Why did David order the death of the Amalekite who had come to him with news of Saul's death?

I agree that the Amalekite had (falsely) reported that he had killed Saul (undoubtedly hoping to ingratiate himself with David).  I also realize that God had previously ordered Israel to kill all the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:3).  However, David himself had been willing to fight on behalf of the Philistines against Saul and the Israelites (1 Samuel 27:1-28:2; 1 Samuel 29), which could have enabled him to possibly kill Saul in battle (even though, in fact, the Philistine generals would not allow David to fight with them).  Also, the Amalekite owed no allegiance to Saul as the king of Israel.  Wasn't it therefore unjust (or at least hypocritical) for David to have had the Amalekite killed for doing so (even if the Amalekite's claim was false)? 

2 Samuel 1:1 - 16

ESV - 1 After the death of Saul, when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. 2 And on the third day, behold, a man came from Saul's camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and paid homage.

Clarify Share Report Asked June 17 2018 Mini Tim Maas

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini Shirley H Wife, mother, veteran in the spiritual war we all face!
Saul had been trying to kill David. David would not kill the annointed King of Israel. 

At the end of 1 Samuel, Saul and his sons are dead. The men of Israel, including David already know that King Saul has perished.

Along comes this Amalakite to inform King David of Saul and his sons’ deaths. He said to King David, “I am an Amalakite,...I knew Saul was mortally wounded, but he asked me to kill him. So I stood over him and killed him.”

I think that he expected reward for killing King Saul. However, David asks (1 Samuel 1:14), "’How is it that you were not afraid to lift your hand to kill the Lord's anointed?’ Then David summoned one of his servants and said, ‘Kill him!' The servant struck him and he died."

1 Samuel 1:16: "...Your blood is on your own head because your own mouth testified against you by saying, 'I killed the Lord's annointed.'"

David respected the King. He loved Jonathan. David loved and respected God.

1 Samuel 10:1: "Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head (Saul's), and kissed him and said: 'Is it not because the Lord has appointed you commander over His inheritance.'" With Saul's announcing God had declared a special relationship between Himself and Saul, Saul served as God's representative and ruler over His people. 

David repeatedly refused to harm him. 1 Samuel 24:6, 26:9

This Amalakite disrespected King Saul. 

2 Samuel 4: 8 - 12

January 04 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining