1 When he began to reign, Saul was the son of one year, and he reigned over Israel for two years.
2 And Saul chose for himself three thousand men of Israel. And two thousand were with Saul at Michmash and at mount Bethel. Then one thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah of Benjamin. But the remainder of the people, he sent back, each one to his own tent.
3 And Jonathan struck the garrison of the Philistines, which was in Gibeah. And when the Philistines had heard about it, Saul sounded the trumpet over all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews listen.”
4 And all of Israel heard this report, that Saul had struck the garrison of the Philistines. And Israel raised himself up against the Philistines. Then the people cried out to Saul at Gilgal.
5 And the Philistines gathered to do battle against Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and the remainder of the common people, who were very many, like the sand that is on the shore of the sea. And ascending, they encamped at Michmash, toward the east of Bethaven.
6 And when the men of Israel had seen themselves to be in a narrowed position, they hid themselves in caves, and in out of the way places, and in rocks, and in hollows, and in pits (for the people were distressed).
7 Then some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan, into the land of Gad and Gilead. And while Saul was still at Gilgal, the entire people who followed him were terrified.
8 But he waited for seven days, in accord with what was agreed with Samuel. But Samuel did not arrive at Gilgal, for the people were scattering away from him.
9 Therefore, Saul said, “Bring me the holocaust and the peace offerings.” And he offered the holocaust.
10 And when he had completed the offering of the holocaust, behold, Samuel arrived. And Saul went out to meet him, so that he might greet him.
11 And Samuel said to him, “What have you done?” Saul responded: “Since I saw that the people were scattering away from me, and you had not arrived after the agreed upon days, and yet the Philistines had gathered together at Michmash,
12 I said: ‘Now the Philistines will descend to me at Gilgal. And I have not appeased the face of the Lord.’ Compelled by necessity, I offered the holocaust.
13 And Samuel said to Saul: “You have acted foolishly. You have not kept the commandments of the Lord your God, which he instructed to you. And if you had not acted in this way, the Lord would, here and now, have prepared your kingdom over Israel forever.
14 But by no means shall your kingdom rise up any more. The Lord has sought for himself a man according to his own heart. And him the Lord has instructed to be the leader over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord has instructed.”
15 Then Samuel rose up and ascended from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. And the remainder of the people ascended after Saul, to meet the people who were fighting against them, going from Gilgal into Gibeah, to the hill of Benjamin. And Saul took a census of the people, who had been found to be with him, about six hundred men.
16 And Saul, and his son Jonathan, and the people who had been found to be with them, were at Gibeah of Benjamin. But the Philistines had settled in at Michmash.
17 And three companies went out from the camp of the Philistines, in order to plunder. One company was traveling toward the way of Ophrah, to the land of Shual.
18 Then another entered along the way of Beth-horon. But the third turned itself to the way of the border, overhanging the valley of Zeboim, opposite the desert.
19 Now there was no worker of iron to be found in all the land of Israel. For the Philistines had been cautious, lest perhaps the Hebrews might make swords or spears.
20 Therefore, all of Israel descended to the Philistines, so that each man could sharpen his plowshare, or pick axe, or hatchet, or hoe.
21 For their plow blades, and pick axes, and pitch forks, and axes had become blunt, and even the handles needed to be repaired.
22 And when the day of battle had arrived, there was found neither sword nor spear in the hand of the entire people who were with Saul and Jonathan, except for Saul and his son Jonathan.
23 Then the army of the Philistines went out in order to go across Michmash.