13 Saul was [a][forty] years old when he began to reign; and when he had reigned two years over Israel,
2 Saul chose 3,000 men of Israel; 2,000 were with [him] in Michmash and the hill country of Bethel, and 1,000 with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent away, each one to his home.
3 Jonathan smote the Philistine garrison at Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear!
4 All Israel heard that Saul had defeated the Philistine garrison and also that Israel had become an abomination to the Philistines. And the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal.
5 And the Philistines gathered to fight with Israel, 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen and troops like sand on the seashore in multitude. They came up and encamped at Michmash, east of Beth-aven.
6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in a tight situation—for their troops were hard pressed—they hid in caves, holes, rocks, tombs, and pits or cisterns.
7 Some Hebrews had gone over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.
8 Saul waited seven days, according to the set time Samuel had appointed. But Samuel had not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from Saul.
9 So Saul said, Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering [which he was forbidden to do].
10 And just as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came! Saul went out to meet and greet him.
11 Samuel said, What have you done? Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines were assembled at Michmash,
12 I thought, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord. So I forced myself to offer a burnt offering.
13 And Samuel said to Saul, You have done foolishly! You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God which He commanded you; for the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever;
14 But now your kingdom shall not continue; the Lord has sought out [David] a man after His own [b]heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince and ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.
15 And Samuel went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people that were left with him, [only] about 600.
16 Saul and Jonathan his son and the people with them remained in Gibeah of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped at Michmash.
17 And raiders came out of the Philistine camp in three companies; one company turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual,
18 Another turned toward Beth-horon, and another toward the border overlooking the Valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.
19 Now there was no metal worker to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears.
20 But each of the Israelites had to go down to the Philistines to get his plowshare, mattock, axe, or sickle sharpened.
21 And the price for plowshares and mattocks was a pim, and a third of a shekel for axes and for setting goads [with resulting blunt edges on the sickles, mattocks, forks, axes, and goads.]
22 So on the day of battle neither sword nor spear was found in the hand of any of the men who were with Saul and Jonathan; but Saul and Jonathan his son had them.
23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.
- 1 Samuel 13:1 The complete numbers in this verse are missing in the Hebrew. The word “forty” is supplied by the best available estimate.
- 1 Samuel 13:14 See footnote on I Sam. 27:10.