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DAVID’S LAMENT OVER KING SAUL AND JONATHAN

2 Samuel 1:1-4, 11-12, 17, 19, 23-27

HOW DID THE HEROES FALL IN THE THICK OF THE BATTLE?

After the death of Saul, David returned from his rout of the Amalekites and spent two days in Ziklag. On the third day a man came from the camp where Saul had been, his garments torn and earth on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground and did homage. “Where did you come from?” David asked him. “I escaped from the Israelite camp,” he said. David said to him, “What happened? Tell me.” He replied, “The people have fled from the battlefield and many of them have fallen. Saul and his son Jonathan are dead too.”

Then David took hold of his garments and tore them, and all the men did the same. They mourned and wept and fasted until the evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, for the people of the Lord and for the House of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

Then David made this lament over Saul and his son Jonathan:

Alas, the glory of Israel has been slain on your heights!
How did the heroes fall?
Saul and Jonathan, loved and lovely,
neither in life, nor in death, were divided.
Swifter than eagles were they,
stronger were they than lions.
O daughters of Israel, weep for Saul
who clothed you in scarlet and fine linen,
who set brooches of gold
on your garments.
How did the heroes fall
in the thick of the battle?
O Jonathan, in your death I am stricken,
I am desolate for you, Jonathan my brother.
Very dear to me you were,
your love to me more wonderful
than the love of a woman.
How did the heroes fall
and the battle armour fail?

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 
 

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23rd JANUARY, BIBLE READING (1 SAMUEL 18:6-9; 19:1-7)

MY FATHER SAUL IS LOOKING FOR A WAY TO KILL YOU.

On their way back, as David was returning after killing the Philistine, the women came out to meet King Saul from all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing to the sound of tambourine and lyre and cries of joy; and as they danced the women sang:

“Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands.”

Saul was very angry; the incident was not to his liking. “They have given David tens of thousands,” he said, “but me only the thousands; he has all but the kingship now.” And Saul turned a jealous eye on David from that day forward.

Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants of his intention to kill David. Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, held David in great affection; and so Jonathan warned David; “My father Saul is looking for a way to kill you,” he said, “so be on your guard tomorrow morning; hide away in some secret place. Then I will go out and keep my father company in the fields where you are hiding, and will talk to my father about you; I will find out what the situation is and let you know.”

So Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father; he said, “Let not the king sin against his servant David, for he has not sinned against you, and what he has done has been greatly to your advantage. He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it yourself and rejoiced; why then sin against innocent blood in killing David without cause?” Saul was impressed by Jonathan’s words and took an oath, “As the Lord lives, I will not kill him.” Jonathan called David and told him all these things. Then Jonathan brought him to Saul, and David attended on him as before.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 
 

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