I Samuel 31
We come now to this, the last Chapter in the First Book of Samuel, and it is in this Chapter that the first king of Israel - Saul comes to his demise at the hand of the Philistines. Saul is at present king over all the Nation of Israel; but, with his death, this does not mean the next king will rile over the while nation. As we know David has been anointed as the next king; however, sadly for him, there is going to be a challenge as to who will lead the nation. Of course in Father's eyes, it is supposed to be David; but, Abner Captain of Saul's host or army will take one of Saul's sons Ishbosheth and try and usurp the throne. Abner makes him king over most of the House of Israel; however, Judah will follow David, therefore the Nation will be sort of divided for several years before being brought back together and under one king - David.
But, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it; for right now we'll stay focused on the coming war with the Philistines and then the death of Saul and three of his four sons at the hand of Israel's biggest enemy. Of course, though it is the Philistines who kill Saul, it was and is Father who prophesied Saul's death because of Saul's rejection of Him.
27:5-II Samuel 1:27 THE PROVOCATION OF SAUL. REJECTION CARRIED OUT. (Alternation and introversion.)
31:1-II Samuel 1:27 Saul’s death.
31:1-II Samuel 1:27 SAUL’S DEATH. (Division.)
31:1-13 The battle.
31:1-13 THE BATTLE. (Repeated Alternation.)
13:1-3 Israel. Defeat.
I Samuel 31:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. -> This battle is taking place in the Plain Esdra-E’lon which is the Greek for Jezreel. "The great plain of Esdraelon" extends across central Palestine from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, separating the mountain ranges of Carmel and Samaria from those of Galilee. The western section of it is properly the plain of Accho or 'Akka . The main body of the plain is a triangle. Its base on the east extends from Jenin (the ancient Engannim) to the foot of the hills below Nazareth, and is about 15 miles long; the north side, formed by the hills of Galilee, is about 12 miles long; and the south side, formed by the Samaria range, is about 18 miles. The apex on the west is a narrow pass opening into the plain of 'Akka. From the base of this triangular plain three branches stretch out eastward, like fingers from a hand, divided by two bleak, gray ridges --one bearing the familiar name of Mount Gilboa, the other called by Franks Little Hermon, but by natives Jebel ed-Duhy . The central branch is the richest as well as the most celebrated. This is the "valley of Jezreel" proper --the battle-field on which Gideon triumphed Judges 7:1, and Saul and Jonathan were overthrown in here in I Samuel 31.".
If you'll recall from the previous chapters, Achish and the other four Philistine lords had gathered their armies together for this coming war, they had even sent David and is men home for fear, that, should they start to get the better of the Israelite Army; then, David and his men might turn on the Philistines, and, start to slaughter them, instead of the Israelites. Of course, they--because of David's deception of them--presumed David and his men would be fighting for the Philistines against the Israelites. The Philistines--now without David and his men--had gathered first at Aphek, and then moved on to Jezreel, while Saul and the Israelites arrayed themselves in Gilboa.
And the men of Israel fled before the Philistines=When Father brought our forefathers out of their bondage to the Egyptians, as they were preparing to enter into the Promised Land—before their unbelief caused them to wander the wilderness for those 38 years—Father told them that if they will follow Him and His commandments; then, He will always be with them. He even told them that the other nations and their armies would fear them. We can even read of this in Leviticus 26, which gives us The Blessings for Obedience to Him: I’ll bring in just a few verses of it here: Leviticus 26:6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. -> The expression; "ye shall lie down" should put you in mind of Psalms 23 for it is in reference to sheep in the field lying down and resting in peace with plenty of pasture and the shepherd stand guard over them. Evil beast would be animals of prey that could attack the feeding sheep. Keeping the sword from going through the land, was a promise of peace, and the phrase “neither shall a sword go through your land” is Father’s promise that so long as they are obedient to Him, then none who shall attempt to challenge them shall ever be successful. [26:7] And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. -> Because of Saul’s rejection of Father, we are about to see the opposite of this come to pass. [26:8] And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. -> Sadly for the nation, as the old saying goes “as the king does, so shall the nation do,” and that is exactly what is happening in Israel now—just like us here in the United States today, 2013, because of our president and his rejection of Father—Saul rejected Father, His Commandments, Statutes and Ordinances; and, therefore, Father rejected he and they and they are paying the price for it – like we too will be shortly.
Sadly because the people willfully followed Saul--obama--when he went astray; and, even chose this path, they are going to pay a heavy price for what they have chosen.
I Samuel 31:2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab (father of generosity [that is, liberal]), and Malchishua (king of help), Saul's sons. -> Achish and the four other lords of the Philistines having arrayed themselves for war, have now begun this war with Israel. They immediately deal a demoralizing blow to the Israelite Army as they slay not only the sons of the king; but, the king also. Saul in all likelihood before his death witnessed his sons being killed, because, they probably were fighting side-by-side with their father.
Jonathan was the brother in law of David, whom David loved dearly and had made those three covenants with David, and even had assisted David from being killed by his father. Jonathan was a righteous man who loved Father; and, he sought to be righteous in all his deeds. When David hears of the death of Jonathan, as well as Saul, the anointed of YHVH, he is going to be very saddened by this news.
Abinadab=In I Samuel 14:49, Abinadab is identified as Ishui; so, Abinadab is just another name for the same son of Saul's.
I Samuel 31:3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. -> Saul lay bleeding and dying on the battlefield; though, he doesn't die by the sword of the Philistines; rather, he is hit by the arrows of the Philistines archers. The wound is serious, if, not a mortal, fatal wound.
31:4-6 Saul’s death.
I Samuel 31:4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, “Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me.” But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. -> Saul did not want to be publicly drug through the Philistine’s streets, disrespected, humiliated and insulted by their people. When his Armorbearer would not kill Saul, he took matters into his own hand and fell upon his sword, in other words, Saul committed suicide, and it is one of the few instances in Father’s Word where suicide had taken place. Whether or not suicide is forgivable, that is completely up to Father and we are nit to judge as sometimes an illness can cause one to do something like this; obviously, this was not the case in Saul’s case, but, as we see, he didn’t want to be abused by these Philistines while being drug through their streets. When captured by an enemy, just about every king of any enemy were greatly degraded and dishonored when they fell into the hands of their foes, and Saul knew that this would happen to him in this case too. As we come more to the close of this Chapter, we'll see that Saul's fear actually came to pass with his dead body, as the Philistines will take great pleasure in abusing it.
For he was sore afraid=Saul's Armourbearer was afraid that Saul's son's or any of the other Israelites might condemn him for following Saul's order to slay him without having actually hearing Saul's order. He knew that he was answerable for the king's life and for anyone to have witnessed his taking of it, would seriously put him in peril of blamed of assisting or secretly conspiring and working for the enemy.
I Samuel 31:5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. -> Either the weight and shame of not being able to protect his master being too great for him, Saul's Armourbearer followed suit like his master, and, he too fell upon his own sword; or, his being totally loyal to his master compelled him to take his own life.
I Samuel 31:6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together. -> So Saul died=Judgment day for Saul. Let me ask you; was it the thought of the Philistines abusing and humiliating him that caused him to take his own life? Before I answer further, let me say this: Saul was willing to take his life for fear of the Philistines abusing him; however, he had no shame in disregarding and being disobedient to Father, that's sad! Now, let's read Who really killed Saul and why he died: I Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression (transgression=disobedience being shown in Saul's faithlessness or his defection of following Father) which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; -> Brethren, we need to learn from Saul and completely seek after Father and keep His commandment, statutes and ordinances. [10:14] And enquired not (enquired not= here, it is "to seek out," "durash" unlike in I Samuel 28:6 where Saul only "asked," "sha al" of Father, so, in other words, Saul completely sought out the familiar spirit with all his heart when in fact he should have been seeking Father with all his heart instead of "just asking" for Father's guidance and counsel) of the LORD: therefore He slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse. -> Why was it that our forefathers entered not into the Promised Land? Because of their unbelief, they waited one day too many, and then it was too late. Here, the history is from man's point of view while in the Chronicles it is from Father's viewpoint and reasons of the history. If Saul was 30 when he was anointed to be the first king of Israel, he would now be 70, as, he reigned for 40 years, that would make his oldest son Jonathan who dies in the same battle as Saul 53 or 54 when he returned Home to Father. In the Books of the Chronicles it states that "all Saul's house died the same day," that is both true and false at the same time, why? Because all his house who was with him during this battle died with him in the battle; however, there was one of his sons - Ishbosheth who was not with him, and that one of his house didn't die, likewise also, Jonathan had a son - Mephibosheth, who could be considered "of the house of Saul" who wasn't there and therefore didn't die that day.
31:7 Israel. Flight.
I Samuel 31:7 And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. -> Were on the other side of the valley...other side of Jordan=Don't let this confuse you as it does not mean on the East side of the Jordan River, it means those Israelites who were in Gilboa to the Jordan river. Anyway, when they saw that their king - Saul, his three sons and all the men who were with him were now dead, they abandoned everything: possessions, land, you name it; and, they ran as hard and as fast as their legs could carry them.
No sooner had the Israelites fled, than the Philistines came, and, they took over the now vacated lands of the Israelites, and, moved themselves, their families, and their possessions in, lock-stock-and-barrel.
31:8-10 Saul. Indignities.
I Samuel 31:8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa. -> The next day when the Philistines came to desecrate the dead bodies of the Israelites, they were as shocked as anybody to find that they killed the king of Israel and his sons. Desecration of the bodies as they lie on the battlefield after the fight was a common practice back then. It consisted of the removal of personal items such as jewelry, monies and the like; but, also, as we'll shortly read, if they happened to kill the king, and, that king had been oppressing them, then they defiled his body as well as taking his crown, sword, armour and such, as is the case with Saul. However, we'll shortly discover when we come to II Samuel 1, that, somebody else has already gotten to Saul's dead body.
I Samuel 31:9 And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people. -> Though he sought to not be abused while he was living, the Philistines definitely, violently molested it, after they killed him.
We get a better accounting of what actually happened in I Chronicles 10; so, let's turn there to get a more thorough understanding: I Chronicles 10:1Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. -> As we read in the explanation in verse v31:1 above, Father told them many years before that, if they do things His way, then one will put many to flight; however, if they didn't do things His way, then one of the enemy would put them to flight. We see that, they were not doing things His way, and, therefore, Father is not with them, and, therefore, they were put to flight, and they’re fleeing like crazy for their lives now, here, in mount Gilboa. [10:2]And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. -> Three of Saul’s four sons died in this same battle against the Philistines. [10:3] And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers. -> The archers only wounded him, as we know; he fell upon his own sword thereby killing himself; after, his armour-bearer refused his request to finish him off. [10:4]Then said Saul to his armourbearer, “Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse (here is that abusing part he feared, while he yet lived) me.” But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid (he didn’t want to be the one responsible for killing the king – can’t say I blame him). So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. -> Saul didn’t want the Philistines to get any credit for slaying him, so he fell upon his sword and died. The first man-king of Israel, is now dead. [10:5]And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died. -> Saul’s armour-bearer knew that he would be looked upon harshly for not protecting his master – that was, after-all – his job. Something else of interest, if you'll recall back to I Samuel 16, David at one point, was also Saul's armour-bearer, obviously with Saul seeking to kill David, Saul had to get another to replace David. [10:6] So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together. -> This does not—obviously—include their wives and other relations; just, his three sons who were on the battlefield with him. Also, Saul's son, Mephibosheth, is still among the living. [10:7] And when all the men of Israel that were in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, then they forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. -> Once fear sets in and takes hold, it's extremely hard to quell; and, that's exactly what happened here, Father put the fear into the Israelites hearts, and, they ran, just as hard and as fast as they could, forsaking everything--including their homes, vineyards, olive-yards, wells and such--as they went. It's sort of ironic, because when Father brought them into the Promised Land, He gave them, all these homes and possessions, and now they are fleeing and leaving them, and, the Philistines and heathen are taking them back. [10:8] And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain (going back to claim the spoils of war), that they found Saul and his sons fallen in mount Gilboa. -> Gilboa translated, rather than, transliterated, means: a bubbling spring. [10:9] And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings unto their idols, and to the people. -> They were proudly showing all their peoples that, they had finally had the victory over their arch enemy - the Israelites. Notice also, that they took Saul's head or skull; and, fastened it to the wall in the house of dagon. It won't last long though. [10:10] And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon. -> They put--as we can, and will read of, here, in I Samuel 31--his head in the house of ashtaroth, and fastened his body on the wall Beth-shan. Want some humorous irony? When the Philistines had captured the Ark in I Samuel 5and, had taken it and put it in the house of dagon, their god, when they came to view their prized possession the next day, dagon the fish god was laying on its side - fallen over; so, they stood it back on its feet. The next day, they again came to view their prized possession of the Ark, and, again, dagon was fallen over--help I've fallen and I can't get up, lol--only this time, dagon's head was broken off - now it's Saul's head which is no longer attached to its body - that's irony. [10:11] And when all Jabesh-gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul, [10:12] They arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days. -> When the people in Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul’s body, they were angry; because, they remembered what Saul had done for them right after he had become king; therefore, they had a great deal of love for their king. Let’s go back and review I Samuel 11:3-9: I Samuel 11:3 And the elders of Jabesh said unto him (Nahash the Ammonite), “Give us seven days' respite, that we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel: and then, if there be no man to save us, we will come out to thee.” -> These Benjamites tell Nahash that before they agree, they first want to consult with the rest of the Tribes, to see whether they too will agree to this. Nahash is hoping they will agree to have their right eye plucked out. However, either way, he is about to test the strength and resolve of their new, man king. Remember, in the last Chapter, I Samuel 10:9, Father had given Saul a new mind, or heart, so maybe he'll have the courage to go with his height. I Samuel 11:4 Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and told the tidings in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept. -> Lifted up their voice and wept=I have a hard time with these cowards weeping, for this is not the time for weeping, as the enemy is at the gate of the city, therefore it’s time for action. Remember, Father had already given them victory after victory when He brought them into the Promised Land, and now they’re weeping at the first time they have a man king – this is supposedly what they wanted – a man king to lead them into battle. Gibeah was that small community that was wiped out some two hundred years prior for their inactions against sodomy (brethren, we too are close to being wiped out for our inaction against sodomy – just this past week June 2103, our Supreme Court ruled that sodomy is good and should be rewarded with federal funds), and this was the community that was reformed after the first community was destroyed. This is also Saul's birthplace, and the place where his family lives. I Samuel 11:5 And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, “What aileth the people that they weep?” And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh. -> Saul was out in his fields with his herds when the messengers from Jabesh arrived, so he had no idea that Nahash was about to come against the House of Israel, or his trying to test their new king's resolve. As soon as he returns, he notices but doesn't understand the "why" for all the people crying because of the proposed covenant, so he asks. He is then told of Nahash and his proposal. What will he do? Will he muster up the courage or will he cow to Nahash and therefore from this day forward rely on the Ammonites to be their defenses? I Samuel 11:6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly. -> And the Spirit of God came upon Saul=Father wasn't going to take any chances with His People, He immediately placed His Spirit--ruach-- upon Saul in order for him to have the intestinal fortitude to stand against this aggression of Nahash and the Ammonites. I Samuel 11:7 And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, “Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen.” And the fear of the LORD fell on the People, and they came out with one consent. -> Saul did the correct thing by cutting and dividing--hewing--this oxen for two reasons: (1) he knew by his statement of his cutting theirs if they didn't show-up, that he'd be getting into their wallets, and no man wants that; and (2) it also would assist in their no longer being able to provide for themselves. I Samuel 11:8 And when he numbered them in Bezek (lightening), the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. -> Children of Israel...men of Judah=Here we have the start of the dividing of the two Houses of Israel: House of Israel--ten tribes to include Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Ephraim and half of Manasseh, with a sprinkling of Levi--the priesthood; and House of Judah-two tribes to include Judah and, Benjamin, with half of Manasseh and a sprinkling of the Levites. I Samuel 11:9 And they said unto the messengers that came, “Thus shall ye say unto the men of Jabesh-gilead, ‘To morrow, by that time the sun be hot, ye shall have help.’ ’’ And the messengers came and shewed it to the men of Jabesh; and they were glad. -> Help=Deliverance, or salvation. And they were glad=Yeah, I bet they were happy that their man king was mustering the troops and going to come to their rescue. They wouldn't have to wait long either for as the messengers had told them--by the time the sun gets hot tomorrow, the army will be there ready to fight.
What did the Philistines do with the king's body after abusing it? They cut it in pieces, and, then sent it into all the towns of each of the Philistine lord's, sort of like a trophy display. At each location, they put it in the house of their gods--lower case "g"--thusly giving credit to their gods and idols for the victory over their arch enemy the Israelites. Remember, this war between these two nations has been going on for many centuries, going all the way back before the time of the judges, before their bondage to the Egyptians, even to the time of Abraham. Heck, these Philistines had even filled-in the wells that Abraham had digged, in order that Isaac would not be able to use them.
The One the Philistines did not give credit to, for their victory over Israel, was the One Who should have gotten the credit - YHVH. It was only because Father gave them the victory, and it wasn't necessarily that He gave them the victory so much as it was that He was punishing Saul for his disobedience and rejection of Him.
I Samuel 31:10 And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan (house of ease, rest, or security). -> Ashtaroth=Let's look at this word more closely, in the Strong's Concordance it is Hebrew word number H6252 – עשׁתּרת or עשׁתּרות, - ‛ashtârôth ‛ashtârôth, pronounced - ash-taw-roth', ash-taw-roth', and means: Plural of H6251; Ashtaroth, the name of a Sidonian deity, and of a place East of the Jordan: - Ashtaroth, Astaroth. See also H1045, H6253, H6255.. Now, let's see what the Smith's Bible Dictionary has to say - Ashtaroth, and once in--Deuteronomy 1:4--As'taroth (a star), is a city on the east of Jordan in Bashan, in the kingdom of Og, doubtless so called from being a seat of the worship of the goddess of the same name Deuteronomy 1:4; Joshua 9:10; 12:4 and 13:12.. Now, let's look at H1045, then H6253 and H6255: H1045: H1045 - בּית עשׁתּרות, bêyth ‛ashtârôth, pronounced - bayth ash-taw-roth', and means: From H1004 and H6252; house of Ashtoreths; Beth-Ashtaroth, a place in Palestine: - house of Ashtaroth. Compare H1203, H6252., now H6253 - עשׁתּרת, ‛ashtôreth, pronounced - ash-to'-reth, and means: Probably for H6251; Ashtoreth, the Phoenician goddess of love (and increase): - Ashtoreth., and finally H6255 - עשׁתּרת קרנים, ‛ashterôth qarnayim, pronounced - ash-ter-oth' kar-nah'-yim, and means: From H6252 and the dual of H7161; Ashtaroth of (the) double horns (a symbol of the deity); Ashteroth Karnaim, a place East of the Jordan: - Ashtoreth Karnaim.. It is from this word ashtaroth, that the basis of the word easter—the pagan spring celebration—is derived from. See, the "feast of Ishtar," is a heathen religious sexual form; and, sadly, Christians—in ignorance, because that is what they have been taught since childhood—have taken the word "Passover" and substituted easter in its place, and mixed-in all the traditions of the feast of Ishtar—the rolling of eggs, and bunnies, and bright spring clothing, and candy and such—right along with Passover. Here is the problem though; Passover and the feast of Ishtar DO NOT mix. Christian's today just don't know what part is of Christ and what part is from the sex religious orgies of easter. Most Churches follow their traditions and believe that it just doesn't matter to God what they do, so long as, they remember Christ's crucifixion at the same time. Sorry, Father does care, so, throw your traditions out and come back to Father’s Word and celebrate His Passover.
So, this is where the Philistines put Saul's head and armour - in the house of ashtaroth, where they hold their orgies in worship to their false god ashtoreth.
His body on the other hand; was hung, and, fastened, to a wall in--here it is "Beth-shan"--while in every other place in Father's Word save for II Samuel 21:12, it is beth-shean. Beth-shean was a city which belonged to Manasseh as can be read in I Chronicles 7:29, it was on the west side of the Jordan, though it was within the limits of Issachar as can be read in Joshua 17:11. In Solomon’s time it gave its name to a district I Kings 4:12, while in later times—after the captivity by the Babylonians—it was called Scythopolis. i.e. “the city of the Scythians, who about 640 B.C. came down from the steppes of Southern Russia and settled in different places in Syria. It lies in the Ghor or Jordan valley, about twelve miles south of the Sea of Galilee and four miles west of the Jordan, and is on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus, about 5 miles from the Jordan, and 14 from the south end of the Lake of Gennesaret. Beth-shean is an abridged form of beth-shan and is still known as Beisan.
Beth-shan=Let's compare this with Judges 1:27 Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and her towns, nor Taanach (sandy) and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor (dwelling) and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam (devouring people) and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo (rendezvous, or place of crowns) and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. -> As we read here in Judges, Beth-shan remained in the hands of the Canaanites and therefore it was friendly to the Philistines.
31:11-13 Israel. Rescue of bodies.
I Samuel 31:11 And when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul; -> The inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead=These were the Benjamites; remember, Saul was from the Tribe of Benjamin, so these people of Jabesh-gilead are Saul's relatives.
Two things we also know from this verse is that: (1) It was Jabesh-gilead that Saul first gave assistance to, right after he became king of Israel. Nahash the Ammonite, had come and encamped against Jabesh and the Benjamites proposed that they make a covenant between them and they would then serve Nahash. Nahash replied that he would only make the covenant on the condition that he be able to thrust out the right eye of every Benjamite. They replied that they'd have to think on it for seven days, which Nahash granted. In the meantime the Benjamites sent messengers to Gibeah, where king Saul and others of the Tribe of Benjamin lived, and when Saul heard of the bogus covenant, he took a yoke of oxen and cut it into twelve pieces and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel with the message that whoever does not come forth after him or Samuel, then the same would happen to his oxen. Father touched every man's heart, giving him great courage and strength so that they all come out with one consent and they slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together; and, (2) Remember also, that, as we read in Judges 19, the Benjamites
inhabited Gibeah, and when the Levite, his servant and his concubine were returning from retrieving his concubine from her father's house in Bethlehem-Judah, they stopped overnight in Gibeah, an old man returned home from work and told the Levite and his company that they were not safe on the street and he took them into his home for the night. Sure enough, the men of belial came and "wanted to know" the Levite, the older man and the Levite instead sent out the Levite's concubine, and the men of belial abused her all night until she died. When the Levite returned home, bring her dead body with him, he then cut her in pieces and sent a piece to each of the twelve tribes declaring war on the inhabitants of Gibeah. Sadly, the Benjamites sided with the sodomites of Gibeah; and, against Father and morality, and, therefore, were enjoined to war against the House of Israel. Ultimately, the Benjamites were on the losing side in this little war, and, were left with only 600 men - no women or children. The Israelites had to re-build the Tribe of Benjamin with their own daughters, though not by out-right giving them to the 600 men. It was from these 600 that Saul came from.
I Samuel 31:12 All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. -> All the valiant men=I guess it took seeing the body of the king and a fellow Benjamite being abused, before these Benjamites finally found some courage; however, now that they are riled, they are some fierce warriors. Also, this statement shows us that at least some of the Benjamites have gained some courage since the time of Nahash, as, there weren't any who stood against him when he encamped against them several years ago.
Took the body of Saul and his sons...burned them there=Don't let anybody tell you that it is against Father to be cremated; as, we have here in this verse, record of the first recorded cremation in Father's Word. There is nothing wrong with cremation; in most cases it saves the relatives of the deceased one, a lot of money, as, the cost\price of a funeral, casket and burial gets to be quite expensive. Remember also, the soul of the dead one is already back Home with Father; so, it's not like you'd be burning that soul when you cremate your loved one. There is only One Who has the power to incinerate the soul and that is Father and will not happen until the Great White Throne Judgment after Jesus' 1,000 year Millennial Reign. But, that is exactly what will happen to those who do not accept during Jesus' Millennium; their soul will be consumed by Father - Who is that consuming fire as can be read in Hebrews 12:29.
I Samuel 31:13 And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days. -> Took their bones=After burning their desecrated, dead bodies, the men of Jabesh-gilead took Saul and his son's remains and buried them under a tree in Jabesh, so that they would know forever where their deliverer rested. I say deliverer because, to the men of Jabesh, that is exactly what Saul was; because, he had delivered them from the hand of Nahash--which means serpent--who wanted to put them and all Israel in bondage as we read in verse I samuel 11:2; see, just like "the serpent - satan" - he didn't want to just put the people of Jabesh into bondage, he wanted to put everybody--all the House of Israel--into bondage to serve him, just like satan wants - everybody to serve and worship him as god. Father is going to and has already anointed another one to be king; he will also be a type of deliverer and it will be through and from him The Deliverer will come.
Seven days=This is the law of consecration and purification - seven being in Biblical Numerics the number representing Spiritual Completeness and Perfection. We read in Ezekiel 44 that during the Millennium, when one of Father's Elect goes to one of their loved ones instructing them to "get their act together" the leave the Temple and have been near a dead body--spiritually dead that is--and are therefore unclean and must go through a seven day purification period before being able to come near unto Christ.
With the death of Saul, the first man king of Israel, we end this, The First Book of Samuel; and, we'll continue right on into The Second Book of Samuel, they should be considered one Book, as in the original manuscripts there is no separation between the two.