Sh’mu’el Alef (1 Samuel) Chapter 31

The corresponding letter to this chapter is Tet-serpent; objective good that which appears evil but is for our improvement.

Sh’mu’el Alef 31:1-3 Now the P’lishtim were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the P’lishtim and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. And the P’lishtim overtook Sh’aul and his sons; and the P’lishtim killed Y’honatan and Avinadav and Malkishua the sons of Sh’aul. And the battle went heavily against Sh’aul, and the archers hit him; and he was badly wounded by the archers.

Just as Samuel had predicted, Sh’aul and his sons were killed in this battle.

Sh’mu’el Alef 28:19 Moreover the L-RD will also give over Israel along with you into the hands of the P’lishtim, therefore tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. Indeed the L-RD will give over the army of Israel into the hands of the P’lishtim!"

Sh’mu’el Alef 31:4-6 Then Sh’aul said to his armor bearer, "Draw your sword and pierce me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and pierce me through and make sport of me." But his armor bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. So Sh’aul took his sword and fell on it. And when his armor bearer saw that Sh’aul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died with him. Thus Sh’aul died with his three sons, his armor bearer, and all his men on that day together.

What happened above would certainly fit our category of that which appears evil but is for our improvement. Sh’aul’s kingship is ended in tragedy. Even in his death, his pride could not handle defeat so he killed himself. It would however usher in the Kingship of David. Israel would have a King whose heart was a heart after G-d. He would still make some mistakes. This would still show our need for a perfect King. In contrast, Yeshua will fulfill this roll. Yet, we will also see what man can be when he has a heart after G-d and wants to be pleasing to Him.

Sh’mu’el Alef 31:7-10 And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, with those who were beyond the Yarden, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Sh’aul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled; then the P’lishtim came and lived in them. And it came about on the next day when the P’lishtim came to strip the slain, that they found Sh’aul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. And they cut off his head, and stripped off his weapons, and sent them throughout the land of the P’lishtim, to carry the good news to the house of their idols and to the people. And they put his weapons in the temple of Ashtarot, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beit-Sh’an.

Notice how the P’lishtim got revenge for the death of Golyat. Remember that Sh’aul was described as being a tall man. Not as tall as Golyat but taller than the other Israelites.

Sh’mu’el Alef 9:2 And he had a son whose name was Sh’aul, a choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome person than he among the sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people.

So they cut off his head just like David did to Golyat.

Sh’mu’el Alef 17:51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the P’lishtim saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

David took Golyat’s armor for himself, while Sh’aul’s ended up in the temple of the fertility god.

Sh’mu’el Alef 17:54 Then David took the Philistine's head and brought it to Yerushalayim, but he put his weapons in his tent.

Sh’mu’el Alef 31:11-13 Now when the inhabitants of Yavesh-gilead heard what the P’lishtim had done to Sh’aul, all the valiant men rose and walked all night, and took the body of Sh’aul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beit-Shan, and they came to Yavesh, and burned them there. And they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Yavesh, and fasted seven days.

Out of respect for the king of Israel these men buried the king and mourned for him 7 days.