Is Saul’s Death A Bible Contradiction?
Various false religions want us to wrongly think the Bible is not accurate and contains contradictions. To do this, they sometimes mention King Saul’s death. Needlessly, some people are confused by the following three Bible passages. First consider 1 Sam 31:3-5 where the actual historical account of what happened the day of Saul’s death is recorded:
The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically. Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.” But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. (1 Sam 31:3-5)
This next passage is where King David tells us the young Amalekite thought his lie would be good news to David and he would get a reward for his report.
“I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,” the young man said, “and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and riders almost upon him. When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and I said, ‘What can I do?’ He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ ‘An Amalekite,’ I answered. Then he said to me, ‘Stand over me and kill me! I am in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’ So I stood over him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen he could not survive. And I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and have brought them here to my lord.” (2 Sam 1:6-10)
Dan Corner Explains The Key To Understanding This Passage
At first glance, this seems to be a contradiction. However, the key to understanding Saul’s death is the following passage.
When a man told me, “Saul is dead,” and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news! (2 Sam 4:10)
Again, the KEY to understanding this alleged contradiction is 2 Sam. 4:10. That is where David tells us the young Amalekite thought his lie would be good news to David and he would get a reward for his report. The actual historical account is 1 Sam. 31:3-5 and that becomes apparent with 2 Sam. 4:10. There is no contradiction in those passages.
Dan Corner is a Bible teacher and holiness preacher. Visit his apologetic website at http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org for much more information.