1. Saul was . . . years old when he became king, and reigned over Israel for . . . years.
2. Saul selected three thousand men of Israel; two thousand of them were with Saul at Michmash and in the highlands of Bethel, and one thousand with Jonathan at Geba of Benjamin; the rest of the people Saul sent home, everyone to his tent.
3. Jonathan killed the Philistine governor stationed at Gibeah and the Philistines were informed that the Hebrews had risen in revolt. Saul had the trumpet sounded throughout the country,
4. and all Israel heard the news, 'Saul has killed the Philistine governor, and now Israel has antagonised the Philistines.' So all the people rallied behind Saul at Gilgal.
5. The Philistines mustered to make war on Israel, three thousand chariots, six thousand horse and a force as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They came up and pitched camp at Michmash, to the east of Beth-Aven.
6. When the Israelites saw that their plight was desperate, being so hard pressed, the people hid in caves, in holes, in crevices, in vaults, in wells.
7. Some also crossed the Jordan fords into the territory of Gad and Gilead. Saul was still at Gilgal and all the people who followed him were trembling.
8. He waited for seven days, the period fixed by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the army, deserting Saul, began dispersing.
9. Saul then said, 'Bring me the burnt offering and the communion sacrifices.' And he presented the burnt offering.
10. Just as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to meet and greet him.
11. Samuel said, 'What have you been doing?' Saul replied, 'I saw the army deserting me and dispersing, and you had not come at the time fixed, while the Philistines were mustering at Michmash.
12. So I thought: Now the Philistines are going to fall on me at Gilgal and I have not implored the favour of Yahweh. So I felt obliged to make the burnt offering myself.'
13. Samuel said to Saul, 'You have acted like a fool. You have not obeyed the order which Yahweh your God gave you. Otherwise, Yahweh would have confirmed your sovereignty over Israel for ever.
14. But now your sovereignty will not last; Yahweh has discovered a man after his own heart and designated him as leader of his people, since you have not carried out what Yahweh ordered you.'
15. Samuel then got up and left Gilgal to continue his journey. Those people remaining followed Saul as he went to join the warriors, and went from Gilgal to Geba of Benjamin. Saul reviewed the force that was with him; there were about six hundred men.
16. Saul, his son Jonathan, and the force that was with them took up their quarters in Geba of Benjamin while the Philistines camped at Michmash.
17. The raiding company sallied out of the Philistine camp in three groups: one group made for Ophrah in the territory of Shual;
18. one group made for Beth-Horon; and one group made for the high ground overlooking the Valley of the Hyenas, in the direction of the desert.
19. There was not a single blacksmith throughout the territory of Israel, the Philistines' reasoning being, 'We do not want the Hebrews making swords or spears.'
20. Hence, the Israelites were all in the habit of going down individually to the Philistines to sharpen their ploughshares, axes, mattocks and scythes.
21. The price was two-thirds of a shekel for ploughshares and axes, and one-third for sharpening mattocks and straightening goads.
22. So it was that on the day of the battle, no one in the army with Saul and Jonathan was equipped with either sword or spear; only Saul and his son Jonathan were so equipped.
23. A Philistine unit set out for the Pass of Michmash.