Add parallel Print Page Options

War with the Philistines

13 Saul was forty years old when he began to rule. He ruled over Israel thirty-two years. Saul chose 3,000 men of Israel. There were 2,000 of them with Saul in Michmash and in the hill country of Bethel. And 1,000 were with Jonathan at Gibeah of Benjamin. But he sent away the rest of the people, each to his tent. Jonathan destroyed the place where the Philistine soldiers were in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Then Saul sounded the horn through all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” All Israel heard the news that Saul had destroyed the place where the Philistine soldiers were. And they heard that Israel had become a hated thing to the Philistines. Then the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal.

The Philistines gathered to fight against Israel, with 30,000 war-wagons, 6,000 horsemen, and people like the sand on the sea shore. They came and set up their tents at Michmash, east of Beth-aven. The men of Israel saw that they were in trouble. The people were in a place of danger. So the people hid themselves in caves, bushes, hill-sides, graves and wells. Some of the Hebrews crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. But as for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him in fear.

Saul waited seven days, the time set by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal. And the people were leaving him. So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt gift and the peace gifts.” And he gave the burnt gift to the Lord. 10 As soon as he finished giving the burnt gift, Samuel came. Saul went out to meet him and say hello. 11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul said, “I saw that the people were leaving me. You did not come when you said you would. And the Philistines were gathering at Michmash. 12 So I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down upon me at Gilgal, and I have not asked for the Lord’s favor.’ So I made myself give the burnt gift.” 13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have done a foolish act. You have not kept the Law that the Lord your God gave you. For now the Lord would have made your rule over Israel last forever. 14 But now your rule will not last. The Lord has found a man who is pleasing to him in every way. He has chosen him to rule over his people, because you have not obeyed the Lord.”

15 Then Samuel got up and went from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. Saul numbered the people that were left with him, about 600 men.

No Swords or Spears

16 Saul and his son Jonathan, and the people with them, stayed in Geba of Benjamin, while the Philistines stayed at Michmash. 17 Soldiers came from the tents of the Philistines in three groups. One group turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual. 18 Another group turned toward Bethhoron. And another group turned toward the side of the country that looks over the valley of Zeboim toward the desert.

19 Now there was no one to be found in all the land of Israel who made things of iron. For the Philistines said, “The Hebrews might make swords or spears.” 20 So each one of the Israelites went down to the Philistines to get his plow, his pick, his ax, or his grain cutter sharpened. 21 He had to pay two-thirds part of a piece of silver to have the plows and picks sharpened, and one-third part of a piece of silver to have the axes and grain cutters sharpened. 22 So on the day of battle there was no sword or spear in the hands of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. But Saul and his son Jonathan had them. 23 And the Philistine soldiers went out to the pass of Michmash.

Bible Gateway Sponsors