1 Samuel 13:17

17 And the spoilers came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned unto the way that leadeth to Ophrah, unto the land of Shual:

1 Samuel 13:17 Meaning and Commentary

1 Samuel 13:17

And the spoilers came out of the camp of the Philistines in
three companies
Saul not daring to come out to fight them, and there being none throughout the land to oppose them, they sent out three companies of soldiers to ravage and spoil the country; of so little use and service was a king to Israel, they were so extremely desirous of; and this was suffered, to convince them of their vain confidence in him, and that their trust ought to be in the Lord their God; never was their country more exposed to rapine and violence than now:

one company turned unto the way that leadeth to Ophrah;
a city in the land of Benjamin, of which see ( Joshua 18:23 ) and lay southwest from Michmash, where the army of the Philistines were:

unto the land of Shual:
which the Targum paraphrases,

``the land of the south;''

it seems to have had its name from the multitude of foxes in it, Shual signifying a fox.

1 Samuel 13:17 In-Context

15 And Samuel arose, and gat him up from Gilgal unto Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people that were present with him, about six hundred men.
16 And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin: but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.
17 And the spoilers came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned unto the way that leadeth to Ophrah, unto the land of Shual:
18 And another company turned the way to Bethhoron: and another company turned to the way of the border that looketh to the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.
19 Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: