1 Samuel 13

1Saul's select band. 3Jonathan smiteth the Philistines' garrison, whereupon the people are called together to Gilgal. 5The Philistines bring a great host into the field. 6The distress of the Israelites. 8Saul weary of staying for Samuel offereth a burnt offering. 11His excuse to Samuel, who sharply reproveth him. 17The Philistines send out three bands of spoilers. 19The policy of the Philistines in suffering no smith in Israel.

1SAUL1 reigned one year; and when he had reigned 2two years over Israel,

1 Hebr. Saul being the son of one year in his governing.

2 Hebr. two years; that is, the second year. See Judges 14 on verse 17.

2Saul chose him 3three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in 4Michmash and in mount Beth-el, and a thousand were with Jonathan in 5Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.

3 These 3000 men waited always upon Saul’s service, wherever or whereunto he would use them.

4 Understand this not of a city so called, but of a corner of the land in the border of Benjamin, by the mountain of Bethel, for, as it is here said that Saul was with his people at Michmash, so it is said below verse 5 that the Philistines also camped themselves at Michmash.

5 See Judges 19:12.

3And Jonathan 6smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in 7Geba, and the Philistines 8heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, 9Let the Hebrews hear.

6 Namely, by Saul’s command, as appears verse 4.

7 Other, on the hill. See 1 Sam. 10:5.

8 Understand here in addition: and they prepared themselves to fight against the Israelites.

9 Namely, that they may beware they be not surprised by the Philistines, but arm themselves against them, or prepare to battle against the Philistines.

4And all Israel heard say that 10Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philistines, 11and that Israel also was had in abomination with the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Gilgal.

10 Not Saul, but Jonathan by Saul’s command, or they thought that Saul had done it.

11 See Gen. 34:30.

5¶And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, 12thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is 13on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in 14Michmash, eastward from 15Beth-aven.

12 That is, thirty thousand men, who, being in chariots, fought out of them.

13 Hebr. on the lip.

14 See verse 2.

15 There was a city so called, and also a wilderness, Joshua 18:12.

6When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then 16the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits.

16 Namely, the soldiers of the Israelites, who were with Saul.

7And some of the 17Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people 18followed him trembling.

17 Understand here the common people, who were not capable of bearing arms.

18 Hebr. then all the people trembled after him. This seems to be understood of the people who had hid themselves, verse 6.

819And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that 20Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and 21the people were scattered from him.

19 1 Sam. 10:8.

20 See 1 Sam. 10:8 to what end and purpose this day was appointed.

21 Namely, the warlike people, that had been with him. They ran hither and thither, leaving Saul.

9And Saul 22said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he 23offered the burnt offering.

22 Namely, being vexed and wearied to wait any longer, and fearing the danger that was near at hand. See verses 11 and 12.

23 Namely, by a priest; and understand herewith that Saul likewise prayed unto the Lord, as appears below verse 12. If Saul himself in his own person had offered (as some perceive) then his sin was yet so much the greater.

10And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute 24him.

24 That is, to salute him and to bid him welcome. See the annotation on Gen. 31:55.

11¶And Samuel said, 25What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not 26within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;

25 This is no question of one who was ignorant, but rather a severe reproof; as Gen. 3:13.

26 Samuel came certainly on the seventh day to Saul, although he was not there at the very hour that Saul expected him.

1227Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made 28supplication unto the LORD: 29I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.

27 Namely, to myself, that is, I thought.

28 Prayers were made unto God at the offerings.

29 Or, I offered violence to myself, that is, I did it unwillingly, and with great regret and reluctance of mind, yea, as it were, being compelled thereto by the circumstances.

13And Samuel said to Saul, 30Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy 31kingdom upon Israel 32for ever.

30 Namely, in that you have not waited at the appointed time.

31 That is, the kingdom over which He has set you, to reign as king.

32 That is, a long time, all your life time, either upon yourself, or upon some of your posterity, namely, if you had obeyed me. Yet according to the everlasting decree of God, the kingdom must of necessity at length come to the tribe of Judah; see Deut. 15:17 in the annotation.

14But now thy kingdom shall not continue: 33the LORD hath sought him 34a man after his own heart, and the LORD 35hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.

33 Samuel could not know this but by the inspiration of God.

34 Namely, David, of whom further mention is made 1 Samuel 16. But at this time Samuel himself knew this not; as appears in 1 Samuel 16.

35 From that very time that David was chosen of God to be king, did Saul govern illegally.

15And Samuel arose, and gat him up from Gilgal unto Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people that were present with him, 36about six hundred men.

36 Whereas he was wont to have 2000, verse 2. It seems that the rest were run away for fear. See verses 6, 8.

16And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in 37Gibeah of Benjamin: but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.

37 Other, Gibeah of Benjamin, verse 15, and elsewhere, Gibeah of Saul.

17¶And 38the spoilers came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned unto the way that leadeth to 39Ophrah, unto the land of Shual:

38 Hebr. the destroyer; that is, the soldiers who were sent forth to damage with fire and burn the country, and other ways.

39 A city of the Benjamites, whereof also mention is made, Joshua 18:23.

18And another company turned the way to 40Beth-horon: and another company turned to the way of the border that looketh to the valley of 41Zeboim toward the wilderness.

40 Situated in the tribe of Ephraim, on the border of Benjamin, Joshua 16:3; 18:13.

41 Situated in the tribe of Benjamin, by the wilderness of Jordan; whereof also mention is made in Neh. 11:34.

19¶Now there wasa no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, 42Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears:

a Judges 5:8.

42 Understand herewith, it behooves us to look to it, as Gen. 3:22.

20But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter,b and his axe, and his mattock.c

b blade, part of a plough

c pick axe*

21Yet they had a 43file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the 44forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen 45the goads.

43 Hebr. files with mouths, that is, which had sharp teeth.

44 Or, hooks.

45 The Hebrew word signifies the sharp edge in a plough-staff, whereby they use to prick the beasts that are plowing, to drive them on the faster.

22So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear 46found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found.

46 In regard of the heavy and cruel dominion of the Philistines, verse 19.

23And the 47garrison of the Philistines went out to 48the passaged of Michmash.

47 Other, occupation.

48 Which when once they had in their possession, they had a free passage into the land of the Benjamites.

d mountain pass*