2 Samuel 1

Talks for Growing Christians

David’s Lament Over the Death of Saul and Jonathan

2 Samuel 1

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Lesson Number 1

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Bible is inerrant, but it contains some untrue human statements.
  2. The Bible is inspired, but it mentions some non-inspired human sources.

Practical Application

  1. Be positive about people!


  1. How many books are in the Hebrew Scriptures? How many in the English Old Testament?
  2. Briefly explain the two versions of the account of King Saul’s death.
  3. What are some possible ways to harmonize this apparent contradiction?
  4. Why did David have the Amalekite put to death?
  5. What is the Book of Jasher?


  1. There are 36 books in the Hebrew Scriptures, compared to 39 in our Old Testament. The difference comes from some of our books being split (1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles).
  2. First Samuel 31 records King Saul’s death as a suicide. Here in 2 Samuel 1, an Amalekite claims to have killed Saul, at the king’s request.
  3. One option is that King Saul tried to commit suicide, but was not completely successful in his attempt. While life still lingered in him he asked the Amalekite to finish him off. Another option is that the Amalekite came upon Saul’s dead body, took his crown, and lied to try to impress David. Because by his own testimony, he killed King Saul, the Lord’s anointed.
  4. Because by his own testimony, he killed King Saul, the Lord’s anointed.
  5. It is a record of the wars of Israel, which is not a part of our biblical canon.


  1. The Bible does not lie, but it does contain the record of some lies. Discuss some examples of obvious lies in the Bible (things said by the Pharisees, claims of Job’s friends). If we clearly recognize those as lies without questioning the inerrancy of Scripture, why do you think we get so hung up on other lies (this chapter, or Rahab’s lie, for example)?
  2. Are you surprised by David’s reaction to the death of Saul? Would you have been rejoicing at that point? What does this tell us about David’s character?


  1. David emphasized the positive when he remembered Saul. This is a living example of Philippians 4:8. Will you put this into practice this week?

Key Verses

  • “The people have fled from the battle, many of the people are fallen and dead, and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.” 2 Samuel 1:4
  • “Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the LORD’s anointed.’” 2 Samuel 1:16
  • “How the mighty have fallen!” 2 Samuel 1:19, 25, 27

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