13Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty-two years.H7586H4427H1121H8141H4427H8147H8141H3478 2Saul selected 3,000 special troops from the army of Israel and sent the rest of the men home. He took 2,000 of the chosen men with him to Micmash and the hill country of Bethel. The other 1,000 went with Saul's son Jonathan to Gibeah in the land of Benjamin.H7586H977H7969H505H3478H505H7586H4363H2022H1008H505H3129H1390H1144H3499H5971H7971H376H168 3Soon after this, Jonathan attacked and defeated the garrison of Philistines at Geba. The news spread quickly among the Philistines. So Saul blew the ram's horn throughout the land, saying, "Hebrews, hear this! Rise up in revolt!"H3129H5221H5333H6430H1387H6430H8085H7586H8628H7782H776H559H5680H8085 4All Israel heard the news that Saul had destroyed the Philistine garrison at Geba and that the Philistines now hated the Israelites more than ever. So the entire Israelite army was summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.H3478H8085H559H7586H5221H5333H6430H3478H887H6430H5971H6817H310H7586H1537 5The Philistines mustered a mighty army of 3,000 chariots, 6,000 charioteers, and as many warriors as the grains of sand on the seashore! They camped at Micmash east of Beth-aven.H6430H622H3898H3478H7970H505H7393H8337H505H6571H5971H2344H3220H8193H7230H5927H2583H4363H6926H1007 6The men of Israel saw what a tight spot they were in; and because they were hard pressed by the enemy, they tried to hide in caves, thickets, rocks, holes, and cisterns.H376H3478H7200H6887H5971H5065H5971H2244H4631H2337H5553H6877H953 7Some of them crossed the Jordan River and escaped into the land of Gad and Gilead. Meanwhile, Saul stayed at Gilgal, and his men were trembling with fear.H5680H5674H3383H776H1410H1568H7586H1537H5971H310H2729 8Saul waited there seven days for Samuel, as Samuel had instructed him earlier, but Samuel still didn't come. Saul realized that his troops were rapidly slipping away.H3176H3176H7651H3117H4150H8050H8050H935H1537H5971H6327 9So he demanded, "Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!" And Saul sacrificed the burnt offering himself.H7586H559H5066H5930H8002H5927H5930 10Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet and welcome him,H3615H5927H5930H8050H935H7586H3318H7125H1288 11but Samuel said, "What is this you have done?" Saul replied, "I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn't arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle.H8050H559H6213H7586H559H7200H5971H5310H935H3117H4150H6430H622H4363 12So I said, 'The Philistines are ready to march against us at Gilgal, and I haven't even asked for the LORD's help!' So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came."H559H6430H3381H1537H2470H6440H3068H662H5927H5930 13"How foolish!" Samuel exclaimed. "You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. Had you kept it, the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.H8050H559H7586H5528H8104H4687H3068H430H6680H3068H3559H4467H3478H5704H5769 14But now your kingdom must end, for the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart. The LORD has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD's command."H4467H6965H3068H1245H376H3824H3068H6680H5057H5971H8104H3068H6680 15Samuel then left Gilgal and went on his way, but the rest of the troops went with Saul to meet the army. They went up from Gilgal to Gibeah in the land of Benjamin. When Saul counted the men who were still with him, he found only 600 were left!H8050H6965H5927H1537H1390H1144H7586H6485H5971H4672H8337H3967H376 16Saul and Jonathan and the troops with them were staying at Geba in the land of Benjamin. The Philistines set up their camp at Micmash.H7586H3129H1121H5971H4672H3427H1387H1144H6430H2583H4363 17Three raiding parties soon left the camp of the Philistines. One went north toward Ophrah in the land of Shual,H7843H3318H4264H6430H7969H7218H259H7218H6437H1870H6084H776H7777 18another went west to Beth-horon, and the third moved toward the border above the valley of Zeboim near the wilderness.H259H7218H6437H1870H1032H259H7218H6437H1870H1366H8259H1516H6650H4057 19There were no blacksmiths in the land of Israel in those days. The Philistines wouldn't allow them for fear they would make swords and spears for the Hebrews.H2796H4672H776H3478H6430H559H5680H6213H2719H2595 20So whenever the Israelites needed to sharpen their plowshares, picks, axes, or sickles, they had to take them to a Philistine blacksmith.H3478H3381H6430H3913H376H4282H855H7134H4281 21(The charges were as follows: a quarter of an ounce of silver for sharpening a plowshare or a pick, and an eighth of an ounce for sharpening an ax, a sickle, or an ox goad.)H6477H6310H4281H855H7969H7053H7134H5324H1861 22So on the day of the battle none of the people of Israel had a sword or spear, except for Saul and Jonathan.H3117H4421H2719H2595H4672H3027H5971H7586H3129H7586H3129H1121H4672 23The pass at Micmash had meanwhile been secured by a contingent of the Philistine army.H4673H6430H3318H4569H4363
New Living Translation (NLT). Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. More details.