1 Samuel 31:1 -10

Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. 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. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.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.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. 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. And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.

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We saw this during our visit to the archaeological site at Bet She’an. What you can see below is the restored remains of the Roman city of Bet She’an. I’ll be posting some pictures later of that city, but I thought this deserved it’s own post, as the history of the Kingdom period of David has seized me somewhat on this trip. This history matters, you know. Take a trip here to read the account of God’s covenant with David that this throne would rule forever. Read that in 2 Samuel 7. Read here also:

2 Samuel. 7:16

And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

The promise was reinforced to Solomon when he was told:

1 Kings 9:5

Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.

Then we read this as Jesus entered Jerusalem on this final trip there:

Matthew 21:9

And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

That may seem like a rabbit trail, but it is not really. What you see on the hill top above the Roman City of Bet She’an is the Canaanite city of the same name. This is where Saul and his sons were taken after being killed in their final battle on Mount Gilead, and their bodies were nailed to the walls in the temple of the goddess Ashteroth

History matters, dear readers. Saul was now gone, and the rule of the House of David could now begin.

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