David's Lament by Patrick Henry Reardon

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 the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse (1 Chronicles 10:13–14).

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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).

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