1 Samuel 13 Common English Bible (CEB)
Samuel rejects Saul’s dynasty
13 Saul was 30 years old[a] when he became king, and he ruled over Israel forty-two years.[b] 2 Saul selected three thousand men from Israel. Two thousand of those were with Saul at Michmash in the hills near Bethel, and one thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. He sent the remaining men home. 3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine fort at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. So Saul sounded the alarm[c] throughout the land and said, “Hebrews! Listen up!” 4 When all Israel heard that Saul had attacked the Philistine fort and that Israel was hated by the Philistines, the troops were called to Saul’s side at Gilgal. 5 The Philistines also were gathered to fight against Israel. They brought thirty thousand chariots with them, six thousand cavalry, and as many soldiers as there is sand on the seashore to fight Israel.[d] They marched up and camped at Michmash, east of Beth-aven. 6 When the Israelites saw that they were in trouble and that their troops were threatened, they hid in caves, in thickets, among rocks, in tunnels, and in cisterns. 7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan River, going into the land of Gad and Gilead.
Saul stayed at Gilgal, and the troops followed him anxiously. 8 He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel, but Samuel didn’t come to Gilgal, and his troops began to desert. 9 So Saul ordered, “Bring me the entirely burned offering and the well-being sacrifices.” Then he offered the entirely burned offering.
10 The very moment Saul finished offering up the entirely burned offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet him and welcome him. 11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?”
“I saw that my troops were deserting,” Saul replied. “You hadn’t arrived by the appointed time, and the Philistines were gathering at Michmash. 12 I thought, The Philistines are about to march against me at Gilgal and I haven’t yet sought the Lord’s favor. So I took control of myself[e] and offered the entirely burned offering.”
13 “How stupid of you to have broken the commands the Lord your God gave you!” Samuel told Saul. “The Lord would have established your rule over Israel forever, 14 but now your rule won’t last. The Lord will search for a man following the Lord’s own heart,[f] and the Lord will commission him as leader over God’s people, because you didn’t keep the Lord’s command.”
15 Samuel got up and went on his way from Gilgal, but the rest of the people followed Saul to join the army, and they went from Gilgal[g] to Gibeah in Benjamin. Saul counted about six hundred men still with him. 16 Saul, his son Jonathan, and the people who were with him were staying at Geba in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Michmash. 17 Three raiding parties left the Philistine camp. One took the road to Ophrah toward the territory of Shual. 18 Another took the road to Beth-horon, and the last took the border road that overlooks the Zeboim Valley toward the desert.
19 No metalworker was to be found anywhere in Israelite territory because the Philistines had said, “The Hebrews must not make swords and spears.” 20 So every Israelite had to go down to the Philistines to sharpen their plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles. 21 The cost was two-thirds of a shekel[h] for plowshares and mattocks, but one-third of a shekel for sharpening axes and for setting goads. 22 So on the day of the battle, no swords or spears were to be found in the possession of any of the troops with Saul and Jonathan, but Saul and his son Jonathan had them.
Jonathan leads Israel to victory
23 Now a group of Philistine soldiers had marched out to the pass at Michmash.
1 Samuel 13 New International Version (NIV)
Samuel Rebukes Saul
2 Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Mikmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes.
3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet 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 to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.
5 The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand[c] chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven. 6 When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. 7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.
Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. 8 He waited 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 Mikmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ 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[d] 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[e] in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Mikmash. 17 Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual, 18 another toward Beth Horon, and the third toward 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 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.
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 Mikmash.