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1 Samuel 13 International Standard Version (ISV)

Saul’s Battles against the Philistines

13 Saul was 30[a] years old when he began to reign, and he ruled for 42[b] years over Israel. Saul chose for himself 3,000 men from Israel. There were 2,000 with Saul in Michmash and the hill country of Bethel, while 1,000 were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. He had sent the rest of the people home.[c]

Jonathan attacked the Philistine garrison[d] in Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Saul blew the trumpet throughout the land: “Listen, Hebrews!” All Israel heard the report,[e] “Saul has attacked the Philistine garrison[f] and Israel has also become repulsive to the Philistines.” Then the people were summoned to Saul at Gilgal.

The Philistines assembled to fight against Israel with 30,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen, and people as numerous as the sand on the seashore. And they advanced and camped in Michmash, east of Beth-aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in distress (for the people were in difficult circumstances), the people hid themselves in caves, in thickets, in crags, in tombs, and in pits. Hebrews went across the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead, but Saul remained in Gilgal, and all the people followed him, trembling.

Saul[g] waited seven days for the appointment set by Samuel. When Samuel did not arrive at Gilgal, as the people began to scatter from Saul,[h] Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering and the peace offering to me,” and he offered the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to meet and greet him.

11 Samuel said, “What have you done?”

Saul replied, “When? I saw that the people were scattering from me, that you didn’t come at the appointed time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash. 12 I[i] thought, ‘The Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal but I’ve not sought the favor of the Lord,’ so I forced myself to offer the burnt offering.”

13 Then Samuel told Saul, “You have acted foolishly. You haven’t obeyed the commandment of the Lord your God, which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever, 14 but now your kingdom won’t be established. The Lord has sought for himself a man after his own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as Commander-in-Chief[j] over his people because you didn’t obey that which the Lord commanded you.”

15 Then Samuel got up and went from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. Saul mustered the people present with him, about 600 men. 16 Saul, his son Jonathan, and the people present with them remained in Geba of Benjamin, while the Philistines camped in Michmash. 17 Raiders went out of the Philistine camp in three companies. One company turned in the direction of[k] Ophrah, to the land of Shual, 18 one company turned in the direction of[l] Beth-horon, while the one company turned toward the border[m] that overlooks the valley of Zeboiim toward the desert.

The Philistine Monopoly on Metal Working

19 No blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel because the Philistines thought, “This will keep the Hebrews from making swords or spears.” 20 Everyone in Israel would have to go to the Philistines so each person could sharpen his plow, his mattock, his axe, and his sickle.[n] 21 The charge was one pin[o] for plows, mattocks, three pronged forks,[p] and axes, or for setting the goads. 22 On the day of battle, none of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan were armed with swords or spears, but Saul and his son Jonathan did have[q] them. 23 Now a garrison of the Philistines had gone out to the pass of Michmash.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 13:1 So a few late LXX mss.; the Heb. lacks 30
  2. 1 Samuel 13:1 Lit. two; cf. Acts 13:21; Josephus’s Antiquities VI.14.9 cites Saul as reigning 18 years before Samuel’s death and 22 years after. But Antiquities X.8.4 cites only 20 years for Saul’s reign.
  3. 1 Samuel 13:2 Lit. each to his own tent
  4. 1 Samuel 13:3 Or struck down the Philistine leader
  5. 1 Samuel 13:4 Lit. heard, saying
  6. 1 Samuel 13:4 Or struck down the Philistine leader
  7. 1 Samuel 13:8 Lit. He
  8. 1 Samuel 13:8 Lit. him
  9. 1 Samuel 13:12 Or When I … Michmash, 12 I
  10. 1 Samuel 13:14 Lit. Nagid; i.e. a senior officer entrusted with dual roles of operational oversight and administrative authority
  11. 1 Samuel 13:17 Or along the road to
  12. 1 Samuel 13:18 Or along the road to
  13. 1 Samuel 13:18 Or along the border road
  14. 1 Samuel 13:20 So LXX; MT, plow
  15. 1 Samuel 13:21 I.e. a unit of measurement equal to about 2/3 of a shekel, weighing about 0.3 ounces; one shekel weighed about 0.4 ounces
  16. 1 Samuel 13:21 The meaning of MT is uncertain
  17. 1 Samuel 13:22 Lit. were found with
International Standard Version (ISV)

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1 Samuel 13 New International Version (NIV)

Samuel Rebukes Saul

13 Saul was thirty[a] years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty-[b] two years.

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

Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet 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 obnoxious to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.

The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand[c] chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven. When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.

Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. He waited seven 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 offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet 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, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”

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

15 Then Samuel left Gilgal[d] and went up to Gibeah in Benjamin, and Saul counted the men who were with him. They numbered about six hundred.

Israel Without Weapons

16 Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeah[e] in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Mikmash. 17 Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual, 18 another toward Beth Horon, and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboyim facing the wilderness.

19 Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears! 20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plow points, mattocks, axes and sickles[f] sharpened. 21 The price was two-thirds of a shekel[g] for sharpening plow points and mattocks, and a third of a shekel[h] for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.

22 So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear 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 pass at Mikmash.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 13:1 A few late manuscripts of the Septuagint; Hebrew does not have thirty.
  2. 1 Samuel 13:1 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text (see Acts 13:21); Masoretic Text does not have forty-.
  3. 1 Samuel 13:5 Some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac; Hebrew thirty thousand
  4. 1 Samuel 13:15 Hebrew; Septuagint Gilgal and went his way; the rest of the people went after Saul to meet the army, and they went out of Gilgal
  5. 1 Samuel 13:16 Two Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts Geba, a variant of Gibeah
  6. 1 Samuel 13:20 Septuagint; Hebrew plow points
  7. 1 Samuel 13:21 That is, about 1/4 ounce or about 8 grams
  8. 1 Samuel 13:21 That is, about 1/8 ounce or about 4 grams
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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