1 Samuel 31:4 & 2 Samuel 1:10
I asked a jw about these two scriptures. They looked it up & said, "well, OBVIOUSLY, the Amalekite was lying!" ....although it doesn't say that. What are your thoughts? Is this proof that the Bible is not true, or does the following article make sense?
w60 pg.415How can the apparent contradiction between 1 Samuel31:4 and 2 Samuel1:10 be harmonized?—L.G.,
The record at 1 Samuel 31:4 reads: “Then Saul said to his armor-bearer: ‘Draw your sword and run me through with it, that these uncircumcised men may not come and certainly run me through and deal abusively with me.’ And his armor-bearer was unwilling, because he was very much afraid. So Saul took the sword and fell upon it.” At 2 Samuel 1:10 we have the words of an Amalekite addressed to David, claiming to have killed King Saul at his request: “So I stood over him and definitely put him to death, for I knew he could not live after he had fallen.”
A little reflection will make it all clear. On the one hand we have the inspired record, most likely by the prophets Nathan and Gad, telling just how King Saul died. They report it as a fact. On the other hand we have the claim of a pagan, an unknown youth of the Amalekites, which contradicts the divine record. Is there any reason for doubting the record of the inspired writers? No, there is not. Is there any reason for doubting the words of the pagan youth? Yes, there is, for it is reasonable to conclude that he was trying to curry the favor of David by posing as the slayer of the one who sought David’s life during his lifetime. What he said was therefore a deliberate falsehood. However, instead of getting him into the favor of David, it so aroused David’s wrath that he ordered the youth to be slain for having killed Jehovah’s anointed.—2 Sam. 1:15, 16.