Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeaha1 in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Micmash.
Raiding2 parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah3 in the vicinity of Shual,
another toward Beth Horon,4 and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboim5 facing the desert.
Not a blacksmith6 could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, "Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!7"
So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes and sicklesb sharpened.
The price was two thirds of a shekelc for sharpening plowshares and mattocks, and a third of a shekeld for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.
So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan8 had a sword or spear9 in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.