And Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal. The rest of the people went up after Saul to meet the army; they went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin.
And Saul numbered the people who were present with him, about six hundred men. And Saul and Jonathan his son and the people who were present with them stayed in Geba of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash. And raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies. One company turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual; another company turned toward Beth-horon; and another company turned toward the border that looks down on the Valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.
Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears.” But every one of the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, or his sickle, and the charge was two-thirds of a shekel for the plowshares and for the mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads. So on the day of the battle there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan, but Saul and Jonathan his son had them. And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.
Comment: By defeating the attack against one town by a small group of Philistines, Saul had caused the whole Philistine army to be mobilized. It stated before ‘And the Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude. They came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth-aven.’ The Philistines were doing damage to the Israelites with a three pronged testing attack, presumably before an all out war.
Saul had 3,000 soldiers for the previous victory but now he has only 600. Later on it reads as if Jonathan had another 600, but even that is nothing agains the opposition they were facing. I think that the Israeli army had heard of the size of the opposition forces, had few weapons and these were really farm implements. Due to servitude to the opposing army they were not permitted real weapons, and I suspect they had doubts about Saul and forgot about the power of their God! At least there were two swords among the 600 (?+) strong (?weak) army! From a human aspect they had little chance.
Prayer: Help me to put my trust in You, O God, in all my life.
One thought on “1 Samuel 13: 15-23….Full of details that make it real!”
Thank you Barry for your comments on this passage. There are often times when there is little chance of help. But we must trust in the Lord our God. “I will lift my eyes to the hills–from whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2. My help comes from YAHWEH, the GREAT I AM! When we look around us and see the difficulties, we need to look UP and see THE LORD. God bless you.