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Saul Strikes Down the Philistines

13 [a]Saul was [b]thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned [c]forty-two years over Israel.

And Saul chose for himself 3,000 men of Israel, of which 2,000 were with Saul in (A)Michmash and in the hill country of Bethel, while 1,000 were with Jonathan at (B)Gibeah of Benjamin. But he sent away the rest of the people, each to his tent. And Jonathan struck (C)the garrison of the Philistines that was in (D)Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Then Saul (E)blew the trumpet throughout the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” Then all Israel heard [d]the news that Saul had struck the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel (F)had become odious to the Philistines. The people were then summoned [e]to Saul at Gilgal.

Now the Philistines assembled to fight with Israel, 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen and (G)people like the sand which is on the seashore in abundance; and they came up and camped in Michmash, east of (H)Beth-aven. Now the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait (for the people were hard-pressed). Then (I)the people hid themselves in caves, in thickets, in cliffs, in cellars, and in pits. Also some of the Hebrews crossed the Jordan into the land of (J)Gad and Gilead. But as for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.

Saul Doesn’t Keep Yahweh’s Commandment

So (K)he waited seven days, according to the appointed time set by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring near to me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” And (L)he offered the burnt offering. 10 And as soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and (M)Saul went out to meet him and to [f]greet him. 11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that (N)the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, 12 therefore I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not entreated the favor of Yahweh.’ So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering.” 13 And Samuel said to Saul, “(O)You have acted foolishly; (P)you have not kept the commandment of Yahweh your God, which He commanded you, for now Yahweh would have established your kingdom [g]over Israel (Q)forever. 14 But (R)now your kingdom shall not endure. (S)Yahweh has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and Yahweh has appointed him as ruler over His people because you have not kept what Yahweh commanded you.”

15 Then Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal to (T)Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul [h]numbered the people who were present with him, (U)about six hundred men. 16 Now Saul and his son Jonathan and the people who were present with them were staying in (V)Geba of Benjamin, and the Philistines camped at Michmash. 17 And (W)the [i]raiders came from the camp of the Philistines in three [j]companies: one [k]company turned [l]toward (X)Ophrah, to the land of Shual, 18 and another [m]company turned to the way of (Y)Beth-horon, and another [n]company turned to the way of the border which overlooks the valley of (Z)Zeboim toward the wilderness.

19 Now (AA)no blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make [o](AB)swords or spears.” 20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines, each to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, and his [p]goad. 21 And the charge was [q]two-thirds of a shekel for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to fix the goad. 22 So it happened on the day of battle that (AC)neither sword nor spear was found in the hands of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan, but they were found with Saul and his son Jonathan. 23 And (AD)the garrison of the Philistines went out to (AE)the pass of Michmash.


  1. 1 Samuel 13:1 The Heb is difficult; lit Saul was one year old when he began to reign. Now he reigned for two years over Israel
  2. 1 Samuel 13:1 As in some mss of the LXX; M.T. omits thirty
  3. 1 Samuel 13:1 See Acts 13:21; M.T. omits forty
  4. 1 Samuel 13:4 Lit saying
  5. 1 Samuel 13:4 Lit after
  6. 1 Samuel 13:10 Lit bless
  7. 1 Samuel 13:13 Lit to
  8. 1 Samuel 13:15 Lit mustered
  9. 1 Samuel 13:17 Lit destroyers
  10. 1 Samuel 13:17 Lit heads
  11. 1 Samuel 13:17 Lit head
  12. 1 Samuel 13:17 Lit toward the direction of
  13. 1 Samuel 13:18 Lit head
  14. 1 Samuel 13:18 Lit head
  15. 1 Samuel 13:19 Lit sword or spear
  16. 1 Samuel 13:20 Heb plowshares
  17. 1 Samuel 13:21 Heb pim