1 Samuel 13:1-14:35
New International Version
Samuel Rebukes Saul
2 Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand(A) were with him at Mikmash(B) and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah(C) in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes.
3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost(D) at Geba,(E) and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet(F) blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!” 4 So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxious(G) to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.
5 The Philistines assembled(H) to fight Israel, with three thousand[c] chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand(I) on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash,(J) east of Beth Aven.(K) 6 When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid(L) in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns.(M) 7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad(N) and Gilead.
Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking(O) with fear. 8 He waited seven(P) 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(Q) up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel(R) arrived, and Saul went out to greet(S) 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,(T) 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal,(U) and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.(V)’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”
13 “You have done a foolish thing,(W)” Samuel said. “You have not kept(X) the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.(Y) 14 But now your kingdom(Z) will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart(AA) and appointed(AB) him ruler(AC) of his people, because you have not kept(AD) the Lord’s command.”
Israel Without Weapons
16 Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeah[e](AG) in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Mikmash. 17 Raiding(AH) parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah(AI) in the vicinity of Shual, 18 another toward Beth Horon,(AJ) and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboyim(AK) facing the wilderness.
19 Not a blacksmith(AL) could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!(AM)” 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.
Jonathan Attacks the Philistines
23 Now a detachment of Philistines had gone out to the pass(AP) at Mikmash.(AQ) 14 1 One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-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(AR) on the outskirts of Gibeah(AS) under a pomegranate tree(AT) in Migron.(AU) With him were about six hundred men, 3 among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’s(AV) brother Ahitub(AW) son of Phinehas, the son of Eli,(AX) the Lord’s priest in Shiloh.(AY) No one was aware that Jonathan had left.
4 On each side of the pass(AZ) 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 toward Mikmash, the other to the south toward Geba.(BA)
6 Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised(BB) men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing(BC) can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many(BD) or by few.(BE)”
7 “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”
8 Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward 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(BF) that the Lord has given them into our hands.(BG)”
11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews(BH) are crawling out of the holes they were hiding(BI) in.” 12 The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.(BJ)”
So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand(BK) of Israel.”
13 Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him. 14 In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.
Israel Routs the Philistines
16 Saul’s lookouts(BN) 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 armor-bearer who were not there.
18 Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring(BO) the ark(BP) of God.” (At that time it was with the Israelites.)[j] 19 While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the Philistine camp increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest,(BQ) “Withdraw your hand.”
20 Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking(BR) 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(BS) over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 When all the Israelites who had hidden(BT) 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(BU) Israel, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.(BV)
Jonathan Eats Honey
24 Now the Israelites were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath,(BW) saying, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!” So none of the troops tasted food.
25 The entire army entered the woods, and there was honey on the ground. 26 When they went into the woods, they saw the honey oozing out; yet no one put his hand to his mouth, because they feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard that his father had bound the people with the oath, so he reached out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb.(BX) He raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened.[k] 28 Then one of the soldiers told him, “Your father bound the army under a strict oath, saying, ‘Cursed be anyone who eats food today!’ That is why the men are faint.”
29 Jonathan said, “My father has made trouble(BY) for the country. See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better it would have been if the men had eaten today some of the plunder they took from their enemies. Would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?”
31 That day, after the Israelites had struck down the Philistines from Mikmash(BZ) to Aijalon,(CA) they were exhausted. 32 They pounced on the plunder(CB) and, taking sheep, cattle and calves, they butchered them on the ground and ate them, together with the blood.(CC) 33 Then someone said to Saul, “Look, the men are sinning against the Lord by eating meat that has blood(CD) in it.”
“You have broken faith,” he said. “Roll a large stone over here at once.” 34 Then he said, “Go out among the men and tell them, ‘Each of you bring me your cattle and sheep, and slaughter them here and eat them. Do not sin against the Lord by eating meat with blood still(CE) in it.’”
So everyone brought his ox that night and slaughtered it there. 35 Then Saul built an altar(CF) to the Lord; it was the first time he had done this.
- 1 Samuel 13:1 A few late manuscripts of the Septuagint; Hebrew does not have thirty.
- 1 Samuel 13:1 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text (see Acts 13:21); Masoretic Text does not have forty-.
- 1 Samuel 13:5 Some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac; Hebrew thirty thousand
- 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 plow points
- 1 Samuel 13:21 That is, about 1/4 ounce or about 8 grams
- 1 Samuel 13:21 That is, about 1/8 ounce or about 4 grams
- 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.)
- 1 Samuel 14:27 Or his strength was renewed; similarly in verse 29