So David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan where the Philistines had hung them up on the day that the Philistines killed Saul on Mount Gilboa, Bible see other translations

“the public square of Beth-shan.” This does not contradict 1 Samuel 31:10, which says the Philistines fastened Saul’s body to the wall. The public square was usually near the city gate (2 Chron. 32:6), and even could be outside it (Neh. 8:1). The Philistines would have wanted Saul’s body where everyone could see it, and on the wall near the public square would be the perfect place. The fact that the people would tolerate a rotting body near their public square shows how insensitive people of that time period were to what we today would consider intolerable stench.

Commentary for: 2 Samuel 21:12