Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 1

News about Saul’s death

2 Samuel 1:2-4

In their camp in Ziklag, David and the men with him waited anxiously for news. The country where they now lived, Philistia, was fighting a desperate battle against Israel, their own nation. Clearly, one of these armies had suffered a terrible defeat. However, no news came for two days.

On the third day, a man reached Ziklag. He was probably in a very weak and tired state. He had come, as quickly as he could, from the place of the battle. He claimed to be one of Israel’s soldiers. He had torn his clothes to express how sad he felt. However, the description that he gave of himself was not completely truthful.

The truth was this. The man had come to Ziklag on purpose, to see David. He (the man) knew that Saul, the king of Israel, was dead. He also knew that David would be Israel’s next king. He had been careful to obtain clear evidence of Saul’s death. He expected that David would pay him a great reward for that evidence (compare 2 Samuel 4:10). So, he came to David because he wanted to be rich.

It seems likely that the man did not even go to the battle to fight. He probably went there to rob from the bodies of dead and dying soldiers. Such a man would consider himself very lucky to find the body of King Saul, who was almost dead. By his own account, the man killed Saul in order to take his crown to David. He thought that David, as Israel’s next king, would be very pleased to receive that crown.

Next part: The man who killed and robbed Saul (2 Samuel 1:5-10)


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