Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape and they will prefer death to flight. — Sun Tzu

Heroes of Israel - Lawton Evans




The Last Days of King Saul

David went and dwelt in the land of the Philistines, with Achish, the king, in the city of Gath, and when Saul heard that David had fled to Gath, he sought him no further. The time that David dwelt in the land of the Philistines was a full year and four months. While he was there he led the soldiers of Achish against the heathen nations that dwelt in the land and smote them with great slaughter.

After a while the Philistines gathered their armies together to war against Israel. When Saul saw the hosts of the Philistines he was sore afraid, and his heart troubled greatly. Then he said to one of his servants: "Find me a woman that has a familiar spirit that I may go to her and ask her advice." By this Saul meant some witch or some one who was supposed to talk with the spirit of the dead.

"There is a woman at Endor, that has a familiar spirit," replied the servant. And Saul disguised himself and took one man with him and came to the witch at night and said to her:

"I pray you, speak to me by the mouth of some departed spirit and bring him up to me, the one whom I shall name."

Now the woman did not know that it was Saul, the king, who was speaking to her, and said to him: "Saul, the king, has cut off all those who have familiar spirits, and if I do as you ask me, I shall surely die." But the king told her that no harm should come to her, and asked her to bring up the spirit of the dead Samuel that he might speak to him.

And behold, the spirit of Samuel arose before Saul, and the king stood with his face to the ground and bowed himself very low. The spirit asked Saul: "Why have you disturbed me, to bring me up?"

And Saul told Samuel that the Philistines were come up against him, and that the Lord had deserted him, and he did not know what to do.

Then the spirit of the old prophet spoke with an awful voice: "Why do you ask me, seeing that the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy? The Lord has taken the kingdom out of your hands and given it to David, because you did not obey the words of the Lord and punish the Amalekites as He ordered you. Tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me, and the Philistines shall conquer the hosts of Israel, and the Lord will deliver them into the hands of their enemies."

Saul fell upon the ground with his face hidden, for fear of the words of Samuel. There was no strength in him for he had eaten nothing all that day nor the night before. The woman made him rise and sit upon the bed in her room while she prepared him food. She hastened to cook meat and bread and set it before the king and his servant, who ate and were refreshed. Afterwards they arose and left the woman and went back to their own tents.

The next day the Philistines fell upon the hosts of Israel, and pursued them with great slaughter. David fought not against Israel, for the princes of the Philistines were not willing for him, an Israelite, to fight along with them. So King Achish sent him back to the land of the Philistines.

The Philistines followed hard upon Saul and his sons. The battle went against him, and the archers hit him, and he was sore wounded. Jonathan was slain and two other of Saul's sons fell in battle. The enemy was close upon the king, so that he cried to his armor bearer: "Draw your sword and thrust me through, lest these heathen take me and slay me." But the armor bearer would not slay his king, and turned away.

Saul quickly drew his sword and, placing the point against his breast, fell upon it, so that the blade ran through his body and he was dead. When his armor bearer saw that the king had killed himself he also fell upon his sword and died with his master. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor bearer and all his men. And the Philistines came the next day and cut off Saul's head and stripped his body of its armor. Saul's armor they put in the louse of their heathen goddess, and fastened his body to the walls of Bethshan.

And when the people of Israel saw that Saul was dead and the soldiers had fled, they forsook their cities, and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. When the people of Israel heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all the valiant men rose and went by night to take the body of Saul from the walls of Bethshan. They brought it to Jabesh and there they buried it. They took the bones of his body and buried them under a tree.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

The Garden of Eden
The First Great Crime
The Flood
The Tower of Babel
Abraham Moves into Canaan
Sodom and Gomorrah
The Trial of Abraham's Faith
Searching for a Wife for Isaac
Isaac and Rebekah
Esau Sells his Birthright
Jacob Serves for Rachel
Jacob Returns to Canaan
Joseph is Sold into Egypt
Pharaoh's Dream
Joseph's Brethren Buy Corn
Jacob Moves into Egypt
The Early Life of Moses
Egyptians Smitten with Plagues
Egyptians Drowned in Red Sea
The Lord Provides for Israel
Plan to Build the Tabernacle
The Golden Calf
Wanderings of the Israelites
Spying Out the Land of Canaan
Punishing the Israelites
Balaam is Made to Prophesy
Border of the Promised Land
Last Days of Moses
Rahab Saves the Spies
The Destruction of Jericho
The Capture of Ai
Joshua Conquers Canaan
Gideon is Given a Sign
Gideon Overcomes Midianites
The Punishment of Abimelech
Jephthah's Daughter
The Young Samson
Samson and the Philistines
The Death of Samson
Naomi and Ruth
Ruth and Boaz
The Young Samuel
Philistines Capture the Ark
Philistines Return the Ark
Saul in Anointed King
Jonathan and the Philistines
The Disobedience of Saul
Samuel Anoints David
David and Goliath
Saul is Jealous of David
David and Jonathan
The Madness of Saul
David Spares the Life of Saul
The Last Days of King Saul
David Becomes King
The Rebellion of Absalom
The Death of Absalom
Solomon Becomes King
The Wisdom of Solomon
Solomon Builds the Temple
Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon
Revolt of the Ten Tribes
The Wickedness of Jeroboam
Elijah Begins His Ministry
Elijah Destroys the Prophets
Elisha is Made a Prophet
Death of Ahab
Sickness of Ahaziah
Last Days of Elijah
Miracles of Elisha
Naaman is Cured of Leprosy
Flight of the Syrians
Jehu is Appointed King
The Story of Joash
Last days of Elisha
Destruction of Sennacherib
Judah Led into Captivity
Destruction of Jerusalem
Daniel Interprets the Dream
The Fiery Furnace
Madness of Nebuchadnezzer
Handwriting on the Wall
Daniel in the Lion's Den
Jonah Swallowed by a Fish
Jonah Warns Nineveh
Esther Becomes Queen
The Vengeance of Haman
Esther Saves Her People
The Return from Captivity
Nehemiah Rebuilds Jerusalem