Saul committed suicide.
4 … So Saul took his sword and fell on it.
5 When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died with him.
1 Samuel 31:4-5  NASBu

An Amalakite
8 He said to me, ‘Who are you?’ And I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’
9 Then he said to me, ‘Please stand beside me and kill me, for agony has seized me because my life still lingers in me.’
10 So I stood beside him and killed him, …
2 Samuel 1:8-10  NASBu

12 … on the day the Philistines struck down Saul in Gilboa.
2 Samuel 21:12  NASBu

14 … and did not inquire of the LORD. Therefore He killed him and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse.
1 Chronicles 10:14  NASBu

SAB Contradiction 318 (by book)

A real Bible Contradiction?

There are four passages about the death of Saul pointing to four different persons who would be responsible for his death; Saul himself, an Amalakite, Philistines and even God. How is that possible, only one would be expected. Let’s look at the texts.

1 Samuel 31:4-5 

In this passage we have a description of a battle between Israelites under Saul against the Philistines, their long-time enemies, Saul’s three sons were slain and he himself was badly wounded by the archers, then he committed suicide: he fell on his sword and died.
This seems clear information about the question how Saul died: suicide. But what about the other passages?

2 Samuel 1:8-10 

Here we read that an Amalakite arrived at the camp of David and claimed to have killed Saul. Probably he expected a great reward. As proof for his claim he showed Saul’s crown and bracelet. At the end the man was put to death because of his claim to have killed the king of Israel, the Lord’s anointed. This man did not actually kill Saul, he just pretended to have done so.

2 Samuel 21:12

In the KJV the translation is: “ … the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa.” Indeed this seems to contradict the earlier message that Saul committed suicide. However this is a mistranslation. The verb nakah (strike, smite ) instead of mut (kill) – as in the other passages – is used. A correct translation is: “The Philistines conquered Saul in Gilboa.” The reader was supposed to know that Saul committed suicide, as is told earlier in 1 Samuel. (1 and 2 Samuel form one book in the original Hebrew setting.)  
The NASBu has correctly: “…  the Philistines struck down Saul in Gilboa."

1 Chronicles 10:14 

The last verse of consideration tells us that God killed Saul. In the entire Bible we read that sometimes God turns his back to someone because of his sins. The result is ascribed to God – as he turns his back – and also to the individual himself due to his sins. From this perspective it is no contradiction to read that God – abandoning him to his fate – made Saul die. (Or as usually is translated: killed Saul.)

Bible Contradiction?

A careful weighing of the relevant texts allows the conclusion:

No Bible Contradiction