1 Samuel 13:18

18 another was assigned to the Beth Horon road; the third took the border road that rimmed the Valley of Hyenas.

1 Samuel 13:18 Meaning and Commentary

1 Samuel 13:18

And another company turned the way to Bethhoron
Of which name there were two cities, the upper and nether, and both in the tribe of Ephraim, of which see ( Joshua 16:3 Joshua 16:5 ) this lay northwest from the camp of the Philistines at Michmash; eight miles from it, according to Bunting F4:

and another company turned to the way of the border, that looketh
towards the valley of Zeboim, toward the wilderness;
some take this to be the Zeboim which was destroyed with Sodom and Gomorrah; and the wilderness, the wilderness of Jordan; but as that, so the valley in which it stood, was turned into a bituminous lake; this seems to be a city in the land of Benjamin, ( Nehemiah 11:34 ) near to which was a valley, and this towards the wilderness of Jericho, and so lay eastward; the Targum calls it the valley of vipers, perhaps from its being infested with many; and so David de Pomis F5 says it is the name of a place where plenty of serpents were found, and which he says were called so because of the variety of colours in them; with which agrees Kimchi's note on the place; they seem to mean serpents spotted F6, as if they were painted and dyed of various colours, as the Hebrew word which is thus paraphrased signifies: according to Bunting F7, it was eight miles from Michmash.


F4 Travels of the Patriarchs p. 133.
F5 Tzemach David, fol. 13. 2. & 153. 1.
F6 (aiolon ofin) , Homer. Iliad. 12. ver. 208. "notis maculosus grandibus", Virgil. Georgic. l. 3. v. 427.
F7 Ut supra. (Travels of the Patriarchs p. 133.)

1 Samuel 13:18 In-Context

16 Saul, his son Jonathan, and the soldiers who had remained made camp at Geba (Gibeah) of Benjamin. The Philistines were camped at Micmash.
17 Three squads of raiding parties were regularly sent out from the Philistine camp. One squadron was assigned to the Ophrah road going toward Shual country;
18 another was assigned to the Beth Horon road; the third took the border road that rimmed the Valley of Hyenas.
19 There wasn't a blacksmith to be found anywhere in Israel. The Philistines made sure of that - "Lest those Hebrews start making swords and spears."
20 That meant that the Israelites had to go down among the Philistines to keep their farm tools - plowshares and mattocks, axes and sickles - sharp and in good repair.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.