1 Samuel 13:1-23, NLT
1 Samuel 13
Continued War with Philistia
1Saul was thirty*13:1a As in a few Greek manuscripts; the number is missing in the Hebrew. years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty-two years.*13:1b Hebrew reigned . . . and two; the number is incomplete in the Hebrew. Compare Acts 13:21.
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.
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!”
5The Philistines mustered a mighty army of 3,000*13:5 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads 30,000. chariots, 6,000 charioteers, and as many warriors as the grains of sand on the seashore! They camped at Micmash east of Beth-aven.
Saul’s Disobedience and Samuel’s Rebuke
Meanwhile, Saul stayed at Gilgal, and his men were trembling with fear.
10Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet and welcome him,
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.
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.
Israel’s Military Disadvantage
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.*13:15 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads Samuel then left Gilgal and went to Gibeah in the land of Benjamin. When Saul counted the men who were still with him, he found only 600 were left!
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.
23The pass at Micmash had meanwhile been secured by a contingent of the Philistine army.