I - Chapter 13

1Shaul was… years old when he became king, and he reigned over Yisrael two years.

אבֶּן־שָׁנָה שָׁאוּל בְּמָלְכוֹ וּשְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים מָלַךְ עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

2Shaul picked 3,000 Israelites, of whom 2,000 were with Shaul in Michmas and in the hill country of Beit El, and 1,000 with Yonatan in Giva of Binyamin; the rest of the troops he sent back to their homes.

בוַיִּבְחַר־לוֹ שָׁאוּל שְׁלֹשֶׁת אֲלָפִים מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּהְיוּ עִם־שָׁאוּל אַלְפַּיִם בְּמִכְמָשׂ וּבְהַר בֵּית־אֵל וְאֶלֶף הָיוּ עִם־יוֹנָתָן בְּגִבְעַת בִּנְיָמִין וְיֶתֶר הָעָם שִׁלַּח אִישׁ לְאֹהָלָיו׃

3Yonatan struck down the Philistine prefect in Geba; and the Philistines heard about it. Shaul had the shofar sounded throughout the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.”

גוַיַּךְ יוֹנָתָן אֵת נְצִיב פְּלִשְׁתִּים אֲשֶׁר בְּגֶבַע וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ פְּלִשְׁתִּים וְשָׁאוּל תָּקַע בַּשּׁוֹפָר בְּכָל־הָאָרֶץ לֵאמֹר יִשְׁמְעוּ הָעִבְרִים׃

4When all Yisrael heard that Shaul had struck down the Philistine prefect, and that Yisrael had incurred the wrath of the Philistines, all the people rallied to Shaul at Gilgal.

דוְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל שָׁמְעוּ לֵאמֹר הִכָּה שָׁאוּל אֶת־נְצִיב פְּלִשְׁתִּים וְגַם־נִבְאַשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּפְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיִּצָּעֲקוּ הָעָם אַחֲרֵי שָׁאוּל הַגִּלְגָּל׃

5The Philistines, in turn, gathered to attack Yisrael: 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, and troops as numerous as the sands of the seashore. They marched up and encamped at Michmas, east of Beit Aven.

הוּפְלִשְׁתִּים נֶאֶסְפוּ לְהִלָּחֵם עִם־יִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁלֹשִׁים אֶלֶף רֶכֶב וְשֵׁשֶׁת אֲלָפִים פָּרָשִׁים וְעָם כַּחוֹל אֲשֶׁר עַל־שְׂפַת־הַיָּם לָרֹב וַיַּעֲלוּ וַיַּחֲנוּ בְמִכְמָשׂ קִדְמַת בֵּית אָוֶן׃

6When the men of Yisrael saw that they were in trouble—for the troops were hard pressed—the people hid in caves, among thorns, among rocks, in tunnels, and in cisterns.

ווְאִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל רָאוּ כִּי צַר־לוֹ כִּי נִגַּשׂ הָעָם וַיִּתְחַבְּאוּ הָעָם בַּמְּעָרוֹת וּבַחֲוָחִים וּבַסְּלָעִים וּבַצְּרִחִים וּבַבֹּרוֹת׃

7Some Hebrews crossed the Yarden, [to] the territory of Gad and Gilad. Shaul was still at Gilgal, and the rest of the people rallied to him in alarm.

זוְעִבְרִים עָבְרוּ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן אֶרֶץ גָּד וְגִלְעָד וְשָׁאוּל עוֹדֶנּוּ בַגִּלְגָּל וְכָל־הָעָם חָרְדוּ אַחֲרָיו׃

8He waited seven days, the time that Shmuel [had set]. But when Shmuel failed to come to Gilgal, and the people began to scatter,

חוייחל [וַיּוֹחֶל ] שִׁבְעַת יָמִים לַמּוֹעֵד אֲשֶׁר שְׁמוּאֵל וְלֹא־בָא שְׁמוּאֵל הַגִּלְגָּל וַיָּפֶץ הָעָם מֵעָלָיו׃

9Shaul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the sacrifice of well-being”; and he presented the burnt offering.

טוַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל הַגִּשׁוּ אֵלַי הָעֹלָה וְהַשְּׁלָמִים וַיַּעַל הָעֹלָה׃

10He had just finished presenting the burnt offering when Shmuel arrived; and Shaul went out to meet him and welcome him.

יוַיְהִי כְּכַלֹּתוֹ לְהַעֲלוֹת הָעֹלָה וְהִנֵּה שְׁמוּאֵל בָּא וַיֵּצֵא שָׁאוּל לִקְרָאתוֹ לְבָרֲכוֹ׃

11But Shmuel said, “What have you done?” Shaul replied, “I saw the people leaving me and scattering; you had not come at the appointed time, and the Philistines had gathered at Michmas.

יאוַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל מֶה עָשִׂיתָ וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל כִּי־רָאִיתִי כִי־נָפַץ הָעָם מֵעָלַי וְאַתָּה לֹא־בָאתָ לְמוֹעֵד הַיָּמִים וּפְלִשְׁתִּים נֶאֱסָפִים מִכְמָשׂ׃

12I thought the Philistines would march down against me at Gilgal before I had entreated Hashem, so I forced myself to present the burnt offering.”

יבוָאֹמַר עַתָּה יֵרְדוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים אֵלַי הַגִּלְגָּל וּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה לֹא חִלִּיתִי וָאֶתְאַפַּק וָאַעֲלֶה הָעֹלָה׃

13Shmuel answered Shaul, “You acted foolishly in not keeping the commandments that Hashem your God laid upon you! Otherwise Hashem would have established your dynasty over Yisrael forever.

יגוַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל־שָׁאוּל נִסְכָּלְתָּ לֹא שָׁמַרְתָּ אֶת־מִצְוַת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר צִוָּךְ כִּי עַתָּה הֵכִין יְהֹוָה אֶת־מַמְלַכְתְּךָ אֶל־יִשְׂרָאֵל עַד־עוֹלָם׃

14But now your dynasty will not endure. Hashem will seek out a man after His own heart, and Hashem will appoint him ruler over His people, because you did not abide by what Hashem had commanded you.”

ידוְעַתָּה מַמְלַכְתְּךָ לֹא־תָקוּם בִּקֵּשׁ יְהֹוָה לוֹ אִישׁ כִּלְבָבוֹ וַיְצַוֵּהוּ יְהֹוָה לְנָגִיד עַל־עַמּוֹ כִּי לֹא שָׁמַרְתָּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר־צִוְּךָ יְהֹוָה׃

15Shmuel arose and went up from Gilgal to Giva of Binyamin. Shaul numbered the troops who remained with him—about 600 strong.

טווַיָּקָם שְׁמוּאֵל וַיַּעַל מִן־הַגִּלְגָּל גִּבְעַת בִּנְיָמִן וַיִּפְקֹד שָׁאוּל אֶת־הָעָם הַנִּמְצְאִים עִמּוֹ כְּשֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת אִישׁ׃

16Shaul and his son Yonatan, and the troops who remained with them, stayed in Geba of Binyamin, while the Philistines were encamped at Michmas.

טזוְשָׁאוּל וְיוֹנָתָן בְּנוֹ וְהָעָם הַנִּמְצָא עִמָּם יֹשְׁבִים בְּגֶבַע בִּנְיָמִן וּפְלִשְׁתִּים חָנוּ בְמִכְמָשׂ׃

17The raiders came out of the Philistine camp in three columns: One column headed for the Ophrah road that leads to the district of Shual,

יזוַיֵּצֵא הַמַּשְׁחִית מִמַּחֲנֵה פְלִשְׁתִּים שְׁלֹשָׁה רָאשִׁים הָרֹאשׁ אֶחָד יִפְנֶה אֶל־דֶּרֶךְ עָפְרָה אֶל־אֶרֶץ שׁוּעָל׃

18another column headed for the Beth-horon road, and the third column headed for the border road that overlooks the valley of Zeboim toward the desert.

יחוְהָרֹאשׁ אֶחָד יִפְנֶה דֶּרֶךְ בֵּית חֹרוֹן וְהָרֹאשׁ אֶחָד יִפְנֶה דֶּרֶךְ הַגְּבוּל הַנִּשְׁקָף עַל־גֵּי הַצְּבֹעִים הַמִּדְבָּרָה׃

19No smith was to be found in all the land of Yisrael, for the Philistines were afraid that the Hebrews would make swords or spears.

v'- kha-RASH LO yi-ma-TZAY b'-KHOL E-retz yis-ra-AYL kee a-m'-RU f'-lish-TEEM PEN ya-a-SU ha-iv-REEM KHE-rev O kha-NEET

יטוְחָרָשׁ לֹא יִמָּצֵא בְּכֹל אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי־אמר [אָמְרוּ] פְלִשְׁתִּים פֶּן יַעֲשׂוּ הָעִבְרִים חֶרֶב אוֹ חֲנִית׃

 13:19   No smith was to be found in all the land of Yisrael

Ayalon Institute underground bullet factory

Under Philistine rule, the People of Israel are not allowed to engage in metal work, as the Philistines are afraid they will use these workshops to make weapons. Therefore, any time the Israelites need metal work, such as for sharpening plows, they have to travel and pay exorbitant prices to have the work done by Philistine craftsmen. Later, this becomes a model for oppressors of the Jews, who would control access to weapons and minimize economic opportunities. During British rule over the Land of Israel, Jews were similarly not allowed to maintain weapons. Like Shaul and Yonatan who made secret weapons to defend their people, there were brave Jews who secretly imported weapons and made bullets that later became critical in the War of Independence. For example, the Ayalon Institute near Rehovot was the site of a secret bullet factory, hidden under what was officially a kibbutz training center. Despite harsh conditions and life-threatening risks in the pre-State days, young Jews worked underground making bullets that would later be used to defend the newborn State of Israel against its enemies.

20So all the Israelites had to go down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, their mattocks, axes, and colters sharpened.

כוַיֵּרְדוּ כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל הַפְּלִשְׁתִּים לִלְטוֹשׁ אִישׁ אֶת־מַחֲרַשְׁתּוֹ וְאֶת־אֵתוֹ וְאֶת־קַרְדֻּמּוֹ וְאֵת מַחֲרֵשָׁתוֹ׃

21The charge for sharpening was a pim for plowshares, mattocks, three-pronged forks, and axes, and for setting the goads.

כאוְהָיְתָה הַפְּצִירָה פִים לַמַּחֲרֵשֹׁת וְלָאֵתִים וְלִשְׁלֹשׁ קִלְּשׁוֹן וּלְהַקַּרְדֻּמִּים וּלְהַצִּיב הַדָּרְבָן׃

22Thus on the day of the battle, no sword or spear was to be found in the possession of any of the troops with Shaul and Yonatan; only Shaul and Yonatan had them.

כבוְהָיָה בְּיוֹם מִלְחֶמֶת וְלֹא נִמְצָא חֶרֶב וַחֲנִית בְּיַד כָּל־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר אֶת־שָׁאוּל וְאֶת־יוֹנָתָן וַתִּמָּצֵא לְשָׁאוּל וּלְיוֹנָתָן בְּנוֹ׃

23Now the Philistine garrison had marched out to the pass of Michmas.

כגוַיֵּצֵא מַצַּב פְּלִשְׁתִּים אֶל־מַעֲבַר מִכְמָשׂ׃