1 Samuel 13:8-14:23
New International Version - UK
8 He waited for seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 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 Michmash, 12 I thought, “Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favour.” 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[a] 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[b] of Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Michmash. 17 Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned towards Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual, 18 another towards Beth Horon, and the third towards 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 ploughshares, mattocks, axes and sickles[c] sharpened. 21 The price was two-thirds of a shekel[d] for sharpening ploughshares and mattocks, and a third of a shekel[e] 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 Michmash. 14 1 One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armour-bearer, ‘Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.’ But he did not tell his father.
2 Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men, 3 among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left.
4 On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez and the other Seneh. 5 One cliff stood to the north towards Michmash, the other to the south towards Geba.
6 Jonathan said to his young armour-bearer, ‘Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.’
7 ‘Do all that you have in mind,’ his armour-bearer said. ‘Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.’
8 Jonathan said, ‘Come on, then; we will cross over towards them and let them see us. 9 If they say to us, “Wait there until we come to you,” we will stay where we are and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, “Come up to us,” we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the Lord has given them into our hands.’
11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. ‘Look!’ said the Philistines. ‘The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.’ 12 The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armour-bearer, ‘Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.’
So Jonathan said to his armour-bearer, ‘Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.’
13 Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armour-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armour-bearer followed and killed behind him. 14 In that first attack Jonathan and his armour-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.[f]
Israel routs the Philistines
15 Then panic struck the whole army – those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties – and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.[g]
16 Saul’s lookouts at Gibeah in Benjamin saw the army melting away in all directions. 17 Then Saul said to the men who were with him, ‘Muster the forces and see who has left us.’ When they did, it was Jonathan and his armour-bearer who were not there.
18 Saul said to Ahijah, ‘Bring the ark of God.’ (At that time it was with the Israelites.)[h] 19 While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the Philistine camp increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, ‘Withdraw your hand.’
20 Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking each other with their swords. 21 Those Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines and had gone up with them to their camp went over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit. 23 So on that day the Lord saved Israel, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.
- 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
- 1 Samuel 13:16 Two Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts Geba, a variant of Gibeah
- 1 Samuel 13:20 Septuagint; Hebrew ploughshares
- 1 Samuel 13:21 That is, about 8 grams
- 1 Samuel 13:21 That is, about 4 grams
- 1 Samuel 14:14 Or about 2,000 square metres
- 1 Samuel 14:15 Or a terrible panic
- 1 Samuel 14:18 Hebrew; Septuagint ‘Bring the ephod.’ (At that time he wore the ephod before the Israelites.)