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1 Samuel 13:4-15

Context
13:4 All Israel heard this message, 1  “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel is repulsive 2  to the Philistines!” So the people were summoned to join 3  Saul at Gilgal.

13:5 For the battle with Israel the Philistines had amassed 3,000 4  chariots, 6,000 horsemen, and an army as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Micmash, east of Beth Aven. 13:6 The men of Israel realized they had a problem because their army was hard pressed. So the army hid in caves, thickets, cliffs, strongholds, 5  and cisterns. 13:7 Some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan River 6  to the land of Gad and Gilead. But Saul stayed at Gilgal; the entire army that was with him was terrified. 13:8 He waited for seven days, the time period indicated by Samuel. 7  But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the army began to abandon Saul. 8 

13:9 So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” Then he offered a burnt offering. 13:10 Just when he had finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel appeared on the scene. Saul went out to meet him and to greet him. 9 

13:11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul replied, “When I saw that the army had started to abandon me 10  and that you didn’t come at the appointed time and that the Philistines had assembled at Micmash, 13:12 I thought, 11  ‘Now the Philistines will come down on me at Gilgal and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt obligated 12  to offer the burnt offering.”

13:13 Then Samuel said to Saul, “You have made a foolish choice! You have not obeyed 13  the commandment that the Lord your God gave 14  you. Had you done that, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever! 13:14 But now your kingdom will not continue! The Lord has sought out 15  for himself a man who is loyal to him 16  and the Lord has appointed 17  him to be leader over his people, for you have not obeyed what the Lord commanded you.”

13:15 Then Samuel set out and went up from Gilgal 18  to Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin. 19  Saul mustered the army that remained with him; there were about six hundred men.

1 tn The words “this message” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

2 tn Heb “stinks.” The figurative language indicates that Israel had become repulsive to the Philistines.

3 tn Heb “were summoned after.”

4 tn Many English versions (e.g., KJV, NASB, NRSV, TEV) read “30,000” here.

5 tn Or perhaps “vaults.” This rare term also occurs in Judg 9:46, 49. Cf. KJV “high places”; ASV “coverts”; NAB “caverns”; NASB “cellars”; NIV, NCV, TEV “pits”; NRSV, NLT “tombs.”

6 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

7 tn This apparently refers to the instructions given by Samuel in 1 Sam 10:8. If so, several years had passed. On the relationship between chs. 10 and 13, see V. P. Long, The Art of Biblical History (FCI), 201-23.

8 tn Heb “dispersed from upon him”; NAB, NRSV “began to slip away.”

9 tn Heb “to bless him.”

10 tn Heb “dispersed from upon me.”

11 tn Heb “said.”

12 tn Or “I forced myself” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV, CEV); NAB “So in my anxiety I offered”; NIV “I felt compelled.”

13 tn Or “kept.”

14 tn Heb “commanded.”

15 tn This verb form, as well as the one that follows (“appointed”), indicates completed action from the standpoint of the speaker. This does not necessarily mean that the Lord had already conducted his search and made his choice, however. The forms may be used for rhetorical effect to emphasize the certainty of the action. The divine search for a new king is as good as done, emphasizing that the days of Saul’s dynasty are numbered.

16 tn Heb “according to his heart.” The idiomatic expression means to be like-minded with another, as its use in 1 Sam 14:7 indicates.

17 tn Heb “commanded.”

18 tc The LXX and two Old Latin mss include the following words here: “on his way. And the rest of the people went up after Saul to meet the warring army. When they arrived from Gilgal….”

19 tn Heb “at Gibeah of Benjamin.” The words “in the territory” are supplied in the translation for clarity (likewise in the following verse).



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