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Go to Bible: 1 Samuel 13
|1Sa 13:1||- (top)|
“2,000 were with Saul in Michmash.” Saul lost that hilltop to the Philistines, as we see by 1 Samuel 13:5. He retreated southeast to Gilgal (1 Sam. 13:4). Jonathan had to retake it (cp. 1 Sam. 14:5).
“and 1,000 were with Jonathan in Gibeah.” Verses such as this show that when Saul started to reign he was a mature man and had a fully grown son.(top)
“shofar.” The ram’s horn trumpet, not the metal trumpet.(top)
|1Sa 13:4||- (top)|
|1Sa 13:5||- (top)|
|1Sa 13:6||- (top)|
“he was still in Gilgal.” Saul had gone to Gilgal by the Jordan River, abandoning the central hill country and leaving it to the Philistines.(top)
“according to the time set by Samuel.” The time was set in 1 Samuel 10:7-8, but Samuel did come on the seventh day (1 Sam. 13:10). Saul was impatient and disobedient, very characteristic of him at this stage in his life.(top)
|1Sa 13:9||- (top)|
|1Sa 13:10||- (top)|
“you did not come during the appointed days.” Here Saul makes a weak attempt to explain away his error. As Robert Bergen (The New American Commentary) notes, Samuel “did in fact arrive on the seventh day.” There are a number of incidents in Saul’s life before he was rejected as king (1 Sam. 15:23-28), that show Saul was unfit as king, and his lying about Samuel to cover up his weakness is one of them.(top)
|1Sa 13:12||- (top)|
|1Sa 13:13||- (top)|
|1Sa 13:14||- (top)|
“and went from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin.” Samuel left Gilgal and the Jordan River Valley and traveled westward into the hill country of the tribe of Benjamin. Samuel was apparently not afraid of the Philistine presence in the central hill country.(top)
“stayed in Geba of Benjamin.” So between 1 Samuel 13:15 and 13:16, Saul and his men must have moved up from Gilgal by the Jordan River to Geba in the central hill country of Benjamin.
“the Philistines encamped in Michmash.” Michmash was a mile or so to the north (and slightly east) of Geba.(top)
“The raiding parties came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies.” The Philistines were overconfident and arrogant. They had a large enough army to attack Saul’s camp, and if they killed him and much of his army the rest of Israel might have fallen to them. Instead, confident of their future victory, they decided to harras Israel and demoralize them with raiding parties.
“one company turned to the way that leads to Ophrah.” This raiding party headed north.(top)
“turned toward the road to Beth Horon.” This raiding party went eastward.
“and another company turned toward the road of the border.” This third raiding party traveled southeast.(top)
“there was no blacksmith to be found.” The right to be able to defend one’s life, family, society, and property is a fundamental right and essential to peaceful life on earth. The Devil knows this, and disarming people so that they are subject to bullying and terror by tyrannical and ungodly overlords and governments has occurred over and over throughout time. In this case, Israel was subject to the raiding parties sent out by the Philistines, who no doubt murdered, raped, stole and destroyed with little or no resistance from disarmed Israel. For the average Israelite, daily life under the subjugation of the Philistines would have been a horror.(top)
“sickle.” The REV follows the Septuagint. The Hebrew text has a copyist’s error and reads “plow blade” a second time. The error is a dittography.(top)
“two-thirds of a shekel.” The Hebrew word is “pim,” and it occurs only here in the Old Testament. Older versions took an educated guess at the meaning and some have “file,” (cp. KJV), but that has proven to be wrong. The verse is saying that the Philistines charged for the service of sharping metal instruments, and the price was not cheap for those times. Archaeologists have now found stone weights marked pim in some excavations, and the weights are roughly equal to two-thirds of a shekel, about .26 ounces.
“to set the goads.” That is, to set the metal points on the ox goads.(top)
|1Sa 13:22||- (top)|
“And the garrison of the Philistines went out.” It is likely that when the Philistines got news that Saul had gathered men together that they sent a group to guard the pass between Geba and Michmash and keep the roads open. It would not have occurred to them that the Israelites would attack them, but this is the garrison that Jonathan and his armorbearer attacked and defeated, leading to the rout of the Philistines described in 1 Samuel 14.(top)