1 Samuel 13; 1 Samuel 14; Luke 10:1-24

1 2 Saul picked three thousand men, keeping two thousand of them with him in Michmash and in the hill country of Bethel and sending one thousand with his son Jonathan to Gibeah, in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. The rest of the men Saul sent home. 3 Jonathan killed the Philistine commander in Geba, and all the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul sent messengers to call the Hebrews to war by blowing a trumpet throughout the whole country. 4 All the Israelites were told that Saul had killed the Philistine commander and that the Philistines hated them. So the people answered the call to join Saul at Gilgal. 5 The Philistines assembled to fight the Israelites; they had thirty thousand war chariots, six thousand cavalry troops, and as many soldiers as there are grains of sand on the seashore. They went to Michmash, east of Bethaven, and camped there. 6 Then they launched a strong attack against the Israelites, putting them in a desperate situation. Some of the Israelites hid in caves and holes or among the rocks or in pits and wells; 7 others crossed the Jordan River into the territories of Gad and Gilead. Saul was still at Gilgal, and the people with him were trembling with fear. 8 He waited seven days for Samuel, as Samuel had instructed him to do, but Samuel still had not come to Gilgal. The people began to desert Saul, 9 so he said to them, "Bring me the burnt sacrifices and the fellowship sacrifices." He offered a burnt sacrifice, 10 and just as he was finishing, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet him and welcome him, 11 but Samuel said, "What have you done?" Saul answered, "The people were deserting me, and you had not come when you said you would; besides that, the Philistines are gathering at Michmash. 12 So I thought, "The Philistines are going to attack me here in Gilgal, and I have not tried to win the Lord's favor.' So I felt I had to offer a sacrifice." 13 "That was a foolish thing to do," Samuel answered. "You have not obeyed the command the Lord your God gave you. If you had obeyed, he would have let you and your descendants rule over Israel forever. 14 But now your rule will not continue. Because you have disobeyed him, the Lord will find the kind of man he wants and make him ruler of his people." 15 Samuel left Gilgal and went on his way. The rest of the people followed Saul as he went to join his soldiers. They went from Gilgal to Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin. Saul inspected his troops, about six hundred men. 16 Saul, his son Jonathan, and their men camped in Geba in the territory of Benjamin; the Philistine camp was at Michmash. 17 The Philistine soldiers went out on raids from their camp in three groups: one group went toward Ophrah in the territory of Shual, 18 another went toward Beth Horon, and the other one went to the border overlooking Zeboim Valley and the wilderness. 19 There were no blacksmiths in Israel because the Philistines were determined to keep the Hebrews from making swords and spears 20 (The Israelites had to go to the Philistines to get their plows, hoes, axes, and sickles sharpened; 21 the charge was one small coin for sharpening axes and for fixing goads, and two coins for sharpening plows or hoes.) 22 And so on the day of battle none of the Israelite soldiers except Saul and his son Jonathan had swords or spears. 23 The Philistines sent a group of soldiers to defend Michmash Pass.
1 One day Jonathan said to the young man who carried his weapons, "Let's go across to the Philistine camp." But Jonathan did not tell his father Saul, 2 who was camping under a pomegranate tree in Migron, not far from Gibeah; he had about six hundred men with him. 3 (The priest carrying the ephod was Ahijah, the son of Ichabod's brother Ahitub, who was the son of Phinehas and grandson of Eli, the priest of the Lord in Shiloh.) The men did not know that Jonathan had left. 4 In Michmash Pass, which Jonathan had to go through to get over to the Philistine camp, there were two large jagged rocks, one on each side of the pass: one was called Bozez and the other Seneh. 5 One was on the north side of the pass, facing Michmash, and the other was on the south side, facing Geba. 6 Jonathan said to the young man, "Let's cross over to the camp of those heathen Philistines. Maybe the Lord will help us; if he does, nothing can keep him from giving us the victory, no matter how few of us there are." 7 The young man answered, "Whatever you want to do, I'm with you." 8 "All right," Jonathan said. "We will go across and let the Philistines see us. 9 If they tell us to wait for them to come to us, then we will stay where we are. 10 But if they tell us to go to them, then we will, because that will be the sign that the Lord has given us victory over them." 11 So they let the Philistines see them, and the Philistines said, "Look! Some Hebrews are coming out of the holes they have been hiding in!" 12 Then they called out to Jonathan and the young man, "Come on up here! We have something to tell you!" Jonathan said to the young man, "Follow me. The Lord has given Israel victory over them." 13 Jonathan climbed up out of the pass on his hands and knees, and the young man followed him. Jonathan attacked the Philistines and knocked them down, and the young man killed them. 14 In that first slaughter Jonathan and the young man killed about twenty men in an area of about half an acre. 15 All the Philistines in the countryside were terrified; the raiders and the soldiers in the camp trembled with fear; the earth shook, and there was great panic. 16 Saul's men on watch at Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin saw the Philistines running in confusion. 17 So Saul said to his men, "Count the soldiers and find out who is missing." They did so and found that Jonathan and the young man who carried his weapons were missing. 18 "Bring the ephod here," Saul said to Ahijah the priest. (On that day Ahijah was carrying it in front of the people of Israel.) 19 As Saul was speaking to the priest, the confusion in the Philistine camp kept getting worse, so Saul said to him, "There's no time to consult the Lord!" 20 Then he and his men marched into battle against the Philistines, who were fighting each other in complete confusion. 21 Some Hebrews, who had been on the Philistine side and had gone with them to the camp, changed sides again and joined Saul and Jonathan. 22 Others, who had been hiding in the hills of Ephraim, heard that the Philistines were running away, so they also joined in and attacked the Philistines, 23 fighting all the way beyond Bethaven. The Lord saved Israel that day. 24 The Israelites were weak with hunger that day, because Saul, with a solemn oath, had given the order: "A curse be on anyone who eats any food today before I take revenge on my enemies." So nobody had eaten anything all day. 25 They all came into a wooded area and found honey everywhere. 26 The woods were full of honey, but no one ate any of it because they were all afraid of Saul's curse. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father threaten the people with a curse; so he reached out with the stick he was carrying, dipped it in a honeycomb, and ate some honey. At once he felt much better. 28 But one of the men told him, "We are all weak from hunger, but your father threatened us and said, "A curse be on anyone who eats any food today.' " 29 Jonathan answered, "What a terrible thing my father has done to our people! See how much better I feel because I ate some honey! 30 How much better it would have been today if our people had eaten the food they took when they defeated the enemy. Just think how many more Philistines they would have killed!" 31 That day the Israelites defeated the Philistines, fighting all the way from Michmash to Aijalon. By this time the Israelites were very weak from hunger, 32 and so they rushed over to what they had captured from the enemy, took sheep and cattle, slaughtered them on the spot, and ate the meat with the blood still in it. 33 Saul was told, "Look, the people are sinning against the Lord by eating meat with the blood in it." "You are traitors!" Saul cried out. "Roll a big stone over here to me." 34 Then he gave another order: "Go among the people and tell them all to bring their cattle and sheep here. They are to slaughter them and eat them here; they must not sin against the Lord by eating meat with blood in it." So that night they all brought their cattle and slaughtered them there. 35 Saul built an altar to the Lord, the first one that he built. 36 Saul said to his men, "Let's go down and attack the Philistines in the night, plunder them until dawn, and kill them all." "Do whatever you think best," they answered. But the priest said, "Let's consult God first." 37 So Saul asked God, "Shall I attack the Philistines? Will you give us victory?" But God did not answer that day. 38 Then Saul said to the leaders of the people, "Come here and find out what sin was committed today. 39 I promise by the living Lord, who gives Israel victory, that the guilty one will be put to death, even if he is my son Jonathan." But no one said anything. 40 Then Saul said to them, "All of you stand over there, and Jonathan and I will stand over here." "Do whatever you think best," they answered. 41 Saul said to the Lord, the God of Israel, "Lord, why have you not answered me today? Lord, God of Israel, answer me by the sacred stones. If the guilt is Jonathan's or mine, answer by the Urim; but if it belongs to your people Israel, answer by the Thummim." The answer indicated Jonathan and Saul; and the people were cleared. 42 Then Saul said, "Decide between my son Jonathan and me." And Jonathan was indicated. 43 Then Saul asked Jonathan, "What have you done?" Jonathan answered, "I ate a little honey with the stick I was holding. Here I am - I am ready to die." 44 Saul said to him, "May God strike me dead if you are not put to death!" 45 But the people said to Saul, "Will Jonathan, who won this great victory for Israel, be put to death? No! We promise by the living Lord that he will not lose even a hair from his head. What he did today was done with God's help." So the people saved Jonathan from being put to death. 46 After that, Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and they went back to their own territory. 47 After Saul became king of Israel, he fought all his enemies everywhere: the people of Moab, of Ammon, and of Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he fought he was victorious. 48 He fought heroically and defeated even the people of Amalek. He saved the Israelites from all attacks. 49 Saul's sons were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchishua. His older daughter was named Merab, and the younger one Michal. 50 His wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz; his army commander was his cousin Abner, the son of his uncle Ner. 51 Saul's father Kish and Abner's father Ner were sons of Abiel. 52 As long as he lived, Saul had to fight fiercely against the Philistines. So whenever he found a man who was strong or brave, he would enlist him in his army.
1 After this the Lord chose another seventy-two men and sent them out two by two, to go ahead of him to every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 He said to them, "There is a large harvest, but few workers to gather it in. Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest. 3 Go! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. 4 Don't take a purse or a beggar's bag or shoes; don't stop to greet anyone on the road. 5 Whenever you go into a house, first say, "Peace be with this house.' 6 If someone who is peace-loving lives there, let your greeting of peace remain on that person; if not, take back your greeting of peace. 7 Stay in that same house, eating and drinking whatever they offer you, for workers should be given their pay. Don't move around from one house to another. 8 Whenever you go into a town and are made welcome, eat what is set before you, 9 heal the sick in that town, and say to the people there, "The Kingdom of God has come near you.' 10 But whenever you go into a town and are not welcomed, go out in the streets and say, 11 "Even the dust from your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. But remember that the Kingdom of God has come near you!' 12 I assure you that on the Judgment Day God will show more mercy to Sodom than to that town! 13 "How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin! How terrible for you too, Bethsaida! If the miracles which were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have long ago sat down, put on sackcloth, and sprinkled ashes on themselves, to show that they had turned from their sins! 14 God will show more mercy on the Judgment Day to Tyre and Sidon than to you. 15 And as for you, Capernaum! Did you want to lift yourself up to heaven? You will be thrown down to hell!" 16 Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." 17 The seventy-two men came back in great joy. "Lord," they said, "even the demons obeyed us when we gave them a command in your name!" 18 Jesus answered them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Listen! I have given you authority, so that you can walk on snakes and scorpions and overcome all the power of the Enemy, and nothing will hurt you. 20 But don't be glad because the evil spirits obey you; rather be glad because your names are written in heaven." 21 At that time Jesus was filled with joy by the Holy Spirit and said, "Father, Lord of heaven and earth! I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned. Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen. 22 "My Father has given me all things. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." 23 Then Jesus turned to the disciples and said to them privately, "How fortunate you are to see the things you see! 24 I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, but they could not, and to hear what you hear, but they did not."
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