Contact Us
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Shmuel I - I Samuel - Chapter 13

Shmuel I - I Samuel - Chapter 13

 Email
Rashi's Commentary:
Show content in:

Chapter 13

1Saul was a year in his reign, and he reigned two years over Israel.   אבֶּן־שָׁנָ֖ה שָׁא֣וּל בְּמָלְכ֑וֹ וּשְׁתֵּ֣י שָׁנִ֔ים מָלַ֖ךְ עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
Saul was a year in his reign: (lit., a year old.) Our Rabbis of sainted memory said: Like a one year old, who did not experience the taste of sin (Yoma 22b). It may also be interpreted thus: Saul was a year in his reign, i.e., in the first year in which he was made king (and he reigned two years over Israel), and in the first year, immediately, Saul chose for himself three thousand.  
2And Saul chose for himself three thousand from Israel, and they were with Saul; two thousand in Michmash and in the mountain of Bethel, and one thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin, and he sent the rest of the people, every man to his tents.   בוַיִּבְחַר־ל֨וֹ שָׁא֜וּל שְׁל֣שֶׁת אֲלָפִים֘ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל֒ וַיִּהְי֨וּ עִם־שָׁא֜וּל אַלְפַּ֗יִם בְּמִכְמָשֹ֙ וּבְהַ֣ר בֵּֽית־אֵ֔ל וְאֶ֗לֶף הָיוּ֙ עִם־י֣וֹנָתָ֔ן בְּגִבְעַ֖ת בִּנְיָמִ֑ין וְיֶ֣תֶר הָעָ֔ם שִׁלַּ֖ח אִ֥ישׁ לְאֹהָלָֽיו:
3And Jonathan smote the officer of the Philistines, who was in Geba, and the Philistines heard; and Saul sounded the shofar throughout all the land, saying: "Let the Hebrews hear."   גוַיַּ֣ךְ יוֹנָתָ֗ן אֵ֣ת נְצִ֚יב פְּלִשְׁתִּים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּגֶ֔בַע וַֽיִּשְׁמְע֖וּ פְּלִשְׁתִּ֑ים וְשָׁאוּל֩ תָּקַ֨ע בַּשּׁוֹפָ֚ר בְּכָל־הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר יִשְׁמְע֖וּ הָעִבְרִֽים:
the officer of the Philistines: They had an officer over Israel whom they had stationed in Gibeah of Benjamin.  
Let the Hebrews hear: that we have rebelled against the Philistines, and let them beware of them.  
4And all Israel heard, saying, "Saul has smitten the officer of the Philistines, and also that Israel has become hateful to the Philistines." And the people gathered after Saul to Gilgal.   דוְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֞ל שָׁמְע֣וּ לֵאמֹ֗ר הִכָּ֚ה שָׁאוּל֙ אֶת־נְצִ֣יב פְּלִשְׁתִּ֔ים וְגַם־נִבְאַשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בַּפְּלִשְׁתִּ֑ים וַיִּצָּעֲק֥וּ הָעָ֛ם אַחֲרֵ֥י שָׁא֖וּל הַגִּלְגָּֽל:
and also Israel has become hateful: Lit., they have come in bad odor with the Philistines. An expression of hatred.  
after Saul to Gilgal: This is what Samuel had said to him (supra 10: 8), “And you shall come down before me to Gilgal.”  
5And the Philistines gathered to wage war with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand riders, and people as numerous as the sand on the seashore, and they went up and camped in Michmash to the east of Beth-aven.   הוּפְלִשְׁתִּ֞ים נֶאֶסְפ֣וּ | לְהִלָּחֵ֣ם עִם־יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל שְׁלשִׁ֨ים אֶ֚לֶף רֶ֙כֶב֙ וְשֵׁ֚שֶׁת אֲלָפִים֙ פָּרָשִׁ֔ים וְעָ֕ם כַּח֛וֹל אֲשֶׁ֥ר עַל־שְׂפַֽת־הַיָּ֖ם לָרֹ֑ב וַֽיַּעֲלוּ֙ וַיַּחֲנ֣וּ בְמִכְמָ֔שׂ קִדְמַ֖ת בֵּ֥ית אָֽוֶן:
to the east of Beth-aven: (Heb. ‘kidmath’) same as ‘mizrach’ Beth- aven.  
6And the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, for the people were hard-pressed, and the people hid in the caves, and in the thickets, in the rocky crags, and in the towers, and in the pits.   ווְאִ֨ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֚ל רָאוּ֙ כִּ֣י צַר־ל֔וֹ כִּ֥י נִגַּ֖שׂ הָעָ֑ם וַיִּֽתְחַבְּא֣וּ הָעָ֗ם בַּמְּעָר֚וֹת וּבַֽחֲוָחִים֙ וּבַסְּלָעִ֔ים וּבַצְּרִחִ֖ים וּבַבֹּרֽוֹת:
and in the thickets: a place where thorns are concentrated. Epine in French (thorn).  
and in the towers: (as a forest in which the trees and branches are bent over all around the forest,) Plisse in French (folded).  
and in the pits: Holes [in the ground].  
7And some Hebrews crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead, but Saul was still in Gilgal, and all the people hurried after him.   זוְעִבְרִ֗ים עָֽבְרוּ֙ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן אֶ֥רֶץ גָּ֖ד וְגִלְעָ֑ד וְשָׁאוּל֙ עוֹדֶ֣נּוּ בַגִּלְגָּ֔ל וְכָל־הָעָ֖ם חָרְד֥וּ אַחֲרָֽיו:
And some Hebrews crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad: to flee from before the Philistines since the Philistines were in the land of Canaan on the west side of the Jordan.  
hurried after him: (lit. trembled after him;) i.e., they hurried to go after him.  
8And he waited seven days, to the appointed time which Samuel (had set), and Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people scattered from him.   חוַיּ֣וֹחֶל| (כתיב וַיֹּ֣יחֶל |) שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֗ים לַמּוֹעֵד֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר שְׁמוּאֵ֔ל וְלֹא־בָ֥א שְׁמוּאֵ֖ל הַגִּלְגָּ֑ל וַיָּ֥פֶץ הָעָ֖ם מֵעָלָֽיו:
ויוחל: And he waited.  
to the appointed time which Samuel: this is a short verse, with one word missing. (We must explain:) to the appointed time which Samuel had set, or to the appointed time of Samuel. And an example of this, we find (II Samuel 4:2) “And two men, officers of troops were the son of Saul.” He should have written: were to the son of Saul (or the son of Saul had). Here too, ‘which was to Samuel’ (or ‘of Samuel’), who said to him, “Seven days shall you wait until I come to you” (supra 10:8).  
9And Saul said, "Bring near to me the burnt offering and the peace offering"; and he offered up the burnt offering.   טוַיֹּ֣אמֶר שָׁא֔וּל הַגִּ֣שׁוּ אֵלַ֔י הָעֹלָ֖ה וְהַשְּׁלָמִ֑ים וַיַּ֖עַל הָעֹלָֽה:
Bring near to me the burnt offering: A stranger (non-priest) is permitted to sacrifice on a high place.  
10And it was, when he finished offering up the burnt offering, that behold, Samuel came, and Saul went out toward him to greet him.   יוַיְהִ֗י כְּכַלֹּתוֹ֙ לְהַעֲל֣וֹת הָעֹלָ֔ה וְהִנֵּ֥ה שְׁמוּאֵ֖ל בָּ֑א וַיֵּצֵ֥א שָׁא֛וּל לִקְרָאת֖וֹ לְבָרֲכֽוֹ:
11And Samuel said, "What have you done?" And Saul said, "For I saw that the people had scattered from me, and you did not come at the appointed time of the days, and the Philistines are gathered in Michmash.   יאוַיֹּ֥אמֶר שְׁמוּאֵ֖ל מֶ֣ה עָשִֹ֑יתָ וַיֹּ֣אמֶר שָׁא֡וּל כִּֽי־רָאִיתִי֩ כִֽי־נָפַ֨ץ הָעָ֜ם מֵעָלַ֗י וְאַתָּה֙ לֹא־בָ֙אתָ֙ לְמוֹעֵ֣ד הַיָּמִ֔ים וּפְלִשְׁתִּ֖ים נֶאֱסָפִ֥ים מִכְמָֽשׁ:
“What have you done?”: Did I not say to you, ‘Behold I shall come down to you to offer up the burnt offering?’ I should offer it up, and not you.  
at the appointed time of the days: at the beginning of the day.  
12And I said, 'Now the Philistines will come down against me to Gilgal, and I have not yet made supplication before the Lord,' and I forced myself, and I offered up the burnt offering."   יבוָאֹמַ֗ר עַ֠תָּה יֵרְד֨וּ פְלִשְׁתִּ֚ים אֵלַי֙ הַגִּלְגָּ֔ל וּפְנֵ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה לֹ֣א חִלִּ֑יתִי וָֽאֶתְאַפַּ֔ק וָאַעֲלֶ֖ה הָעֹלָֽה:
and I forced myself: I overcame my will, for my heart told me to wait for you, and against my will I suppressed my heart, and offered up the burnt offering.  
13And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly; you have not observed the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.   יגוַיֹּ֧אמֶר שְׁמוּאֵ֛ל אֶל־שָׁא֖וּל נִסְכָּ֑לְתָּ לֹ֣א שָׁמַ֗רְתָּ אֶת־מִצְוַ֞ת יְהֹוָ֚ה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֔ךְ כִּ֣י עַתָּ֗ה הֵכִ֨ין יְהֹוָ֧ה אֶת־מַֽמְלַכְתְּךָ֛ אֶל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל עַד־עוֹלָֽם:
for now: Before you did this.  
the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever: for when a high position is assigned to a person, it is assigned to him and to his posterity.  
14But now, your kingdom shall not continue; the Lord has sought for Himself a man after His heart, and the Lord has appointed him to be a ruler over His people, for you have not kept that which the Lord commanded you."   ידוְעַתָּ֖ה מַמְלַכְתְּךָ֣ לֹא־תָק֑וּם בִּקֵּשׁ֩ יְהֹוָ֨ה ל֜וֹ אִ֣ישׁ כִּלְבָב֗וֹ וַיְצַוֵּ֨הוּ יְהֹוָ֚ה לְנָגִיד֙ עַל־עַמּ֔וֹ ֤כִּי לֹ֣א שָׁמַ֔רְתָּ אֵ֥ת אֲשֶֽׁר־צִוְּךָ֖ יְהֹוָֽה:
But now, your kingdom shall not continue: for so said Moses in the Torah, “and that he turn not aside from the commandment right or left, in order that he prolong his days, etc.” (Deut. 17:20). Hence, if he turns aside, he will not prolong his days. And if you will argue that this was not said in reference to a commandment of a Prophet, but only in reference to a commandment of the Torah, (I shall answer you that) it was already stated: “and to observe all the words of the Law,” and afterwards, “that his heart be not lifted up above his brothers, and that he turn not aside from the commandment,” (meaning) even from a commandment of a Prophet.  
15And Samuel rose and went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin; and Saul counted the people who were present with him, about six hundred men.   טווַיָּ֣קָם שְׁמוּאֵ֗ל וַיַּ֛עַל מִן־הַגִּלְגָּ֖ל גִּבְעַ֣ת בִּנְיָמִ֑ן וַיִּפְקֹ֣ד שָׁא֗וּל אֶת־הָעָם֙ הַנִּמְצְאִ֣ים עִמּ֔וֹ כְּשֵׁ֥שׁ מֵא֖וֹת אִֽישׁ:
who were present with him: (lit., who were found with him) for the people had scattered from him, and these remained.  
16And Saul and his son Jonathan and the people who were present with them were staying in Geba of Benjamin, while the Philistines were encamped in Michmash.   טזוְשָׁא֞וּל וְיוֹנָתָ֣ן בְּנ֗וֹ וְהָעָם֙ הַנִּמְצָ֣א עִמָּ֔ם ישְׁבִ֖ים בְּגֶ֣בַע בִּנְיָמִ֑ן וּפְלִשְׁתִּ֖ים חָנ֥וּ בְמִכְמָֽשׁ:
17And the raiders emerged from the camp of the Philistines in three companies; one company turned to the road (leading) to Ophrah, to the land of Shual.   יזוַיֵּצֵ֧א הַמַּשְׁחִ֛ית מִמַּחֲנֵ֥ה פְלִשְׁתִּ֖ים שְׁלשָׁ֣ה רָאשִׁ֑ים הָרֹ֨אשׁ אֶחָ֥ד יִפְנֶ֛ה אֶל־דֶּ֥רֶךְ עָפְרָ֖ה אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ שׁוּעָֽל:
18And one company turned to the road leading to Beth-horon, and one company turned to the road leading to the border, which overlooks the valley of the 'zeboim', toward the wilderness.   יחוְהָרֹ֚אשׁ אֶחָד֙ יִפְנֶ֔ה דֶּ֖רֶךְ בֵּ֣ית חֹר֑וֹן וְהָרֹ֨אשׁ אֶחָ֚ד יִפְנֶה֙ דֶּ֣רֶךְ הַגְּב֔וּל הַנִּשְׁקָ֛ף עַל־גֵּ֥י הַצְּבֹעִ֖ים הַמִּדְבָּֽרָה:
the valley of the ‘zeboim’: where the ‘zeboim’ were found. This is the creature referred to by Rabbi Meir when he said: also the zabua (The owner is considered forewarned to pay the full damage the first time it damages B.K. 16a). Jonathan renders: ‘af’aya,’ and so did our Rabbis of sainted memory, explain: ‘zabua’ is ‘eph’eh,’ a species of fierce and destructive reptiles.  
19Now, not a smith was to be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, "Lest the Hebrews make sword or spear."   יטוְחָרָשׁ֙ לֹ֣א יִמָּצֵ֔א בְּכֹ֖ל אֶ֣רֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל כִּֽי־אָמְר֣וּ (כתיב אָמְרֻ֣) פְלִשְׁתִּ֔ים ֤פֶּן יַעֲשֹ֣וּ הָעִבְרִ֔ים חֶ֖רֶב א֥וֹ חֲנִֽית:
Now, not a smith was to be found: Not one was found at the beginning of Saul’s reign, because the Philistines who ruled over Israel, dismissed all the ironsmiths from Israel, lest they make weapons to wage war.  
20And all Israel went down to the (land of) the Philistines to sharpen each man his plowshare and his colter and his axe and his mattock.   כוַיֵּרְד֥וּ כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל הַפְּלִשְׁתִּ֑ים לִ֠לְטוֹשׁ אִ֣ישׁ אֶת־מַחֲרַשְׁתּ֚וֹ וְאֶת־אֵתוֹ֙ וְאֶת־קַרְדֻּמּ֔וֹ וְאֵ֖ת מַחֲרֵשָׁתֽוֹ:
And all Israel went down (to the land of) the Philistines: And when the Israelites needed ironsmiths to sharpen colters and axes and mattocks, they were forced to go down to the land of the Philistines.  
his plowshare: (Heb. ‘maharashto’) ‘soc’ in French (a plowshare).  
his colter: (Heb. ‘eitho’) ‘coutre’ in French (a colter).  
his axe: (Heb. ‘kardumo’) ‘baisague’ in French (a twibil or axe).  
his mattock: (Heb. ‘mahareishatho’) ‘pioche’ in French (a mattock or pickaxe).  
21And there was a file for the mattocks and for the colters and for the three-pronged pitchforks and for the axes, and to set the goad.   כאוְֽהָיְתָ֞ה הַפְּצִ֣ירָה פִ֗ים לַמַּֽחֲרֵשֹׁת֙ וְלָ֣אֵתִ֔ים וְלִשְׁל֥שׁ קִלְּשׁ֖וֹן וּלְהַקַּרְדֻּמִּ֑ים וּלְהַצִּ֖יב הַדָּרְבָֽן:
And there was the file for the mattocks: And those who found it overly troublesome to go down to the Philistines to sharpen had an implement called ‘pezirah pim,’ ‘lime’ in French (a file), which has many mouths, i.e., many sharp surfaces. They had this to sharpen the mattocks and the colters.  
and the three pronged pitchforks: a fork made like a sort of pitchfork, which is called ‘fourche’ (a pitchfork), having three prongs.  
and to set the goad: to sharpen it at the tip, to insert it, and set it into the handle.  
22And it was on the day of war, that neither sword nor spear was found in the possession of all the people who were with Saul and with Jonathan, but Saul and Jonathan his son had them.   כבוְהָיָה֙ בְּי֣וֹם מִלְחֶ֔מֶת וְלֹ֨א נִמְצָ֜א חֶ֚רֶב וַחֲנִית֙ בְּיַ֣ד כָּל־הָעָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֶת־שָׁא֖וּל וְאֶת־יוֹנָתָ֑ן וַתִּמָּצֵ֣א לְשָׁא֔וּל וּלְיוֹנָתָ֖ן בְּנֽוֹ:
but Saul… had them.: (lit., and there was found to Saul) through a miracle.  
23And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the other side of Michmash.   כגוַיֵּצֵא֙ מַצַּ֣ב פְּלִשְׁתִּ֔ים אֶֽל־מַעֲבַ֖ר מִכְמָֽשׁ:
the garrison of the Philistines: It is the custom of soldiers to form a garrison and a raiding party. The raiding party is composed of those who spread out into a city in quest of plunder. This is called ‘gens pille’ (plunderers).  
garrison: They are the officers who stand guard that no raiders come out of the city against them.  
the other side of Michmash: The Philistines were encamped in Michmash and Michmash was on a mountain. And the Israelites were in a city named Geba and Geba was also at the top of a mountain, and those two mountains were opposite one another, and the valley was between them, as is stated in this episode, “and the garrison of the Philistines approached the other side of Michmash,” which is on the side toward Geba, (i.e., they approached) the valley between them.  
 Email
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.