Having lost his army and his sons slain, Saul and his armor-bearer kill themselves, 1-6. The Philistines possess the forsaken towns of the Israelites, 7. They triumph over the dead carcasses, 8-10. Those of Jabesh-gilead, recovering the dead bodies by night, burn them at Jabesh and mournfully bury their bones, 11-13.
1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell down slain on mount Gilboa. 2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons, and the Philistines slew Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, Saul's sons. 3 And the battle was severe against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was severely wounded by the archers. 4 Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised should come and thrust me through and abuse me." But his armor-bearer would not, for he was exceedingly afraid. Therefore, Saul took a sword and fell upon it. 5 And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword and died with him. 6 So Saul, his three sons, his armor-bearer, and all his men died that same day together.
7 And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley and those who were on the other side of the 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.
8 And it came to pass on the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on mount Gilboa. 9 And they cut off his head, stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines all around to publish it in the house of their idols and among the people. 10 And they put his armor in the house of Ashtaroth and fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. 11 And when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 All the valiant men arose and went all night, took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and came to Jabesh and burnt them there. 13 And they took their bones and buried them under a tree at Jabesh and fasted seven days.
Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Samuel, Chapter 31[➚]