1 Samuel 13
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War with the Philistines

1Saul was thirty years olda when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty-twob years. 2He chose for himself three thousand men of Israel: Two thousand were with Saul at Michmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. And the rest of the troops he sent away, each to his own home.

3Then Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. So Saul blew the trumpet throughout the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear!”

4And all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked an outpost of the Philistines, and now Israel has become a stench to the Philistines!” Then the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.

5Now the Philistines assembled to fight against Israel with three thousandc chariots, six thousand horsemen, and troops as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Michmash, east of Beth-aven.

6Seeing that they were in danger because their troops were hard-pressed, the men of Israel hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in cellars and cisterns. 7Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan into the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul, however, remained at Gilgal, and all his troops were quaking with fear.

Saul's Unlawful Sacrifice

8And Saul waited seven days for the time appointed by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the troops began to desert Saul. 9So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” And he offered up the burnt offering.

10Just as he finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.

11“What have you done?” Samuel asked.

And Saul replied, “When I saw that the troops were deserting me, and that you did not come at the appointed time and the Philistines were gathering at Michmash, 12I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will descend upon me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the LORD.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”

13“You have acted foolishly,” Samuel declared. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought a man after His own heart and appointed him ruler over His people, because you have not kept the command of the LORD.”

15Then Samuel set out from Gilgal and went up to Gibeahd in Benjamin. And Saul numbered the troops who were with him, about six hundred men.

Israel Without Weapons

16Now Saul and Jonathan his son and the troops with them were staying in Geba of Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Michmash. 17And raiders went out of the Philistine camp in three divisions. One headed toward Ophrah in the land of Shual, 18another toward Beth-horon, and the third down the border road overlooking the Valley of Zeboim facing the wilderness.

19And no blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “The Hebrews must not be allowed to make swords or spears.” 20Instead, all the Israelites would go down to the Philistines to sharpen their plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles.e 21The charge was a pimf for the plowshares and mattocks, and a third of a pimg for the pitchforks and axes and for repointing an oxgoad.

22So on the day of battle not a sword or spear could be found in the hands of the troops with Saul and Jonathan; only Saul and his son Jonathan had weapons.

23And a garrison of the Philistines had gone out to the pass at Michmash.

Footnotes:

1 a MT does not include thirty
1 b MT does not include forty-
5 c Some LXX manuscripts and Syriac; Hebrew thirty thousand
15 d The LXX and two Old Latin manuscripts Then Samuel set out, and the rest of the people went up after Saul to meet the army; they went up from Gilgal to Gibeah
20 e LXX; Hebrew plowshares
21 f This word, which appears only here in the OT, possibly refers to a stone weight of about 0.25 ounces or 8 grams found in excavations of Palestinian sites. This is equivalent to about two-thirds of a shekel and likely refers to the price charged by the Philistines for the services listed.
21 g Hebrew does not include the unit of measure, possibly a pim or shekel

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