1 Samuel 12-13
Samuel’s Spotless Leadership
12 Then Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listened to everything you have said to me and appointed a king over you. 2 And now, here is the king who will lead you. I am old and gray, but my sons are with you. I have led you from my youth until this day. 3 Here I am. Testify against me in front of the Lord and in front of his anointed king. Did I take anyone’s ox? Did I take anyone’s donkey? Did I cheat or oppress anyone? Did I take a bribe from anyone to look the other way? If so, I will give it all back.”
4 They answered, “You didn’t cheat us, oppress us, or take anything from anyone.”
5 Samuel told them, “The Lord is a witness to what you’ve said, and his anointed king is a witness today that you’ve found nothing in my hands.”
“He is a witness,” they answered.
6 Samuel told the people, “The Lord appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your ancestors out of Egypt. 7 Now, stand up while I put you on trial in front of the Lord and cite all the righteous things the Lord did for you and your ancestors. 8 When your ancestors went with Jacob to Egypt and were oppressed, they cried out to the Lord, who sent Moses and Aaron to bring them out of Egypt. The Lord settled them in this place. 9 But they forgot the Lord their God. So he handed them over to Sisera, who was the commander of the army of Hazor, to the Philistines, and to the king of Moab. All of them fought against your ancestors. 10 Then they cried out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned. We have abandoned the Lord and served other gods and goddesses—the Baals and the Astartes. But rescue us from our enemies now, and we will serve you.’
11 “Then the Lord sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel and rescued you from your enemies on every side so that you could live securely. 12 But when you saw King Nahash of Ammon coming to attack you, you told me, ‘No, a king should rule over us,’ though the Lord your God was your king.
The New Kingship
13 “Now, here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for. See, the Lord has put a king over you. 14 If you fear the Lord, serve him, obey him, and don’t rebel against what he says, then you and your king will follow the Lord your God. 15 But if you don’t obey the Lord, if you rebel against what he says, then the Lord will be against you as he was against your ancestors. 16 Now then, stand still and watch this great thing the Lord is going to do right before your eyes. 17 Isn’t the wheat being harvested today? I will call on the Lord, and he’ll send thunder and rain. Then you will realize what a wicked thing you did in the Lord’s presence when you asked for a king.”
18 Then Samuel called on the Lord. That day the Lord sent thunder and rain so that all the people feared the Lord and Samuel very much.
19 All the people pleaded with Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for us so that we will not die. We have added another evil thing to all our other sins by asking for a king.”
20 “Don’t be afraid,” Samuel told the people. “You did do all these evil things. But don’t turn away from the Lord. Instead, serve the Lord wholeheartedly. 21 Don’t turn away to follow other gods. They can’t help or rescue you, because they don’t exist. 22 For the sake of his great name, the Lord will not abandon his people, because the Lord wants to make you his people. 23 It would be unthinkable for me to sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. I will go on teaching you the way that is good and right. 24 Fear the Lord, and serve him sincerely. Consider the great things he did for you. 25 But if you go on doing what is evil, you and your king will be wiped out.”
The Lord Rejects Saul as King
13 Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he was king of Israel forty-two years.[a]
2 Saul chose 3,000 men from Israel; 2,000 of them were stationed with Saul at Michmash and in the mountains of Bethel, and 1,000 were stationed with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. But the rest of the people he sent home.
3 Jonathan defeated the Philistine troops at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. With the sounding of the ram’s horn throughout the land, Saul announced, “Listen, Hebrews!” 4 (So all Israel listened.) “I, Saul, have defeated the Philistine troops, and now Israel has become offensive to the Philistines!” All the troops rallied behind Saul at Gilgal.
5 The Philistines assembled to fight against Israel. They had 30,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen, and as many soldiers as the sand on the seashore. They camped at Michmash, east of Beth Aven. 6 When the Israelites saw they were in trouble because the army was hard-pressed, they hid in caves, in thorny thickets, among rocks, in pits, and in cisterns. 7 Some Hebrews crossed the Jordan River into the territory of Gad and Gilead. But Saul remained in Gilgal, and all the people who followed him trembled in fear.
8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel. But Samuel had not come to Gilgal, and the troops began to scatter. 9 Then Saul said, “Bring me the animals for the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” So he sacrificed the burnt offering. 10 As he finished sacrificing the burnt offering, Samuel came, and Saul went to greet him.
11 Samuel asked, “What have you done?”
Saul replied, “I saw the troops were scattering. You didn’t come when you said you would, and the Philistines were assembling at Michmash. 12 So I thought, ‘Now, the Philistines will come against me at Gilgal, but I haven’t sought the Lord’s favor.’ I felt pressured into sacrificing the burnt offering.”
13 “You did a foolish thing,” Samuel told Saul. “You didn’t follow the command of the Lord your God. If you had, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel permanently. 14 But now your kingdom will not last. The Lord has searched for a man after his own heart. The Lord has appointed him as ruler of his people, because you didn’t follow the command of the Lord.”
15 Samuel left Gilgal. The rest of the people followed Saul to meet the soldiers. They went from Gilgal[b] to Gibeah in Benjamin, where Saul counted the troops who were still with him—about 600 men. 16 Saul, his son Jonathan, and the troops who were with them stayed at Geba in Benjamin while the Philistines camped at Michmash.
17 Raiding parties left the Philistine camp in three columns. One column turned onto the road to Ophrah to the region of Shual. 18 Another column turned onto the road to Beth Horon. And one turned onto the road toward the region that overlooks the valley of Zeboim and the desert.
19 No blacksmith could be found in the entire land of Israel. In this way the Philistines kept the Hebrews from making swords and spears. 20 Everyone in Israel had to go to the Philistines to sharpen the blade of his plow, his mattock, ax, or sickle. 21 The price was a pim[c] for plow blades and mattocks, and one-tenth of an ounce of silver to sharpen a mattock[d] or set a metal point on a cattle-prod. 22 So on the day of battle, not one sword or spear could be found among all the troops who were with Saul and Jonathan. But Saul and his son Jonathan had them.
23 Now, Philistine troops had gone out to the pass at Michmash.
- 1 Samuel 13:1 The text of 1 Samuel 13:1 is problematic in all traditions. Some late Greek manuscripts state Saul was 30 years old when he became king. The ancient Jewish historian Josephus and Acts 13:21 state that Saul ruled for 40 years.
- 1 Samuel 13:15 “Samuel . . . from Gilgal” Greek; Masoretic Text omits these words.
- 1 Samuel 13:21 A pim was a measure of weight.
- 1 Samuel 13:21 Hebrew meaning of “one-tenth . . . a mattock” uncertain.
Jesus Goes to the Festival of Booths
7 Jesus later traveled throughout Galilee. He didn’t want to travel in Judea because Jews there wanted to kill him.
2 The time for the Jewish Festival of Booths was near. 3 So Jesus’ brothers told him, “Leave this place, and go to Judea so that your disciples can see the things that you’re doing. 4 No one does things secretly when he wants to be known publicly. If you do these things, you should let the world see you.” 5 Even his brothers didn’t believe in him.
6 Jesus told them, “Now is not the right time for me to go. Any time is right for you. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I say that what everyone does is evil. 8 Go to the festival. I’m not going to this festival right now. Now is not the right time for me to go.”
9 After saying this, Jesus stayed in Galilee. 10 But after his brothers had gone to the festival, Jesus went. He didn’t go publicly but secretly.
11 The Jews were looking for Jesus in the crowd at the festival. They kept asking, “Where is that man?” 12 The crowds argued about Jesus. Some people said, “He’s a good man,” while others said, “No he isn’t. He deceives the people.” 13 Yet, no one would talk openly about him because they were afraid of the Jews.
14 When the festival was half over, Jesus went to the temple courtyard and began to teach. 15 The Jews were surprised and asked, “How can this man be so educated when he hasn’t gone to school?”
16 Jesus responded to them, “What I teach doesn’t come from me but from the one who sent me. 17 Those who want to follow the will of God will know if what I teach is from God or if I teach my own thoughts. 18 Those who speak their own thoughts are looking for their own glory. But the man who wants to bring glory to the one who sent him is a true teacher and doesn’t have dishonest motives. 19 Didn’t Moses give you his teachings? Yet, none of you does what Moses taught you. So why do you want to kill me?”
20 The crowd answered, “You’re possessed by a demon! Who wants to kill you?”
21 Jesus answered them, “I performed one miracle, and all of you are surprised by it. 22 Moses gave you the teaching about circumcision (although it didn’t come from Moses but from our ancestors). So you circumcise a male on a day of rest—a holy day. 23 If you circumcise a male on the day of rest—a holy day, to follow Moses’ Teachings, why are you angry with me because I made a man entirely well on the day of rest—a holy day? 24 Stop judging by outward appearance! Instead, judge correctly.”
25 Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem said, “Isn’t this the man they want to kill? 26 But look at this! He’s speaking in public, and no one is saying anything to him! Can it be that the rulers really know that this man is the Messiah? 27 However, we know where this man comes from. When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.”
28 Then, while Jesus was teaching in the temple courtyard, he said loudly, “You know me, and you know where I come from. I didn’t decide to come on my own. The one who sent me is true. He’s the one you don’t know. 29 I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”
30 The Jews tried to arrest him but couldn’t because his time had not yet come.
1 My heart is confident, O God.
I want to sing and make music even with my soul.[a]
2 Wake up, harp and lyre!
I want to wake up at dawn.
3 I want to give thanks to you among the people, O Lord.
I want to make music to praise you among the nations
4 because your mercy is higher than the heavens.
Your truth reaches the skies.
5 May you be honored above the heavens, O God.
Let your glory extend over the whole earth.
6 Save us with your powerful hand, and answer us
so that those who are dear to you may be rescued.
7 God has promised the following through his holiness:
“I will triumph!
I will divide Shechem.
I will measure the valley of Succoth.
8 Gilead is mine.
Manasseh is mine.
Ephraim is the helmet on my head.
Judah is my scepter.
9 Moab is my washtub.
I will throw my shoe over Edom.
I will shout in triumph over Philistia.”
10 Who will bring me into the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Isn’t it you, O God, who rejected us?
Isn’t it you, O God, who refused to accompany our armies?
12 Give us help against the enemy
because human assistance is worthless.
13 With God we will display great strength.
He will trample our enemies.
- Psalm 108:1 Or “my glory.”
4 A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
but a deceitful tongue breaks the spirit.