11[1 -3] Then Nahash, the Ammonite came up and camped against Jabesh Gilead; and all the people of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make an agreement with us, and we’ll serve you.” Nahash said to them, “On this condition I’ll make it with you, that all your right eyes be put out; and I’ll do it to bring shame on all Israel. The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days’ relief, so that we may send messengers to all the borders of Israel; and then if no one saves us we’ll come out to you.
[4 -7] Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul, saying these words in the hearing of the people; and all the people raised their voices, and cried. Then Saul came from following the cows out of the field; and Saul said, “What is troubling the people and makes them cry? They told him what the people of Jabesh had said. The Spirit of God came on Saul strongly when he heard those words, and he was very angry. He took a yoke of cows, and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the borders of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, “Whoever doesn’t come and follow Saul and Samuel, this will be done to their cows. The dread of Yahweh fell on the people, and they came out as one person.
[8-11] He counted them in Bezek; and the people of Israel were 300,000, and the people of Judah 31,000. They said to the messengers who came, “Tell the people of Jabesh Gilead, “Tomorrow, about noon, you’ll have victory.” The messengers came and told the people of Jabesh; and they were glad. So the people of Jabesh said, Tomorrow we’ll come out to you, and you’ll do with us what you want. On the next day, Saul put the people in three troops; and they came into the middle of the camp in the morning watch, and fought the Ammonites until the heat of the day; and those who are left were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
[12-15] The people said to Samuel who are the ones who said, “Will Saul rule over us? Bring them, that we may put them to death. Saul said, “No one will be put to death today because today Yahweh has won a great victory in Israel. Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, and let’s go to Gilgal, and renew the nation there. So all the people went to Gilgal; and they made Saul ruler there before Yahweh in Gilgal; and there they offered sacrifices of peace offerings before Yahweh; and Saul and all the people of Israel were very happy.
12[1-5] Samuel said to all Israel, “See, I’ve listened to your voice in what you said to me, and have made a ruler over you. Now, see, the ruler walks before you; and I’m old and gray-headed; and my children are with you; and I’ve walked before you from my youth to today. Here I am; witness against me before Yahweh, and before God’s people; whose cow have I taken? or whose donkey have I taken? or whom have I cheated? whom have I abused? or of whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? and I’ll give back it you. They said, You haven’t cheated us, nor abused us, neither have you taken anything from anyone. He said to them, Yahweh is witness against you, and God’s people are my witness today, that you haven’t found any wrong in me. They said, God is your witness.
[6-10] Samuel said to the people, “It’s Yahweh who set up Moses and Aaron, and brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt. So now stand still, that I may plead with you before Yahweh about all the good acts Yahweh did to you and your ancestors. When Jacob had come into Egypt, and your ancestors cried to Yahweh, then Yahweh sent Moses and Aaron who brought your ancestors out of Egypt, and made them live in this place. But they forgot Yahweh their God, who sold them into the power of Sisera, captain of the troops of Hazor, and into the power of the Philistines, and into the power of the ruler of Moab; and they fought against them. They cried to Yahweh, saying, We’ve sinned, because we’ve left Yahweh, and have served the Baals and the fertility goddess Ashtaroth; but now save us out of the hand of our enemies, and we’ll serve you.
[11-15] Yahweh sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel, and saved you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you lived in safety. When you saw that Nahash, the ruler of the people of Ammon, came against you, you said to me, “No, but we want a ruler to rule over us; when Yahweh your God was your ruler. So now see the ruler whom you’ve chosen, and whom you’ve asked for; and see, Yahweh has set a ruler over you. If you’ll respect Yahweh, and serve God, and listen to God’s voice, and not rebel against the word of Yahweh, and both you and also the ruler who rules over you are followers of Yahweh your God well; but if you don’t listen to the voice of Yahweh, but rebel against the Word of God, then the hand of Yahweh be come against you, as it was against your ancestors.
[16 -19] So now stand still and see this great thing which Yahweh will do before your eyes. Isn’t it wheat harvest today? I’ll call to Yahweh to send thunder and rain; and you’ll know and see that this thing is a great evil which you’ve done in the sight of Yahweh, in asking for a ruler.” So Samuel called to Yahweh; and Yahweh sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared Yahweh and Samuel. They all said to Samuel, “Pray for Your workers to Yahweh your God, so that we not die because we’ve added to all our sins this evil, to ask for a ruler.”
[20 -25] Samuel said to the people, “Don’t be scared; you’ve truly done all this evil; still don’t stop following Yahweh, but serve Yahweh with all your heart; and don’t turn away because then you would go after worthless things which can’t profit nor save you, for they’re worthless. Yahweh won’t leave you, who are God’s people, for God’s great name’s sake, because it has pleased Yahweh to make you God’s own people. Besides this, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against Yahweh in not praying for you; but I’ll teach you the good and right way. Only respect Yahweh, and serve God in truth with all your heart. Just think about all the great things God has done for you! But if you still do evil, you’ll be destroyed, both you and your ruler.”
13[1-4] Saul was 40 years old when he began to rule; and when he had ruled two years over Israel, Saul chose 3,000 soldiers of Israel, of which 2,000 were with Saul in Michmash and in the Mount of Bethel, and 1,000 were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin; and the rest of the people he sent home. Jonathan fought the fortress of the Philistines that was in Geba; and the Philistines heard it. Saul blew the horn throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” All Israel heard that Saul had fought the fortress of the Philistines, and also that Israel was hated by the Philistines. The people were gathered together after Saul to Gilgal.
[5-7] The Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, 30,000 war vehicles, and 6,000 riders, and as many people as the sand on the seashore; and they came up, and camped in Michmash, east of Beth Aven. When the people of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were upset), then they hid themselves in caves, thickets, rocks, hidden places, and pits. Some of the Hebrews had gone over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead; but as for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him shaking.
[8-12] He stayed seven days, according to the time that Samuel had set; but Samuel hadn’t come to Gilgal yet; and the people were scattered from him. Saul said, “Bring here the burnt offering to me, and the peace offerings” and he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, to welcome him. Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul said, “I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you didn’t come at the time set, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash; so I said, “Now the Philistines will come down on me to Gilgal, and I haven’t asked for Yahweh’s help; so I made myself offer the burnt offering.
[13-16] Samuel said to Saul, “You’ve done an ungodly thing; you haven’t kept the word of Yahweh your God, which God told you. Yahweh would have set up your rule of Israel forever. But now your rule won’t last; Yahweh has searched for someone to follow God’s own heart, and Yahweh has set him to be head over his people, because you haven’t done what Yahweh told you. Samuel got up, and went from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. Saul counted the people who were there with him, about 600 soldiers. Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people who were there with them, stayed in Geba of Benjamin; but the Philistines camped in Michmash.
[17-23] The soldiers came out of the camp of the Philistines in three troops; one turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual; another turned the way to Beth Horon; and another turned toward the border that looks over the valley of Zeboim toward the countryside. Now there was no blacksmith in all the land of Israel because the Philistines said, ‘In case the Hebrews make themselves weapons;’ but all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen their plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles; still they had a file for the mattocks, plowshares, forks, and axes, and to set the goads. So in the day of battle, none of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan had any weapons; but Saul and Jonathan his son had three. The fortress of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.
14[1-5] Now one day, Jonathan, son of Saul, said to the young man who had his armor, “Come, and let’s go over to the Philistines’ fortress, that is on over there. But he didn’t tell his father. Saul stayed in the farthest part of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree which is in Migron. He had about 600 soldiers with him; and Ahijah, son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, son of Phinehas, of Eli, the preacher of Yahweh in Shiloh, was wearing a golden breastplate. The people didn’t know that Jonathan was gone. Between the passes, by which Jonathan searched to go over to the Philistines’ fortress, there was a rocky crag on each side; and the name of one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The first crag rose up on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba.
[6 -10] Jonathan said to the young man who had his armor, “Come, and let’s go over to the fortress of these unbelievers; it may be that Yahweh will work for us because it’s no problem for Yahweh to save by many or by few.” His armor bearer said to him, “Do whatever you want; go, I’m with you whatever you want to do.” Then Jonathan said, “See, we’ll pass over to the men, and we’ll show ourselves to them. If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you;’ then we’ll stand still in our place, and won’t go up to them. But if they say, ‘Come up to us;’ then we’ll go up because Yahweh has given them into our hand; and this will be the sign to us.”
[11-14] Both of them showed themselves to the fortress of the Philistines; and the Philistines said, “See, the Hebrews come out of the holes where they’ve hid themselves. The people of the fortress answered Jonathan and his armor bearer, saying, “Come up to us, and we’ll show you something.” Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up after me because Yahweh has handed them over to Israel.” Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor bearer came after him; and Jonathan began to kill them; and his armor bearer killed some of them after him. That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor bearer made was about 20 soldiers within a half acre of land.
[15-] There was an earthquake in the camp, in the field, and among all the people; the fortress and the raiders also shook; and the earth quaked with a very great shaking. The guards of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and saw that the people ran away, and they went here and there. Then Saul said to the people who were with him, Make a count now, and see who has left us. When they had counted, Jonathan and his armor bearer weren’t there. Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring here the Chest of God.” For the Chest of God was there at that time with the people of Israel. While Saul talked to the preacher, the uproar in the camp of the Philistines went on and got worse; and Saul said to the preacher, “Remove your hand.”
[20-23] Saul and all the people who were with him gathered together, and came to the battle; and saw that all the Philistines fought eachother, and there was a very great confusion. Now the Hebrews who were with the Philistines as before, and who went up with them into the camp from the country all around, even they also turned to fight with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. Likewise all the people of Israel who had hid themselves in the hill country of Ephraim when they heard that the Philistines ran, they also followed hard after them in the battle. So Yahweh saved Israel that day; and the battle crossed over by Beth Aven.
[24 -27] The people of Israel were upset that day because Saul had said to the people, “Anyone who eats any food until evening, and I be avenged on my enemies will be punished. So none of the people ate any food. All the people came into the forest; and there was honey on the ground. When the people had come to the forest, the honey dropped; but no one put his hand to his mouth because the people feared they would be punished. But Jonathan didn’t hear when his father had made the people promise; so he put forth the end of the walking stick that was in his hand, and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his spirit lifted.
[28-32] Then one of the people said, “Your father directly told the people, making them promise, saying, Anyone who eats food today will be punished.” But the people were faint. Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. Please look how my spirit is lifted, because I tasted a little of this honey. How much more, if the people had eaten freely today of the stuff of their enemies which they found? Now there’s been no great slaughter among the Philistines. They fought of the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. The people were very faint; and the people flew on the stuff, and took sheep, and cows, and calves, and killed them on the ground; and the people ate them with the blood.
[33-35] Then they told Saul, saying, “See, the people sin against Yahweh, in that they eat the meat with the blood.” He said, “You’ve acted unfaithfully; roll a great stone to me today. Saul said, “Scatter yourselves among the people, and tell them, ‘Bring me here all the cows, and sheep, and kill them here, and eat; but don’t sin against Yahweh in eating your meat with the blood. So all the people brought their cows that night, and killed them there. Saul built an altar to Yahweh, which was the first altar that he built to Yahweh.
[36 -39] Saul said, Let’s go down after the Philistines by night, and take all the stuff with them until the morning light, and let’s not leave any of them. They said, “Do whatever you want.” Then the preacher said, “Let’s draw near here to God.” Saul asked counsel of God, “Should I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into the power of Israel?” But he didn’t answer him that day. Saul said, “Draw near here, all you leaders of the people; and know and see in which this sin has been today. As Yahweh lives, who saves Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he’ll truly die. But there wasn’t anyone among all the people who answered him.
[40 -44] Then he said to all Israel, “Be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. The people said to Saul, “Do what you want.’ So Saul said to Yahweh, the God of Israel, “Show who’s right.” Jonathan and Saul were chosen by the Judgment stones; but the people escaped. Saul said, “Throw judgment stones between me and Jonathan my son. Jonathan was chosen. Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you’ve done.” Jonathan told him, “I did taste a little honey with the end of the walking stick that was in my hand; so see, I must die.” Saul said, “God do so and more also because you’ll truly die, Jonathan.”
[45 -48] The people said to Saul, Will Jonathan die who has saved Israel? Far from it; as Yahweh lives, there won’t one hair of his head fall to the ground because he has worked with God today. So the people rescued Jonathan, so that he didn’t die. Then Saul went up from chasing the Philistines; and the Philistines went back home. Now when Saul had taken rule over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, against the people of Ammon, against Edom, against the rulers of Zobah, and against the Philistines; and wherever he turned, he fought them down. He did bravely, and fought the Amalekites, and freed Israel out of the hands of those who stole from them.
[49 -52] Now the descendants of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchishua; and the names of his two daughters were Merab, the oldest, and Michal, the youngest; and the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz. The captain of his troops was Abner, son of Ner, Saul’s uncle. Kish had Saul; and Ner, who had Abner, was the son of Abiel. There was war against the Philistines all of Saul’s life; and when Saul saw any strong or brave man, he took him to him.
15[1-5] Samuel said to Saul, “Yahweh sent me to anoint you to be ruler over his people, over Israel; So now listen to the words of Yahweh. Yahweh, the God of All Creation, says, I’ve noticed what Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against Israel in the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and fight Amalek, and completely destroy everything they have, and don’t spare any of them; but kill both man and woman, baby and child, cow and sheep, camel and donkey. Saul called the people, and counted them in Telaim, 200,000 foot soldiers, and 10,000 people of Judah. So Saul went to the city of Amalek, and set up an ambush in the valley.
[6-9] Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, get away from among the Amalekites, in case I destroy you with them because you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites went away from the Amalekites. Saul fought the Amalekites, from Havilah as you go to Shur, that is before Egypt. He took Agag, the ruler of the Amalekites alive, and completely destroyed all the people with the blade of a sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, cows, fatlings, lambs, and whatever else was good, and didn’t completely destroy them; but everything that was bad or trash, that they destroyed completely.
[10-16] Then the word of Yahweh came to Samuel, saying, “It grieves me that I’ve made Saul ruler because he won’t follow me, and hasn’t kept my words. Samuel was angry; and he cried to Yahweh all night. Samuel got up early to meet Saul in the morning; and it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul came to Carmel and set up a monument, and turned, and went on, and went down to Gilgal. Samuel came to Saul; and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you by Yahweh; I’ve done the word of Yahweh. Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears, and the lowing of cows which I hear?” Saul said, “They’ve brought them from the Amalekites because the people spared the best of the sheep and cows, to sacrifice to Yahweh your God; and the rest we’ve completely destroyed.” Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stay, and I’ll tell you what Yahweh has said to me this night.” He said to him, “Tell me.”
[17-21] Samuel said, “Though you were nothing in your own sight, weren’t you made the leader of the family groups of Israel? Yahweh anointed you ruler over Israel; and Yahweh sent you on a journey, saying, ‘Go, and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they’re all gone.’ Why then didn’t you obey the voice of Yahweh, but flew on their stuff, and did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh?” Saul said to Samuel, “Yes, I’ve obeyed the voice of Yahweh, and I’ve done what Yahweh sent me to do, and have brought Agag, the ruler of Amalek, and have completely destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took the stuff, the sheep and cows, the best of the dedicated things, to sacrifice to Yahweh your God in Gilgal.”
[22-26] Samuel said, “Does Yahweh enjoy burnt offerings and sacrifices, as much as when you obey the voice of Yahweh? See, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as worshiping a false god. Because you’ve rejected the word of Yahweh, Yahweh has also rejected you from being ruler. Saul said to Samuel, I’m a sinner, because I’ve sinned against the word of Yahweh, and your words, because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. So please forgive my sin, and come back with me, that I may worship Yahweh. Samuel said to Saul, I won’t go back with you because you’ve rejected the word of Yahweh, and Yahweh has rejected you from being ruler over Israel.
[27-31] As Samuel turned around to go away, Saul laid hold on the skirt of his robe, and it tore. Samuel said to him, Yahweh has torn the rule of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours who is better than you. Also the Strength of Israel won’t lie nor repent, who isn’t a man that should repent. Then he said, I’ve sinned; still honor me now, please, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn back with me, that I may worship Yahweh your God. So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshiped Yahweh.
[32-35] Then Samuel said, “Bring Agag, the ruler of the Amalekites, to me. So Agag came to him happily, thinking, “Truly the punishment of death is past.” But Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so will your mother be childless among women.” Then Samuel cut Agag in pieces before Yahweh in Gilgal. Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul. Samuel didn’t come to see Saul anymore until the day of his death because Samuel mourned for Saul; and Yahweh was troubled to have made Saul ruler over Israel.