2Samuel 1:19-27 David is a man after God’s own heart and he reveals this as he responds in this way about Saul and Jonathan in their death. David used this as a teaching tool for the nation of Israel as to how to eulogize men. No matter how a life is lived; once a man dies, we are not to dredge up their past sins. Instead, we recall what was right. Just as Moses and Miriam composed songs for the children of Israel that they might rehearse the work of the Lord, so David composed a song to rehearse what was right about Saul and Jonathan, simply called “the Bow.” Moses commanded that the children “write down for yourselves the following song and teach it to the Israelites. Put it into their very mouths” Deut 31:19. So we may presume that David did this as well.
He reminded the nation that Saul was their first king anointed by Samuel. He was a man of war keeping Israel’s enemies at bay. He reminded them that this news was for Israel alone lest the enemies rejoice. David curses the land where it took place and the enemy who came bearing the news. He recalled Jonathan; the dutiful son and fallen soul brother who loyally stood fast beside his father and in death fell with him.
David celebrated the praiseworthy acts of Saul. It is a model for us to use when we are asked to eulogize those in their death.