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1 Samuel 13

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

 2 Saul chose himself three thousand men of Israel; of which two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin; and the of 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 All Israel heard that Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philistines, and that Israel also was held in abomination with the Philistines. And the people were called together by Saul to Gilgal.

 5 The Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, six thousand horsemen, and people in number as the sand that is on the sea shore; and they came up, and encamped at Michmash, east of Bethaven.

 6 When the men of Israel saw that they were about to be attacked, (the people were distressed), then the people hid themselves in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in high places, and in pits.

 7 And some of the Hebrews deserted over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people who followed him were trembling in fear.

 8 Saul waited seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had designated; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from Saul.

 9 So Saul said, "Bring me a burnt offering and peace offerings." And he offered the burnt offering.

 10 And it came to pass, that as soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him that he might salute and greet him.

 11 And Samuel said, "What have you done?" And Saul said, "Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, that you had not come within the days discussed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;

 12 Therefore I thought that the Philistines would come down now upon me in Gilgal, and I had not made supplication to the LORD. Therefore I forced myself and offered a burnt offering.

 13 And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, that he commanded you. Had you done so, the LORD would have established your kingdom upon Israel forever.

 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. Instead the LORD has sought for himself a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be captain over his people because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.1

 15 And Samuel arose, and went up from Gilgal to 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, stayed in Gibeah of Benjamin; but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.

 17 And from the camp of the Philistines those seeking to plunder Israel came out in three companies; one company turned to the way that leads to Ophrah, to the land of Shual;

 18 Another company turned the way to Bethhoron; and another company turned to the way of the border that looks to the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.

 19 Now there were no smiths to be found throughout all the land of Israel for the Philistines forbade them to prevent the Hebrews from making themselves swords or spears.2

 20 Instead every man of all the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen his poughshare, his sickle, his axe, and his mattock.

 21 The price was two thirds of a shekel for sharpening plowshares and mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads [to prod their animals to move on].

 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 Saul and his son Jonathan had weapons of war.

 23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the passage of Michmash.


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1 But now your kingdom shall not continue. Instead the LORD has sought for himself a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be captain over his people because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you. Saul lost his kingdom because he did not completely follow the commands of the Lord spoken by Samuel which were: you will go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down to you, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings. You will remain there for seven days until I come to you and show you what you will do. Saul offered burnt offerings himself, instead of waiting the full seven days for Samuel to come and to make them. We don't know if Saul made his offering through a Levite priest, but if he didn't, he also violated the whole concept of sacrificial offerings in the Mosaic Law. This failure of Saul was evidently overlooked, at least temporarily, for in Chapter 15, Saul again fails to follow the Lord's instructions completely; and that failure caused Samuel to declare Saul's kingship over and to abandon him, never seeing him again. Listen to and obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk completely in the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well to you. Jer 7:23.

2 there were no smiths to be found throughout all the land of Israel for the Philistines forbade them to prevent the Hebrews from making themselves swords or spears. Israel had been subjugated by the heathen peoples around them because they had forsaken God to worship the heathen idols. Man in his flesh is always looking for a physical object to pay homage to: a crucifix, a wafer, a statue of a saint, a beautiful sect building, stain glass windows, a temple, etc.; instead of the inward worship of the circumcised heart.

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