If you fear the LORD and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God--good!
But if you do not obey the LORD, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
"Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!
Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call upon the LORD to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the LORD when you asked for a king."
Then Samuel called upon the LORD, and that same day the LORD sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the LORD and of Samuel.
The people all said to Samuel, "Pray to the LORD your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king."
"Do not be afraid," Samuel replied. "You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.
Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.
For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own.
As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.
But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away."
Saul was [thirty] years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel [forty-] two years.
Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Micmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes.
Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, "Let the Hebrews hear!"
So all Israel heard the news: "Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become a stench to the Philistines." And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.
The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Micmash, east of Beth Aven.
When the men of Israel saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns.
Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear.
He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul's men began to scatter.
So he said, "Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings. " And Saul offered up the burnt offering.
Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.
"What have you done?" asked Samuel. Saul replied, "When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash,
I thought, 'Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD's favor.' So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering."
"You acted foolishly," Samuel said. "You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.
But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD's command."
Then Samuel left Gilgal and went up to Gibeah in Benjamin, and Saul counted the men who were with him. They numbered about six hundred.
Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeah in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Micmash.
Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual,
another toward Beth Horon, and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboim facing the desert.
Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, "Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!"
So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes and sickles sharpened.
The price was two thirds of a shekel for sharpening plowshares and mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.
So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.
One day Jonathan son of Saul said to the young man bearing his armor, "Come, let's go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side." But he did not tell his father.
Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men,
among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod's brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the LORD's priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left.