Column: As It Is Written . . .

David's Lament

by Patrick Henry Reardon

Second Samuel 1 includes a poem called "The Song of the Bow," an elegy in which David laments the deaths of Saul and Jonathan at the Battle of Mount Gilboa. To appreciate the significance of this insertion, it suffices to contrast it with the editorial note the Chronicler inserts in place of it at exactly the same place in the story of Saul:

So Saul died for his infidelity, his offense against the Lord, because he did not observe the word of the Lord; and also he sought guidance from a necromancer, whereas he did not inquire of the Lord. Therefore He put him to death and handed . . .

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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of Christ in the Psalms, Christ in His Saints, and The Trial of Job (all from Conciliar Press). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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more from the online archives

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