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ESV — Chronological: Day 102
102
Reading
1 Samuel 13-14

Saul Fights the Philistines

13 Saul lived for one year and then became king, and when he had reigned for two years over Israel,1 Saul chose three thousand men of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in kMichmash and the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in lGibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the people he sent home, every man to his tent. Jonathan defeated mthe garrison of the Philistines that was nat Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul oblew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” And all Israel heard it said that Saul had defeated the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become a stench to the Philistines. And the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal.

And the Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops plike the sand on the seashore in multitude. They came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of qBeth-aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves rin caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns, and some Hebrews crossed the fords of the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul was still at Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.

Saul's Unlawful Sacrifice

sHe waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. 10 As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him. 11 Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, 12 I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” 13 And Samuel said to Saul, t“You have done foolishly. uYou have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now vyour kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man wafter his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince2 over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” 15 And Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal. The rest of the people went up after Saul to meet the army; they went up from Gilgal3 to xGibeah of Benjamin.

And Saul numbered the people who were present with him, yabout six hundred men. 16 And Saul and Jonathan his son and the people who were present with them stayed in zGeba of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash. 17 And araiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies. One company turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual; 18 another company turned toward bBeth-horon; and another company turned toward the border that looks down on the Valley of cZeboim toward the wilderness.

19 dNow there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears.” 20 But every one of the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, or his sickle,4 21 and the charge was two-thirds of a shekel5 for the plowshares and for the mattocks, and a third of a shekel6 for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads.7 22 So on the day of the battle ethere was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan, but Saul and Jonathan his son had them. 23 And fthe garrison of the Philistines went out to the gpass of hMichmash.

Jonathan Defeats the Philistines

14 One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah in the pomegranate cave8 at hMigron. The people who were with him were about isix hundred men, including jAhijah the son of Ahitub, kIchabod's brother, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord lin Shiloh, mwearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. Within nthe passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side and a rocky crag on the other side. The name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The one crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of oGeba.

Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these puncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, qfor nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish.9 Behold, I am with you heart and soul.” Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them. If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place, and we will not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hand. And this shall be the sign to us.” 11 So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines. And the Philistines said, “Look, Hebrews are coming rout of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 And the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor-bearer and said, “Come up to us, and we will show you a thing.” And Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.” 13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed them after him. 14 And that first strike, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, killed about twenty men within as it were half a furrow's length in an acre10 of land. 15 And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even sthe raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic.11

16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude twas dispersing here and there.12 17 Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Count and see who has gone from us.” And when they had counted, behold, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there. 18 So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here.” For the ark of God went at that time with the people13 of Israel. 19 Now uwhile Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the camp of the Philistines increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” 20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle. And behold, vevery Philistine's sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion. 21 Now the Hebrews who had been with the Philistines before that time and who had gone up with them into the camp, weven they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Likewise, when all the men of Israel xwho had hidden themselves yin the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too followed hard after them in the battle. 23 zSo the Lord saved Israel that day. And the battle passed beyond aBeth-aven.

Saul's Rash Vow

24 And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, bso Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies.” So none of the people had tasted food. 25 Now when all the people14 came to the forest, behold, there was honey on the ground. 26 And when the people entered the forest, behold, the honey was dropping, but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath, cso he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright. 28 Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food this day.’” And the people were dfaint. 29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. See how my eyes have become bright because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies that they found. For now the defeat among the Philistines has not been great.”

31 They struck down the Philistines that day from eMichmash to fAijalon. And the people were very dfaint. 32 The people gpounced on the spoil and took sheep and oxen and calves and slaughtered them on the ground. And the people ate them hwith the blood. 33 Then they told Saul, “Behold, the people are sinning against the Lord by eating hwith the blood.” And he said, “You have dealt treacherously; roll a great stone to me here.”15 34 And Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people and say to them, ‘Let every man bring his ox or his sheep and slaughter them here and eat, and do not sin against the Lord by eating with the blood.’” So every one of the people brought his ox with him that night and they slaughtered them there. 35 And Saul ibuilt an altar to the Lord; it was the first altar that he built to the Lord.

36 Then Saul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night and plunder them until the morning light; let us not leave a man of them.” And they said, “Do whatever seems good to you.” But jthe priest said, “Let us draw near to God here.” 37 And Saul inquired of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into the hand of Israel?” kBut he did not answer him that day. 38 And Saul said, “Come here, all you leaders of the people, and know and see how this sin has arisen today. 39 For las the Lord lives who saves Israel, mthough it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die.” But there was not a man among all the people who answered him. 40 Then he said to all Israel, “You shall be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side.” And the people said to Saul, “Do what seems good to you.” 41 Therefore Saul said, “O Lord God of Israel, why have you not answered your servant this day? If this guilt is in me or in Jonathan my son, O Lord, God of Israel, give Urim. But if this guilt is in your people Israel, give Thummim.”16 nAnd Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped. 42 Then Saul said, n“Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan.” And Jonathan was taken.

43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, o“Tell me what you have done.” And Jonathan told him, p“I tasted a little honey with the tip of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am; I will die.” 44 And Saul said, q“God do so to me and more also; ryou shall surely die, Jonathan.” 45 Then the people said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! lAs the Lord lives, sthere shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people ransomed Jonathan, so that he did not die. 46 Then Saul went up from pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.

Saul Fights Israel's Enemies

47 When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, tagainst the Ammonites, against Edom, against the kings of uZobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned he routed them. 48 And he did valiantly vand struck the Amalekites and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.

49 wNow the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchi-shua. And the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn was xMerab, and the name of the younger Michal. 50 And the name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. yAnd the name of the commander of his army was Abner the son of Ner, zSaul's uncle. 51 aKish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of aAbiel.

52 There was hard fighting against the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, bhe attached him to himself.

Footnotes

[1] 13:1 Hebrew Saul was one year old when he became king, and he reigned two years over Israel (see 1 Samuel 10:6); some Greek manuscripts give Saul's age when he began to reign as thirty years
[2] 13:14 Or leader
[3] 13:15 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks The rest of the people . . . from Gilgal
[4] 13:20 Septuagint; Hebrew plowshare
[5] 13:21 Hebrew was a pim
[6] 13:21 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
[7] 13:21 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain
[8] 14:2 Or under the pomegranate [tree]
[9] 14:7 Septuagint Do all that your mind inclines to
[10] 14:14 Hebrew a yoke
[11] 14:15 Or became a panic from God
[12] 14:16 Septuagint; Hebrew they went here and there
[13] 14:18 Hebrew; Septuagint “Bring the ephod.” For at that time he wore the ephod before the people
[14] 14:25 Hebrew land
[15] 14:33 Septuagint; Hebrew this day
[16] 14:41 Vulgate and Septuagint; Hebrew Therefore Saul said to the Lord, the God of Israel, “Give Thummim.”