When the king of Ai saw Israel, he and his whole army quickly got up the next day and went out to fight Israel at the meeting place near the Arabah. 1 But he did not realize 2 men were hiding behind the city. 3
When the three hundred men blew their trumpets, the Lord caused the Midianites to attack one another with their swords 1 throughout 2 the camp. The army fled to Beth Shittah on the way to Zererah. They went 3 to the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.
We will take ten of every group of a hundred men from all the tribes of Israel (and a hundred of every group of a thousand, and a thousand of every group of ten thousand) to get supplies for the army. 1 When they arrive in Gibeah of Benjamin they will punish them for the atrocity which they committed in Israel.” 2
The Benjaminites attacked 1 the army, leaving the city unguarded. 2 They began to strike down their enemy 3 just as they had done before. On the main roads (one leads to Bethel, 4 the other to Gibeah) and in the field, they struck down 5 about thirty Israelites.
When the army 1 came back to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why did the Lord let us be defeated today by 2 the Philistines? Let’s take with us the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Shiloh. When it is with us, it will save us 3 from the hand of our enemies.
So the army 1 sent to Shiloh, and they took from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts who sits between the cherubim. Now the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
He took a pair 1 of oxen and cut them up. Then he sent the pieces throughout the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, who said, “Whoever does not go out after Saul and after Samuel should expect this to be done to his oxen!” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they went out as one army. 2
“But they forgot the Lord their God, so he gave 1 them into the hand of Sisera, the general in command of Hazor’s 2 army, 3 and into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.
Now Ahijah was carrying 1 an ephod. He was the son of Ahitub, who was the brother of Ichabod and a son of Phineas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord in Shiloh. The army was unaware that Jonathan had left.
Then Saul said, “Scatter out among the army and say to them, ‘Each of you bring to me your ox and sheep and slaughter them in this spot and eat. But don’t sin against the Lord by eating the blood.” So that night each one brought his ox and slaughtered it there. 1
Then Saul said, “O Lord God of Israel! If this sin has been committed by me or by my son Jonathan, then, O Lord God of Israel, respond with Urim. But if this sin has been committed by your people Israel, respond with Thummim.” 1 Then Jonathan and Saul were indicated by lot, while the army was exonerated. 2
However, Saul and the army spared Agag, along with the best of the flock, the cattle, the fatlings, 1 and the lambs, as well as everything else that was of value. 2 They were not willing to slaughter them. But they did slaughter everything that was despised 3 and worthless.
So David got up early in the morning and entrusted the flock to someone else who would watch over it. 1 After loading up, he went just as Jesse had instructed him. He arrived at the camp 2 as the army was going out to the battle lines shouting its battle cry.
This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand! I will strike you down and cut off your head. This day I will give the corpses of the Philistine army to the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the land. Then all the land will realize that Israel has a God
1 Now as Saul watched David going out to fight the Philistine, he asked Abner, the general in command of the army, “Whose son is this young man, Abner?” Abner replied, “As surely as you live, O king, I don’t know.”
So Achish summoned David and said to him, “As surely as the Lord lives, you are an honest man, and I am glad to have you 1 serving 2 with me in the army. 3 I have found no fault with you from the day that you first came to me until the present time. But in the opinion 4 of the leaders, you are not reliable. 5
He removed 1 the people who were in it and made them do hard labor with saws, iron picks, and iron axes, putting them to work at the brick kiln. This was his policy 2 with all the Ammonite cities. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem. 3
Hushai went on to say, “You know your father and his men – they are soldiers and are as dangerous as a bear out in the wild that has been robbed of her cubs. 1 Your father is an experienced soldier; he will not stay overnight with the army.
At this very moment he is hiding out in one of the caves or in some other similar place. If it should turn out that he attacks our troops first, 1 whoever hears about it will say, ‘Absalom’s army has been slaughtered!’