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Samuel Rebukes Saul

13 Saul was thirtya years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty-b two years.

Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousandb were with him at Mikmashc and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeahd in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes.

Jonathan attacked the Philistine outposte at Geba,f and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpetg blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!” So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxioush to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.

The Philistines assembledi to fight Israel, with three thousandc chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sandj on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash,k east of Beth Aven.l When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hidm in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns.n Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gado and Gilead.

Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quakingp with fear. He waited sevenq days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offeredr up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuels arrived, and Saul went out to greett him.

11 “What have you done?” asked Samuel.

Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash,u 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal,v and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.w’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”

13 “You have done a foolish thing,x” Samuel said. “You have not kepty the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.z 14 But now your kingdoma will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heartb and appointedc him rulerd of his people, because you have not kepte the Lord’s command.”

15 Then Samuel left Gilgald and went up to Gibeahf in Benjamin, and Saul counted the men who were with him. They numbered about six hundred.g

Israel Without Weapons

16 Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeahe h in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Mikmash. 17 Raidingi parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrahj in the vicinity of Shual, 18 another toward Beth Horon,k and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboyiml facing the wilderness.

19 Not a blacksmithm could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!n20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plow points, mattocks, axes and sicklesf sharpened. 21 The price was two-thirds of a shekelg for sharpening plow points and mattocks, and a third of a shekelh for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.

22 So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathano had a sword or spearp in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.

Jonathan Attacks the Philistines

23 Now a detachment of Philistines had gone out to the passq at Mikmash.r


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