The language is quite stark, but we have sung such stark language in church for the first lesson a few times and no one objected (yet).
I have set the elegy to the music. It requires me to add upbeat syllables occasionally for rhythm. Anyone using this rough-cut translation for lyrics will need to take similar evasive action to accommodate the musical lines that the Hebrew fits so well.
|2 Samuel 1||Fn||Min||Max||Syll|
|וַיְהִ֗י אַֽחֲרֵי֙ מ֣וֹת שָׁא֔וּל וְדָוִ֣ד שָׁ֔ב מֵהַכּ֖וֹת אֶת־הָעֲמָלֵ֑ק |
וַיֵּ֧שֶׁב דָּוִ֛ד בְּצִקְלָ֖ג יָמִ֥ים שְׁנָֽיִם
|1||And it was after the death of Saul and David had returned from striking the Amalekites, |
and David settled in Tsiqlag two days.
|וַיְהִ֣י ׀ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֗י וְהִנֵּה֩ אִ֨ישׁ בָּ֤א מִן־הַֽמַּחֲנֶה֙ מֵעִ֣ם שָׁא֔וּל וּבְגָדָ֣יו קְרֻעִ֔ים וַאֲדָמָ֖ה עַל־רֹאשׁ֑וֹ |
וַיְהִי֙ בְּבֹא֣וֹ אֶל־דָּוִ֔ד וַיִּפֹּ֥ל אַ֖רְצָה וַיִּשְׁתָּֽחוּ
|2||And it was on the third day, and behold, someone came from the camp, from the people of Saul, and his garments were ripped and debris from the ground on his head, |
and it was that he came to David, and he fell earthward and prostrated himself.
|וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לוֹ֙ דָּוִ֔ד אֵ֥י מִזֶּ֖ה תָּב֑וֹא |
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלָ֔יו מִמַּחֲנֵ֥ה יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל נִמְלָֽטְתִּי
|3||And David said to him, Where do you come from? |
And he said to him, From the camp of Israel I escaped.
|וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלָ֥יו דָּוִ֛ד מֶה־הָיָ֥ה הַדָּבָ֖ר הַגֶּד־נָ֣א לִ֑י |
וַ֠יֹּאמֶר אֲשֶׁר־נָ֨ס הָעָ֜ם מִן־הַמִּלְחָמָ֗ה וְגַם־הַרְבֵּ֞ה נָפַ֤ל מִן־הָעָם֙ וַיָּמֻ֔תוּ וְגַ֗ם שָׁא֛וּל וִיהוֹנָתָ֥ן בְּנ֖וֹ מֵֽתוּ
|4||And David said to him, What is the word? Tell me if you will. |
And he said that the people withdrew from the battle, and also many have fallen from the people and they have died, and even Saul, and Jonathan his son, have died.
|וַיֹּ֣אמֶר דָּוִ֔ד אֶל־הַנַּ֖עַר הַמַּגִּ֣יד ל֑וֹ |
אֵ֣יךְ יָדַ֔עְתָּ כִּי־מֵ֥ת שָׁא֖וּל וִיהֽוֹנָתָ֥ן בְּנֽוֹ
|5||And David said to the lad that told him, |
How do you know that Saul has died and Jonathan his son?
|וַיֹּ֜אמֶר הַנַּ֣עַר ׀ הַמַּגִּ֣יד ל֗וֹ נִקְרֹ֤א נִקְרֵ֙יתִי֙ בְּהַ֣ר הַגִּלְבֹּ֔עַ וְהִנֵּ֥ה שָׁא֖וּל נִשְׁעָ֣ן עַל־חֲנִית֑וֹ |
וְהִנֵּ֥ה הָרֶ֛כֶב וּבַעֲלֵ֥י הַפָּרָשִׁ֖ים הִדְבִּקֻֽהוּ
|6||And the lad who told him said, By chance. I chanced by the hill of Gilboa, and behold Saul leaned on his spear, |
and behold the chariots and the superiors of the cavalry followed him closely.
|וַיִּ֥פֶן אַחֲרָ֖יו וַיִּרְאֵ֑נִי |
וַיִּקְרָ֣א אֵלָ֔י וָאֹמַ֖ר הִנֵּֽנִי
|7||And he faced behind him and he saw me, |
and he called to me and I said, Here I am.
|וַיֹּ֥אמֶר לִ֖י מִי־אָ֑תָּה |
וָאֹמַ֣ר אֵלָ֔יו עֲמָלֵקִ֖י אָנֹֽכִי
|8||And he said to me, Whose are you? |
And I said to him, Amalekite I am.
|וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלַ֗י עֲמָד־נָ֤א עָלַי֙ וּמֹ֣תְתֵ֔נִי כִּ֥י אֲחָזַ֖נִי הַשָּׁבָ֑ץ |
כִּֽי־כָל־ע֥וֹד נַפְשִׁ֖י בִּֽי
|9||And he said to me, Stand if you will over me and put me to death, for the cramp grasps me, |
but all the while my integrity is in me.
|וָאֶעֱמֹ֤ד עָלָיו֙ וַאֲמֹ֣תְתֵ֔הוּ כִּ֣י יָדַ֔עְתִּי כִּ֛י לֹ֥א יִֽחְיֶ֖ה אַחֲרֵ֣י נִפְל֑וֹ |
וָאֶקַּ֞ח הַנֵּ֣זֶר ׀ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עַל־רֹאשׁ֗וֹ וְאֶצְעָדָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עַל־זְרֹע֔וֹ וָאֲבִיאֵ֥ם אֶל־אֲדֹנִ֖י הֵֽנָּה
|10||So I stood over him and I put him to death, for I know that he would not live after he had fallen. |
And I took the consecrated thing that was on his head, and the armlet that was on his arm, and I brought them to my Lord, just look.
|וַיַּחֲזֵ֥ק דָּוִ֛ד בִּבְגָדָ֖יו וַיִּקְרָעֵ֑ם |
וְגַ֥ם כָּל־הָאֲנָשִׁ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר אִתּֽוֹ
|11||So resolutely David took hold of his garments and ripped them, |
and also all the persons that were with him.
|וַֽיִּסְפְּדוּ֙ וַיִּבְכּ֔וּ וַיָּצֻ֖מוּ עַד־הָעָ֑רֶב |
עַל־שָׁא֞וּל וְעַל־יְהוֹנָתָ֣ן בְּנ֗וֹ וְעַל־עַ֤ם יְהוָה֙ וְעַל־בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל כִּ֥י נָפְל֖וּ בֶּחָֽרֶב
|12||And they wailed, and they wept, and they fasted till evening, |
over Saul and over Jonathan his son, and over the people of Yahweh, and over the house of Israel, for they were fallen with the sword.
|וַיֹּ֣אמֶר דָּוִ֗ד אֶל־הַנַּ֙עַר֙ הַמַּגִּ֣יד ל֔וֹ אֵ֥י מִזֶּ֖ה אָ֑תָּה |
וַיֹּ֕אמֶר בֶּן־אִ֛ישׁ גֵּ֥ר עֲמָלֵקִ֖י אָנֹֽכִי
|13||And David said to the lad that told him, Where in this are you? |
And the child of someone said, An Amalekite guest I am.
|וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֵלָ֖יו דָּוִ֑ד |
אֵ֚יךְ לֹ֣א יָרֵ֔אתָ לִשְׁלֹ֙חַ֙ יָֽדְךָ֔ לְשַׁחֵ֖ת אֶת־מְשִׁ֥יחַ יְהוָֽה
|14||And David said to him, |
How did you not fear to reach out your hand to destroy the anointed of Yahweh?
|וַיִּקְרָ֣א דָוִ֗ד לְאַחַד֙ מֵֽהַנְּעָרִ֔ים וַיֹּ֖אמֶר גַּ֣שׁ פְּגַע־בּ֑וֹ |
|15||And David called to one from the lads and said, Come close. Compel him. |
And he struck him and he died.
|וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֵלָיו֙ דָּוִ֔ד דָּמְךָ֖ עַל־רֹאשֶׁ֑ךָ |
כִּ֣י פִ֗יךָ עָנָ֤ה בְךָ֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר אָנֹכִ֥י מֹתַ֖תִּי אֶת־מְשִׁ֥יחַ יְהוָֽה
|16||And David said to him, Your blood be on your head, |
for your mouth has answered in you, saying, I myself put to death the anointed of Yahweh.
|וַיְקֹנֵ֣ן דָּוִ֔ד אֶת־הַקִּינָ֖ה הַזֹּ֑את |
עַל־שָׁא֖וּל וְעַל־יְהוֹנָתָ֥ן בְּנֽוֹ
|17||And as eulogy, David sang this elegy, |
over Saul and over Jonathan, his son.
|וַיֹּ֕אמֶר לְלַמֵּ֥ד בְּנֵֽי־יְהוּדָ֖ה קָ֑שֶׁת |
הִנֵּ֥ה כְתוּבָ֖ה עַל־סֵ֥פֶר הַיָּשָֽׁר
|18||And he said to teach the children of Judah the bow. |
Behold, it is written in the record of the upright.
|הַצְּבִי֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עַל־בָּמוֹתֶ֖יךָ חָלָ֑ל |
אֵ֖יךְ נָפְל֥וּ גִבּוֹרִֽים
|19||The estate of Israel, on your high places, is profaned. |
How are fallen the valiant.
|אַל־תַּגִּ֣ידוּ בְגַ֔ת אַֽל־תְּבַשְּׂר֖וּ בְּחוּצֹ֣ת אַשְׁקְל֑וֹן |
פֶּן־תִּשְׂמַ֙חְנָה֙ בְּנ֣וֹת פְּלִשְׁתִּ֔ים פֶּֽן־תַּעֲלֹ֖זְנָה בְּנ֥וֹת הָעֲרֵלִֽים
|20||Do not make it clear in Gath. Do not publish it in the streets of Ashkelon, |
lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad, lest the daughters of the fore-skinned exult.
|הָרֵ֣י בַגִּלְבֹּ֗עַ אַל־טַ֧ל וְאַל־מָטָ֛ר עֲלֵיכֶ֖ם וּשְׂדֵ֣י תְרוּמֹ֑ת |
כִּ֣י שָׁ֤ם נִגְעַל֙ מָגֵ֣ן גִּבּוֹרִ֔ים מָגֵ֣ן שָׁא֔וּל בְּלִ֖י מָשִׁ֥יחַ בַּשָּֽׁמֶן
|21||You hills of Gilboa, no dew, and no rain on you, nor fields lifted high, |
for there the shield of the valiant is aborted, the shield of Saul, without anointing with oil.
|מִדַּ֣ם חֲלָלִ֗ים מֵחֵ֙לֶב֙ גִּבּוֹרִ֔ים קֶ֚שֶׁת יְה֣וֹנָתָ֔ן לֹ֥א נָשׂ֖וֹג אָח֑וֹר |
וְחֶ֣רֶב שָׁא֔וּל לֹ֥א תָשׁ֖וּב רֵיקָֽם
|22||From the blood of the profaned, from the choicest of the valiant, the bow of Jonathan did not overtake the rearguard, |
and the sword of Saul did not return empty.
|שָׁא֣וּל וִיהוֹנָתָ֗ן הַנֶּאֱהָבִ֤ים וְהַנְּעִימִם֙ בְּחַיֵּיהֶ֔ם וּבְמוֹתָ֖ם לֹ֣א נִפְרָ֑דוּ |
מִנְּשָׁרִ֣ים קַ֔לּוּ מֵאֲרָי֖וֹת גָּבֵֽרוּ
|23||O Saul and Jonathan, so loved and pleasant in their lives, and in their deaths were not separated, |
than eagles more fleet, than lions more valiant.
|בְּנוֹת֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶל־שָׁא֖וּל בְּכֶ֑ינָה |
הַמַּלְבִּֽשְׁכֶ֤ם שָׁנִי֙ עִם־עֲדָנִ֔ים הַֽמַּעֲלֶה֙ עֲדִ֣י זָהָ֔ב עַ֖ל לְבוּשְׁכֶֽן
|24||Daughters of Israel, weep for Saul, |
who clothed you in scarlet, with enthrallments, who brought trappings of gold upon your clothing.
|אֵ֚יךְ נָפְל֣וּ גִבֹּרִ֔ים בְּת֖וֹךְ הַמִּלְחָמָ֑ה |
יְה֣וֹנָתָ֔ן עַל־בָּמוֹתֶ֖יךָ חָלָֽל
|25||C||How are fallen the valiant, in the midst of the battle. Jonathan on the high places is profaned.||3e||4C||12|
|צַר־לִ֣י עָלֶ֗יךָ אָחִי֙ יְה֣וֹנָתָ֔ן נָעַ֥מְתָּ לִּ֖י מְאֹ֑ד |
נִפְלְאַ֤תָה אַהֲבָֽתְךָ֙ לִ֔י מֵאַהֲבַ֖ת נָשִֽׁים
|26||Troubled am I over you, my brother Jonathan. Very pleasant you have been for me. |
So wonderful was your love for me, more than the love of women.
|אֵ֚יךְ נָפְל֣וּ גִבּוֹרִ֔ים וַיֹּאבְד֖וּ כְּלֵ֥י מִלְחָמָֽה||27||C||How are fallen the valiant, and perished the inner pouches of battle.||3e||4C||14|
Six times, inner pouches appears in this elegy. Inner pouches could just be equipment or vital centres. It recalls for me the scene of David and the Philistine where he hid the stones that were his weapon in the shepherd's inner pouch. (1 Samuel 17).