Daily Tanach Shmuel 2 Chapter 1: Dovid mourns the death of Shaul

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 1: Dovid mourns the death of Shaul

1.      Dovid is informed of Shaul’s death and the tragedy of the war:

  • After the death of Shaul, and after Dovid returned from smiting Amaleik, Dovid dwelled in the city of Tziklak for two days.
  • On the third day, a man [who some say was Doeg[1]] arrived from the camp with torn garments and earth over his head. When he arrived to Dovid he fell to the ground and prostrated before him. Dovid asked him from where he had come, and the man replied he had escaped from the camp of the Jewish people. Dovid then asked the man to tell him exactly what happened, and so the man told him that the nation had fled from the battlefield and that many of the nation have fallen victims and died, and that also Shaul and his son Yehonason have died.
  • An Amaleiki lad describes how he killed Shaul: Dovid then turned to the lad that was telling him and asked him as to how he knew that Shaul and his son Yehonason have died. The lad replied that he had happened to be passing Mount Gilboa and he witnessed Shaul leaning over his sword and that the chariots and soldiers of the enemy were gaining ground on his position. “Shaul turned around and saw me and called me and I told him that I am here to do his bidding. Shaul asked me as to who I am, and I answered him that I am an Amaleikite. Shaul then instructed me to stand up over him and kill him as he is filled with trepidation, so long as he is still alive. So, I stood over him and killed him as I knew that he would not live after he had fallen over the sword. I then took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and I brought them to my master here.”


2.      Dovid mourns the falling of Shaul and his son:

  • Dovid took hold of his clothing, and he tore it [out of mourning] and all the men that were with him followed likewise and did the same. The men eulogized Shaul and cried and fasted until the evening, mourning over both Shaul and his son Yehonason, as well as over the nation of G-d and of the house of Israel that fell to the sword.

3.      Dovid instructs for the Amaleiki lad to be killed:

  • Dovid turned to the lad who had been informing him of the above information and asked him as to where he came from. The lad replied to Dovid that he is the son of an Amaleiki convert. Dovid then confronted him and said, “How did you not fear to send your hand and destroy the anointed one of G-d.” Dovid then called one of his lads to come forward and he told him to go towards the lad and kill him. And so was done that the lad was hit, and he died. [Some say that this was none other than Doeg the Edomite.[2]] Dovid then told the lad that his blood is on his own head, as he himself had told him, “I killed the anointed one of G-d.”

4.      Dovid sings a song of eulogy for the death of Shaul and Yehonason:

  • Dovid composed the following eulogy over the death of Shaul and on Yehonason his son: He said, “Now [that the great warriors of Israel have fallen] we need to teach the sons of Yehuda how to shoot an arrow [and fight in battle], as is written in the book named Sefer Hayashar [which is the Torah[3]]. The [land[4] of] Israel [which is called] Tzevi had corpses fall within it, woe that warriors have fallen. Do not inform the people in Gath and in Ashkelon [of the death of Shaul and his son Yehonason] lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, and the daughters of the uncircumcised ones will cheer. The mountains of Gilboa, may dew and rain fall upon them and may their fields not provide produce, as there [fell the] shield of the warriors, the shield of Shaul, without being smeared with oil. From the blood of the corpses and the fat of the warriors [of the enemy] the arrow of Yehonason was unable to be stretched back [to kill them as he was used to] and the sword of Shaul to be returned free [after killing the enemy]. Shaul and Yehonason were loved and pleasant in their lifetime, and in their death they did not part. They were lighter than eagles and stronger than lions [to do the will of their father in heaven[5]]. The daughters of Israel cried over the fall of Shaul as he would dress them with spoils of the enemy, with linen clothing and gold ornaments over the garments. How did such warriors fall in the war, how did Yehonason fall in battle? I am pained by your death my brother Yehonason as you are very pleasant to me. Your love for me was so wondrous and greater than the love of women [i.e., that a wife has for her husband[6]]. How did warriors fall and how did we lose the instruments of war?”


[1] See Rashi 1:1

[2] Pirush Rabbeinu Yeshaya 1:13; See however Rashi 1:1

[3] Metzudos Dovid 1:18

[4] See Radak and Metzudos Dovid 1:18

[5] Rashi 1:23

[6] Ralbag and Radak 1:26

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