1Saul was thirty years#13:1 Some LXX mss; MT reads was one year old when he became king, and he reigned forty-two years#13:1 Text emended; MT reads two years over Israel.#13:1 Some LXX mss omit v. 1 2He chose three thousand men from Israel for himself: two thousand were with Saul at Michmash#1Sm 14:31 and in Bethel’s hill country, and one thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah#1Sm 10:26 of Benjamin. He sent the rest of the troops away, each to his own tent.
3Jonathan attacked the Philistine garrison#13:3 Or governor, also in v. 4#1Sm 10:5 that was in Geba,#1Sm 13:16; 14:5 and the Philistines heard about it. So Saul blew the ram’s horn throughout the land#Jdg 3:27; 6:34 saying, “Let the Hebrews hear!” #13:3 LXX reads “The slaves have revolted”#Nm 10:9; Jdg 3:27; 6:34 4And all Israel heard the news, “Saul has attacked the Philistine garrison, and Israel is now repulsive to the Philistines.” Then the troops were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.
5The Philistines also gathered to fight against Israel: three thousand#13:5 One LXX ms, Syr; MT reads 30,000 chariots, six thousand horsemen, and troops as numerous as the sand on the seashore.#Jos 11:4 They went up and camped at Michmash, east of Beth-aven.#13:5 LXX reads Michmash, opposite Beth-horon to the south#1Sm 14:23
6The men of Israel saw that they were in trouble because the troops were in a difficult situation. They hid in caves, in thickets, among rocks, and in holes and cisterns.#Jdg 6:2 7Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.
Saul, however, was still at Gilgal, and all his troops were gripped with fear. 8He waited seven days for the appointed time that Samuel had set,#1Sm 10:8 but Samuel didn’t come to Gilgal, and the troops were deserting him. 9So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” Then he offered the burnt offering.
10Just as he finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. So Saul went out to greet him, 11and Samuel asked, “What have you done?”
Saul answered, “When I saw that the troops were deserting me and you didn’t come within the appointed days and the Philistines were gathering at Michmash, 12I thought, ‘The Philistines will now descend on me at Gilgal, and I haven’t sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I forced myself to offer the burnt offering.”
13Samuel said to Saul, “You have been foolish.#2Ch 16:9 You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you.#1Sm 15:22,28 It was at this time that the Lord would have permanently established your reign over Israel,#1Sm 1:22 14but now your reign will not endure.#1Sm 15:28 The Lord has found a man after his own heart,#13:14 Lit man according to his heart#1Sm 16:7; Ac 13:22 and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over his people, because you have not done what the Lord commanded.” 15Then Samuel went#13:15 LXX reads Samuel left Gilgal and went on his way, and the rest of the people followed Saul to join the people in his army. They went from Gilgal to Gibeah in Benjamin. Saul registered the troops who were with him, about six hundred men.
16Saul, his son Jonathan, and the troops who were with them were staying in Geba#1Sm 13:2-3 of Benjamin, and the Philistines were camped at Michmash. 17Raiding parties#1Sm 14:15 went out from the Philistine camp in three divisions. One division headed toward the Ophrah#Jos 18:23 road leading to the land of Shual. 18The next division headed toward the Beth-horon#Jos 18:13-14 road, and the last division headed down the border road that looks out over the Zeboim Valley#Neh 11:34 toward the wilderness.
19No blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel#Jdg 5:8; 2Kg 24:14 because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise, the Hebrews will make swords or spears.” 20So all the Israelites went to the Philistines to sharpen their plows, mattocks, axes, and sickles.#13:20 LXX; MT reads plowshares 21The price was two-thirds of a shekel#13:21 Lit of a pim; about one-fourth ounce of silver for plows and mattocks, and one-third of a shekel for pitchforks and axes, and for putting a point on a cattle prod. 22So on the day of battle not a sword or spear could be found in the hand of any of the troops who were with Saul#Jdg 5:8 and Jonathan; only Saul and his son Jonathan had weapons.
Jonathan’s Victory over the Philistines
23Now a Philistine garrison#1Sm 14:1; 2Sm 23:14 took control of the pass at Michmash.