Here from the Holy Bible, the Old Testament, King James Version (KJV) - - as described - - the Battle of Mount Gilboa, The Hebrew King Saul and his three sons slain, their bodies desecrated, put on display, the armor of Saul made an offering to the god of the Philistines.
1 Samuel Chapter 31
1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul's sons.
3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers.
4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised [Philistines] come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.
6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.
7 And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.
8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa.
9 And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people.
10 And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.
11 And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul;
12 All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there.
13 And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
2 Samuel 21:12
12 And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa:
13 And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged.
14 And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was entreated for the land.
Desecration of those vanquished in battle a common theme in military history. The victor in particular most desirous to mutilate and defile the body of the dead enemy commander.
Such as it has been in history and perhaps always will be, people being people. As was done to Saul and his sons, three thousand years ago, the desecration of the bodies, the recovery, and the eventual burial by friendly hands. In this particular instance extraordinary efforts by the Hebrews in response to the humiliation suffered at the hands of their mortal enemies [Philistines].
Pre-emptive burial in a secret location of the fallen commander often done as a means to thwart defilement. Such has been the case for:
* Varus at the Teutoburgerwald.
* Alaric of the Visigoths.
* Edward Braddock at Ft. Duquesne.
* Paul Tibbets pilot of the Enola Gay.
In the case of the latter, Paul Tibbets, piloting the Enola Gay during World War Two [WW2], the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the man passing away recently, having his remains secretly buried in an unmarked grave. Paul knowing full well that his grave site would more than likely become a "rallying point" for certain less than savory parties, the intent being political protest unseemly in nature.
As is history and behavior three thousand years ago, as is the behavior of the human species today. Regrettably so.
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