The first 9 chapters of 1 Chronicles covers Israels history from creation to the exile in Babylon (586 B.C.). Without going into any of the details leading up to this event the Chronicler takes us right to the death of Saul and his sons.
Verse 1 – The Philistines had come upon Saul’s army from the north, trapping Saul’s men on Mount Giboa and killing those who could not escape.
Verse 3 – The archers were able to stand in the middle of the battle because the Philistines were winning. Thus they were able to deal Saul a mortal blow.
Verses 4, 5 – Saul knew the Philistines would torture him if they found him alive, so he asked his armor-bearer to kill him. When he refused, Saul fell on his own sword.
Verse 6 – Not every member of Saul’s house died at that time but in a sense Saul’s dynasty (his whole house) came to a halt.
Verse 7 – Having a sense of false security, the Philistines moved into the abandon houses of the nearby villages. They didn’t realize David and his followers were already on their way.
Verse 10 – Dagon, was the most important god of the Philistines that the Philistines had in the grain-producing land of Canaan. The Philistines took Saul’s armor and decorated their temple, but a special place was reserved for Saul’s skull.
Verse 11, 12 – The inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead owed their lives to Saul (1 Samuel 11). Now they risked their lives to protect Saul’s body from further desecration.
Verses 13, 14 – Saul’s unfaithfulness was both active and passive; he not only did wrong, but he also failed to do right. Obedience, too, is both passive and active. It’s not enough just to avoid what’s wrong, we need to actively pursue what is right. Saul sought God only when it suited him. God rejected him for his constant stubbornness and rebellion.
Verse 14 – Why does this verse say that the Lord put Saul to death when Saul actually killed himself? God arranged a defeat in battle so that Saul would die and his kingdom would be taken from his family. If Saul had not taken his own life, the Philistines soldiers would have killed him.