2 Samuel 1:10
1:10 So I stood over him and put him to death, since I knew that he couldn’t live in such a condition.17 Then I took the crown which was on his head and the18 bracelet which was on his arm. I have brought them here to my lord.”19
tc The MT lacks the definite article, but this is likely due to textual corruption. It is preferable to read the alef (א) of אֶצְעָדָה (’ets’adah) as a ה (he) giving הַצְּעָדָה (hatsé’adah). There is no reason to think that the soldier confiscated from Saul’s dead body only one of two or more bracelets that he was wearing (cf. NLT “one of his bracelets”).
sn The claims that the soldier is making here seem to contradict the story of Saul’s death as presented in 1 Sam 31:3–5. In that passage it appears that Saul took his own life, not that he was slain by a passerby who happened on the scene. Some scholars account for the discrepancy by supposing that conflicting accounts have been brought together in the MT. However, it is likely that the young man is here fabricating the account in a self-serving way so as to gain favor with David, or so he supposes. He probably had come across Saul’s corpse, stolen the crown and bracelet from the body, and now hopes to curry favor with David by handing over to him these emblems of Saul’s royalty. But in so doing the Amalekite greatly miscalculated David’s response to this alleged participation in Saul’s death. The consequence of his lies will instead be his own death.