1 Samuel 13

Saul threatened by Philistines 5
Acted as priest in presenting offerings 8
Was rejected by God, as Samuel explained 11
 1 ¶ Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, 
 2 Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.
 3 And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear. 
.4 And all Israel heard say that Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philistines, and that Israel also was had in abomination with the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Gilgal.
  1 - Saul reigned This verse has always puzzled translators. The Hebrew reads, literally "Saul year(s) old when he began to reign, and two years he reigned over Israel." This is the typical format in introducing the other kings of Israel except that the age is missing. See 2sa0504, 2ki2101, 2ki2408 and so on. Perhaps the author did not have the information and simply left a space in his manuscript hoping to write it in later. Over the years, copyists faithfully transcribed what was written losing the space. A damaged manuscript may also have been responsible. Of course the Holy Spirit could have provided the number but we would not expect this when the information was not a matter of spiritual truth. See on 2pe0121 and remember that there are slight variances among genealogy lists.
  2 - Gibeah Thought to be a lookout point near Jerusalem. Or perhaps as on a map.
.5 And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Bethaven.
 6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits.
 7 And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. 
  5 - Philistines ... thirty thousand "Either this number must include chariots of every kind--or the word "chariots" must mean the men fighting in them (2Sa 10:18; 1Ki 20:21; ...); or, as some eminent critics maintain, Sheloshim ("thirty"), has crept into the text, instead of Shelosh ("three"). The gathering of the chariots and horsemen must be understood to be on the Philistine plain, before they ascended the western passes and pitched in the heart of the Benjamite hills, in "Michmash," (now Mukmas), a "steep precipitous valley" ... eastward from Beth-aven (Beth-el)." (JFB)
.8 ¶ And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.
.9 And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.
 10 And 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 him.
  8 - Tarried seven days This does not mean that Saul waited seven full days. Notice verse 10.
.11 And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;
 12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. 
 13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou 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 kingdom upon Israel for ever.
.14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.
  13 - Foolishly In presuming to defy the plan God had made for offerings.
.15 ¶ And Samuel arose, and gat him up from Gilgal unto Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people that were present with him, about six hundred men. 
.16 And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin: but the Philistines encamped in Michmash. 
.17 And the spoilers came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned unto the way that leadeth to Ophrah, unto the land of Shual:
 18 And another company turned the way to Bethhoron: and another company turned to the way of the border that looketh to the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.
  15 - Gibeah Should be "Geb'a." See 1sa1416.
  18 - Bethhoron See NW corner of Jerusalem area map. for arrow to Bethhoron.
.19 Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears:
 20 But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock.
 21 Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads. 
 22 So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found 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.
 23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the passage of Michmash.
  19, 20 - No smith A "smith" would be a "blacksmith," a man with a heat source who shapes iron. "The country was in the lowest state of depression and degradation. The Philistines, after the great victory over the sons of Eli, had become the virtual masters of the land. Their policy in disarming the natives has been often followed in the East. For repairing any serious damage to their agricultural implements, they had to apply to the neighboring forts." (JFB).
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