March 30

1 Samuel 13:1 — 14:52

13 Saul was [?] years old when he began to reign, and for two years he reigned over Israel. 2 And Saul proceeded to choose for himself three thousand men out of Israel; and two thousand came to be with Saul at Michmash and in the mountainous region of Bethel, and a thousand proved to be with Jonathan at Gibeah of Benjamin, and the rest of the people he sent away, each one to his tent. 3 Then Jonathan struck down the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba; and the Philistines got to hear of it. As for Saul, he had the horn blown throughout all the land, saying: “Let the Hebrews hear!” 4 And all Israel itself heard tell: “Saul has struck down a garrison of the Philistines, and now Israel has become foul-smelling among the Philistines.” So the people were called together to follow Saul to Gilgal.

5 And the Philistines, for their part, collected themselves together to fight against Israel, thirty thousand war chariots and six thousand horsemen and people like the grains of sand that are upon the seashore for multitude; and they went their way up and began camping in Michmash to the east of Beth-aven. 6 And the men of Israel themselves saw that they were in sore straits, because the people were hard pressed; and the people went hiding themselves in the caves and the hollows and the crags and the vaults and the waterpits. 7 Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. But Saul himself was yet in Gilgal, and all the people trembled while following him. 8 And he continued waiting for seven days to the appointed time that Samuel [had said]; and Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. 9 Finally Saul said: “BRING near to me the burnt sacrifice and the communion sacrifices.” With that he went offering up the burnt sacrifice.

10 And it came about that as soon as he had finished offering up the burnt sacrifice, why, there was Samuel coming in. So Saul went out to meet him and bless him. 11 Then Samuel said: “What is it you have done?” To this Saul said: “I saw that the people had been dispersed from me, and you—you did not come within the appointed days, and the Philistines were being collected together at Michmash, 12 so I said to myself, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and the face of Jehovah I have not softened.’ So I compelled myself and went offering up the burnt sacrifice.”

13 At this Samuel said to Saul: “You have acted foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of Jehovah your God that he commanded you, because, if you had, Jehovah would have made your kingdom firm over Israel to time indefinite. 14 And now your kingdom will not last. Jehovah will certainly find for himself a man agreeable to his heart; and Jehovah will commission him as a leader over his people, because you did not keep what Jehovah commanded you.”

15 Then Samuel rose and went his way up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin, and Saul proceeded to take the count of the people, those yet found with him, about six hundred men. 16 And Saul and Jonathan his son and the people yet found with them were dwelling in Geba of Benjamin. As for the Philistines, they had encamped in Michmash. 17 And the force of pillagers would sally forth from the camp of the Philistines in three bands. The one band would turn to the road to Ophrah, to the land of Shual, 18 and the other band would turn to the road of Beth-horon, and the third band would turn to the road to the boundary that looks toward the valley of Zeboim, toward the wilderness.

19 Now there was not a smith to be found in all the land of Israel, because the Philistines had said: “That the Hebrews may not make a sword or a spear.” 20 And all the Israelites would go down to the Philistines to get each one his plowshare or his mattock or his ax or his sickle sharpened. 21 And the price for sharpening proved to be a pim for the plowshares and for the mattocks and for the three-toothed instruments and for the axes and for fixing fast the oxgoad. 22 And it happened on the day of battle that not a sword or a spear was found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan; but there could be found one belonging to Saul and to Jonathan his son.

23 Now an outpost of the Philistines would sally forth to the ravine pass of Michmash.

14 And it came about one day that Jonathan the son of Saul proceeded to say to the attendant carrying his weapons: “Do come and let us cross over to the outpost of the Philistines who are across over there.” But to his father he did not tell it. 2 And Saul was dwelling at the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree that is in Migron; and the people that were with him were about six hundred men. 3 (And Ahijah the son of Ahitub, the brother of Ichabod, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of Jehovah in Shiloh, was carrying the ephod.) And the people themselves did not know that Jonathan had gone. 4 Now between the passages that Jonathan looked for to cross over against the outpost of the Philistines there was a toothlike crag here on this side and a toothlike crag there on that side, and the name of the one was Bozez and the name of the other was Seneh. 5 The one tooth was a pillar on the north facing Michmash, and the other was on the south facing Geba.

6 So Jonathan said to the attendant, his armor-bearer: “Do come and let us cross over to the outpost of these uncircumcised men. Perhaps Jehovah will work for us, for there is no hindrance to Jehovah to save by many or by few.” 7 At this his armor-bearer said to him: “Do whatever is in your heart. Turn where you wish to. Here I am with you in accord with your heart.” 8 Then Jonathan said: “Here we are crossing over to the men, and let us expose ourselves to them. 9 If this is the way they should say to us, ‘Stand still until we make contact with YOU!’ we must then stand where we are, and we should not go on up to them. 10 But if this is the way they should say, ‘Come up against us!’ we must then go up, because Jehovah will certainly give them into our hand, and this is for us the sign.”

11 With that the two of them exposed themselves to the outpost of the Philistines. And the Philistines proceeded to say: “Here are the Hebrews coming out from the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 So the men of the outpost answered Jonathan and his armor-bearer and said: “Come on up to us, and we will let YOU know a thing!” At once Jonathan said to his armor-bearer: “Come up after me, because Jehovah will certainly give them into the hand of Israel.” 13 And Jonathan kept going up on his hands and his feet, and his armor-bearer after him; and they began to fall before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer was putting them to death behind him. 14 And the first slaughter with which Jonathan and his armor-bearer struck them down amounted to about twenty men within about half the plowing line in an acre of field.

15 Then a trembling occurred in the camp in the field and among all the people of the outpost; and the force of pillagers trembled, even they, and the earth began quaking, and it developed into a trembling from God. 16 And the watchmen belonging to Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin got to see it, and, look! the turmoil swayed this way and that.

17 And Saul proceeded to say to the people that were with him: “Take the count, please, and see who has gone out from us.” When they took the count, why, look! Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there. 18 Saul now said to Ahijah: “Do bring the ark of the [true] God near!” (For the ark of the [true] God proved to be on that day with the sons of Israel.) 19 And it came about that while Saul was speaking to the priest, the turmoil that was in the camp of the Philistines continued to go on, getting greater and greater. Then Saul said to the priest: “Withdraw your hand.” 20 Thus Saul and all the people that were with him were called out. So they came as far as the battle, and there the sword of each one had come to be against his fellowman; the rout was very great. 21 And the Hebrews that had come to belong to the Philistines as formerly and that had gone up with them into the camp round about, even they too were for proving themselves to be with Israel who was with Saul and Jonathan. 22 All the men of Israel also that were hidden in the mountainous region of Ephraim heard that the Philistines had taken to flight, and they too went pursuing closely after them into the battle. 23 And Jehovah proceeded on that day to save Israel, and the battle itself passed over to Beth-aven.

24 And the men of Israel themselves were hard pressed on that day, and yet Saul put the people under the pledge of an oath, saying: “Cursed is the man that eats bread before the evening and until I have taken vengeance upon my enemies!” And none of the people tasted bread.

25 And all those of the land came into the woods, when honey happened to be over all the surface of the field. 26 When the people came into the woods, why, look! there was a dripping of honey, but there was no one putting his hand to his mouth, because the people were afraid of the oath. 27 As for Jonathan, he had not been listening when his father put the people under an oath, so he stretched out the tip of the rod that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb and drew his hand back to his mouth, and his eyes began to beam. 28 At this one of the people answered and said: “Your father solemnly put the people under oath, saying, ‘Cursed is the man that eats bread today!’” (And the people began to get tired.) 29 However, Jonathan said: “My father has brought ostracism upon the land. SEE, please, how my eyes have beamed because I tasted this little bit of honey. 30 How much more so if the people had but eaten today from the spoil of their enemies that they found! For now the slaughter upon the Philistines has not been great.”

31 And on that day they kept striking down the Philistines from Michmash to Aijalon, and the people got to be very tired. 32 And the people began darting greedily at the spoil and taking sheep and cattle and calves and slaughtering them on the earth, and the people fell to eating along with the blood. 33 So they told Saul, saying: “Look! The people are sinning against Jehovah by eating along with the blood.” At this he said: “YOU have dealt treacherously. First of all, roll a great stone to me.” 34 After that Saul said: “Scatter among the people, and YOU must say to them, ‘Bring near to me, each one of YOU, his bull and, each one, his sheep, and YOU must do the slaughtering in this place and the eating, and YOU must not sin against Jehovah by eating along with the blood.’” Accordingly all the people brought near each one his bull that was in his hand that night and did the slaughtering there. 35 And Saul proceeded to build an altar to Jehovah. With it he started altar building to Jehovah.

36 Later Saul said: “Let us go down after the Philistines by night and plunder them until the morning lightens up, and let us not leave a single one among them.” To this they said: “Anything that is good in your eyes do.” Then the priest said: “Let us approach here to the [true] God.” 37 And Saul began to inquire of God: “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into the hand of Israel?” And he did not answer him on that day. 38 So Saul said: “Come near here, all YOU keymen of the people, and ascertain and see in what way this sin has come to be today. 39 For as Jehovah, who is the Deliverer of Israel, is alive, even if it is in Jonathan my son, yet he will positively die.” But there was no one answering him out of all the people. 40 And he went on to say to all Israel: “YOU yourselves will come to be on the one side, and I and Jonathan my son—we will come to be on the other side.” At this the people said to Saul: “What is good in your eyes do.”

41 And Saul proceeded to say to Jehovah: “O God of Israel, do give Thummim!” Then Jonathan and Saul were taken, and the people themselves went out. 42 Saul now said: “CAST lots to decide between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan got to be taken. 43 Then Saul said to Jonathan: “Do tell me, What have you done?” So Jonathan told him and said: “I did for a fact taste a little honey on the tip of the rod that is in my hand. Here I am! Let me die!”

44 At this Saul said: “Thus may God do and thus may he add to it, if you do not positively die, Jonathan.” 45 But the people said to Saul: “Is Jonathan to die, who has performed this great salvation in Israel? It is unthinkable! As Jehovah is alive, not as much as a single hair of his head will fall to the earth; for it was with God that he worked this day.” With that the people redeemed Jonathan, and he did not die.

46 So Saul withdrew from following the Philistines, and the Philistines themselves went to their place.

47 And Saul himself took the kingship over Israel and went warring round about against all his enemies, against Moab and against the sons of Ammon and against Edom and against the kings of Zobah and against the Philistines; and wherever he would turn he administered condemnation. 48 And he went on acting valiantly and proceeded to strike down Amalek and to deliver Israel out of the hand of their pillager.

49 And the sons of Saul came to be Jonathan and Ishvi and Malchi-shua, and, as for the names of his two daughters, the name of the one born first was Merab and the name of the younger one Michal. 50 And the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz, and the name of the chief of his army was Abner the son of Ner, the uncle of Saul. 51 And Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.

52 And the warfare continued heavy against the Philistines all the days of Saul. When Saul saw any mighty man or any valiant person, he would gather him to himself.