Job 1:21) – but, at the same time, they also expressed their desperate state to God in prayer.

Next part: David orders the death of the man who killed Saul (2 Samuel 1:13-16)


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