The First of Samuel 13:1-23

  • Saul selects an army (1-4)

  • Saul acts presumptuously (5-9)

  • Samuel reproves Saul (10-14)

  • Israel without weapons (15-23)

13  Saul was . . .* years old when he became king,+ and for two years he reigned over Israel.  Saul chose 3,000 men out of Israel; 2,000 of these were with Saul at Michʹmash and in the mountainous region of Bethʹel and 1,000 were with Jonʹa·than+ at Gibʹe·ah+ of Benjamin. He sent the rest of the people away, each one to his tent.  Then Jonʹa·than struck down the garrison of the Phi·lisʹtines+ that was in Geʹba,+ and the Phi·lisʹtines heard about it. And Saul had the horn blown+ throughout all the land, saying: “Let the Hebrews hear!”  All Israel heard the news: “Saul has struck down a garrison of the Phi·lisʹtines, and now Israel has become a stench among the Phi·lisʹtines.” So the people were summoned to follow Saul at Gilʹgal.+  The Phi·lisʹtines also gathered together to fight against Israel, with 30,000 war chariots and 6,000 horsemen and troops as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore;+ and they went up and camped in Michʹmash to the east of Beth-aʹven.+  And the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble, because they were hard-pressed; so the people hid in the caves,+ the hollows, the crags, the cellars,* and the cisterns.  Some of the Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilʹe·ad.+ But Saul was still in Gilʹgal, and all the people following him were trembling.  He continued waiting for seven days until the designated* time that Samuel had set, but Samuel did not come to Gilʹgal, and the people were scattering from him.  Finally Saul said: “Bring to me the burnt sacrifice and the communion sacrifices.” And he offered up the burnt sacrifice.+ 10  But as soon as he had finished offering up the burnt sacrifice, Samuel arrived. So Saul went out to meet him and bless him. 11  Then Samuel said: “What have you done?” Saul replied: “I saw that the people were deserting me,+ and you did not come within the designated time, and the Phi·lisʹtines were gathering together at Michʹmash.+ 12  So I said to myself, ‘Now the Phi·lisʹtines will come down against me at Gilʹgal, and I have not sought the favor* of Jehovah.’ So I felt obligated to offer up the burnt sacrifice.” 13  At this Samuel said to Saul: “You have acted foolishly. You have not obeyed the commandment that Jehovah your God gave you.+ If you had, Jehovah would have made your kingdom firm over Israel forever. 14  But now your kingdom will not last.+ Jehovah will find a man agreeable to his heart,+ and Jehovah will commission him as a leader over his people,+ because you did not obey what Jehovah commanded you.”+ 15  Then Samuel rose and went his way up from Gilʹgal to Gibʹe·ah of Benjamin, and Saul took the count of the people; those still with him were about 600 men.+ 16  Saul, his son Jonʹa·than, and the people still with them were dwelling in Geʹba+ of Benjamin, and the Phi·lisʹtines had encamped at Michʹmash.+ 17  And the raiding parties would go out from the camp of the Phi·lisʹtines in three bands. One band would turn toward the road to Ophʹrah, to the land of Shuʹal; 18  another band would turn toward the road of Beth-hoʹron;+ and the third band would turn toward the road leading to the boundary that overlooks the valley of Ze·boʹim, toward the wilderness. 19  Now there was not a metalworker to be found in all the land of Israel, because the Phi·lisʹtines had said: “So that the Hebrews may not make a sword or a spear.” 20  And all the Israelites had to go down to the Phi·lisʹtines to get their plowshares, mattocks, axes, or sickles sharpened. 21  The price for sharpening was a pim* for the plowshares, for the mattocks, for the three-toothed instruments, for the axes, and for fixing fast the oxgoad. 22  And on the day of battle, not a sword or a spear was found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonʹa·than;+ only Saul and his son Jonʹa·than had weapons. 23  Now a garrison* of the Phi·lisʹtines had gone out to the ravine pass of Michʹmash.+


The number is missing in the Hebrew text.
Or “vaults.”
Or “appointed.”
Or “softened the face.”
An ancient weight, approximately two thirds of a shekel.
Or “an outpost.”