The Morgan Crusader Bible of Louis IX
or Maciejowski Bible
or The Bible of Shah Abbas

Ms Morgan 638, folio 35v

Detail of upper register


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The Final Indignity:
The Philistines have strung Saul's decapitated body to a war engine and suspended the corpse above the city walls of Beth Shan. Three men pull down on the counterpoise, raising the gruesome trophy, while a fourth guides the swinging joist with his spear. (1 Samuel 31:10)

A Doleful Task:
Having learned how the Philistines disgraced the king's corpse, valiant men of Jabesh Gilead journey through the night in secret to retrieve the bodies of Saul and his sons. As one soldier pushes the war engine's counterpoise upwards with his spear, his fellows, wearing mournful expressions, hold down the joist and cut loose the king's body. (1 Samuel 31:1112)

A Funeral Pyre:
Grieving men of Jabesh Gilead prepare to place Saul's corpse on the same enormous fire that consumes his dead sons. They will collect the bones and bury them in the woods of Jabesh Gilead, and afterwards fast for seven days. (1 Samuel 31:1213)

Sad Tidings:
A survivor of the Gilboa massacre arrives in Ziklag and reports to David of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan. The survivor recounts how he discovered Saul transfixed upon his own spear, and at the king's request killed him before the Philistines had the opportunity. Now he has brought the king's crown to David, its rightful owner. (2 Samuel 1:
210)

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