1 Sam 31:5: was Saul necessarily dead?

peter_kirk at sil.org peter_kirk at sil.org
Fri Dec 31 17:40:57 EST 1999

Ian asked:

     Would you doubt that Jacob was dead in Gen 50:15 (which uses 
     quite similar wording and progression of verb forms)? What about 
     Nabal's death in 1Sam25:39?

The difference in both of these cases is that the narrative has 
already stated that the person in question has died (Gen 49:33, 1 Sam 
25:38). This is not actually stated in 1 Samuel 31:4-5 - especially 
if M"T may be a participle not a QATAL form, as Dave has pointed out. 
It is clear that both Saul and the armour-bearer died, but not clear, 
I think, that Saul died before the armour-bearer fell on his sword.

Peter Kirk

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