Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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1 Samuel 14

1 - Now it fell on a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who bore his armor, "Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is on the other side." But he didn't tell his father.

2 - Saul stayed in the uttermost part of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree which is in Migron: and the people who were with him were about six hundred men;

3 - including Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of the LORD in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. The people didn't know that Jonathan was gone.

4 - Between the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistines' garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side, and a rocky crag on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.

5 - The one crag rose up on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba.

6 - Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, "Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the LORD will work for us; for there is no restraint on the LORD to save by many or by few."

7 - His armor bearer said to him, "Do all that is in your heart. Turn and, behold, I am with you according to your heart."

8 - Then Jonathan said, "Behold, we will pass over to the men, and we will reveal ourselves to them.

9 - If they say thus to us, 'Wait until we come to you!' then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up to them.

10 - But if they say this, 'Come up to us!' then we will go up; for the LORD has delivered them into our hand. This shall be the sign to us."

11 - Both of them revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, "Behold, the Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they had hidden themselves!"

12 - The men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armor bearer, and said, "Come up to us, and we will show you something!"Jonathan said to his armor bearer, "Come up after me; for the LORD has delivered them into the hand of Israel."

13 - Jonathan climbed up on his hands and on his feet, and his armor bearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armor bearer killed them after him.

14 - That first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armor bearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were half a furrow's length in an acre of land.

15 - There was a trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people; the garrison, and the raiders, also trembled; and the earth quaked, so there was an exceedingly great trembling.

16 - The watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and behold, the multitude melted away and scattered.

17 - Then Saul said to the people who were with him, "Count now, and see who is missing from us." When they had counted, behold, Jonathan and his armor bearer were not there.

18 - Saul said to Ahijah, "Bring God's ark here." For God's ark was with the children of Israel at that time.

19 - While Saul talked to the priest, the tumult that was in the camp of the Philistines went on and increased; and Saul said to the priest, "Withdraw your hand!"

20 - Saul and all the people who were with him were gathered together, and came to the battle; and behold, they were all striking each other with their swords in very great confusion.

21 - Now the Hebrews who were with the Philistines before, and who went up with them into the camp, from all around, even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.

22 - Likewise all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle.

23 - So the LORD saved Israel that day; and the battle passed over by Beth Aven.

24 - The men of Israel were distressed that day; for Saul had adjured the people, saying, "Cursed is the man who eats any food until it is evening, and I am avenged of my enemies." So none of the people tasted food.

25 - All the people came into the forest; and there was honey on the ground.

26 - When the people had come to the forest, behold, honey was dripping, but no one put his hand to his mouth; for the people feared the oath.

27 - But Jonathan didn't hear when his father commanded the people with the oath. Therefore he put out the end of the rod who was in his hand, and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes brightened.

28 - Then one of the people answered, and said, "Your father directly commanded the people with an oath, saying, 'Cursed is the man who eats food today.'" The people were faint.

29 - Then Jonathan said, "My father has troubled the land. Please look how my eyes have brightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.

30 - How much more, if perhaps the people had eaten freely today of the plunder of their enemies which they found? For now has there been no great slaughter among the Philistines."

31 - They struck the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. The people were very faint;

32 - and the people pounced on the plunder, and took sheep, cattle, and calves, and killed them on the ground; and the people ate them with the blood.

33 - Then they told Saul, saying, "Behold, the people are sinning against The LORD, in that they eat meat with the blood."He said, "You have dealt treacherously. Roll a large stone to me today!"

34 - Saul said, "Disperse yourselves among the people, and tell them, 'Every man bring me here his ox, and every man his sheep, and kill them here, and eat; and don't sin against the LORD in eating meat with the blood.'" All the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and killed them there.

35 - Saul built an altar to The LORD. This was the first altar that he built to The LORD.

36 - Saul said, "Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and take plunder among them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them."They said, "Do whatever seems good to you."Then the priest said, "Let us draw near here to God."

37 - Saul asked counsel of God, "Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you deliver them into the hand of Israel?" But he didn't answer him that day.

38 - Saul said, "Draw near here, all you chiefs of the people; and know and see in which this sin has been today.

39 - For, as the LORD lives, who saves Israel, though it is in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die." But there was not a man among all the people who answered him.

40 - Then he said to all Israel, "You be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side."The people said to Saul, "Do what seems good to you."

41 - Therefore Saul said to The LORD, the God of Israel, "Show the right."Jonathan and Saul were chosen, but the people escaped.

42 - Saul said, "Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son."Jonathan was selected.

43 - Then Saul said to Jonathan, "Tell me what you have done!"Jonathan told him, and said, "I certainly did taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in my hand; and behold, I must die."

44 - Saul said, "God do so and more also; for you shall surely die, Jonathan."

45 - The people said to Saul, "Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! As the LORD lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he has worked with God today!" So the people rescued Jonathan, that he didn't die.

46 - Then Saul went up from following the Philistines; and the Philistines went to their own place.

47 - Now when Saul had taken the kingdom over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned himself, he defeated them.

48 - He did valiantly, and struck the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.

49 - Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchishua; and the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal.

50 - The name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the captain of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul's uncle.

51 - Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.

52 - There was severe war against the Philistines all the days of Saul; and when Saul saw any mighty man, or any valiant man, he took him into his service.

1 Samuel Images and Notes

The Books of Samuel

1 Samuel 8:19 - Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
1 Samuel 8:20 - That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
1 Samuel 8:21 - And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.
1 Samuel 8:22 - And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Samuel
Hebrew Name - Shemuel "asked of God"
Greek Name - Samoeul (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Samuel (According to Tradition)
Date - From 1171-1015 BC Approximately
Theme of 1 Samuel - The beginning of the kingdom
Theme of 2 Samuel - David, God's chosen king
Types and Shadows - In Samuel Jesus is God's anointed King

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Kingdom of Saul
Map of the Kingdom of Saul (Click to Enlarge)

Summary of The Books of Samuel

The original ancient Hebrew manuscripts recorded the books of Samuel as only one book. The first time these books were divided was in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures, and they were referred to as the First and Second Books of Kingdoms. 1 and 2 Kings were referred to as the Third and  Fourth Books of Kingdoms. When looking closely at the King James version of the Bible the titles are still arranged in this way.

Samuel is the name of the books in the ancient Hebrew text, because he was the author and the main character in the early portions in the first book, and because of his role as a prophet of God known from Dan to Beersheba, who had anointed and had the biggest influence on the lives of  King Saul and King David. The Lord raised up the prophet Samuel at a time in the history of Israel when they were disunited as a people and very determined to have a king reign over them. God made Samuel a great man, he was a Judge (1 Samuel 7:6, 15-17), and a Prophet (1 Samuel 3:20) and became  God's chosen link between the periods of the Judges and the United Kingdom.

According to Jewish tradition the books were written by Samuel himself. They deal with the period in Jewish history from the time of  Othniel the Judge through the reign of King David in the 11th and 10th centuries BC. This is of course one of the most important and significant times in the history of Israel, because their government changed from a system of tribes and judges to a kingdom by which the king would rule according to God's laws.

ARCHAEOLOGY

Ark Relief at Capernaum Synagogue

Close up of the Sculptured Block of the Ark at Capernaum

The ancient Ark of the covenant of Israel is one the most famous items in all of antiquity. There is no trace of the Ark of the covenant, yet it is memorialized by this Scripture block at the synagogue of Capernaum, created in Greco-Roman style. In the Bible the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines, and later returned because of sudden plagues that happened upon their lands. Through the valley of sorek it was taken back to Israel to Beth-shemesh.

Although there are a few repetitive content and accounts a clear outline is difficult, the contents of the two books may be outlined as follows:

Outline of the Books of Samuel

I. The Life of Samuel (1 Samuel 1-15)

1) The prayer of Hannah for a son, the granting of the request and the subsequent dedication of the child Samuel to the service of the Lord (1 Samuel 1:1-2: 10).
2) The sin of the sons of Eli which resulted in their death and the loss of the priesthood to the descendants of Eli (1 Samuel 2:12-36).
3) Samuel's vision concerning the house of Eli (1 Samuel 3).
4) The defeat of the Israelites and capture of the Ark by the Philistines and the death of Eli (1 Samuel 4).
5) The Ark in Philistine territory (1 Samuel 5:1-7 :4).
6) The return of the Ark and the establishment of Samuel as a judge over Israel (1 Samuel 7).
7) The appointment of Samuel's sons as judges and the consequent request for a king. Samuel warns the Israelites of the perils of being ruled over by a king (1 Samuel 8).
8) Saul's meeting with Samuel (1 Samuel 9).
9) The anointing and election of Saul as king (1 Samuel 10-11).
10) Samuel's address to the people, in which he defends his own record and exhorts them to walk in the way of the Lord (1 Samuel 12). From this time forward, he serves as an adviser to the king.

II. The Reign of Saul (1 Samuel 13 - 2 Samuel 1)

1) The offering of sacrifice by Saul in Samuel's absence. This constituted disobedience and resulted in God's disfavor toward Saul (1 Samuel 13).
2) Jonathan's rout of the Philistine army and his innocent breaking of Saul's foolish vow (1 Samuel 14).
3) Saul's disobedience in sparing some of the Amalekites and their cattle (1 Samuel 15). Samuel's reply to Saul's feeble excuse was the familiar "to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15:22 ).
4) The anointing of David to be Saul's successor (1 Samuel 16).
5) David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17).
6) The love of Jonathan and David and the marriage of the latter to the daughter of Saul (1 Samuel 18). Also included in this chapter is the first attempt of the jealous Saul to kill David.
7) Saul's second attempt on David's life (1 Samuel 19).
8) The parting of Jonathan and David (1 Samuel 20).
9) David's exile (1 Samuel 20-24).
10) The death of Samuel and the marriage of David to Abigail after the death of her churlish husband, Nabal (1 Samuel 25).
11) The gradual eclipse of Saul's power as he futilely sought to destroy David and protect his kingdom at the same time (1 Samuel 26-30).

III. The Reign of David (2 Samuel 2-25)

1) The proclamation of David as king at Hebron and his reign over Judah from that place.
2) The removal of the capital to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5).
3) The bringing of the ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6).
4) David's victories (2 Samuel 7-11:1).
5) David's sin with Bathsheba and the rebuke by Nathan the prophet (2 Samuel 11-12).
6) The rape of Tamar by Amnon, the revenge of Absalom and Amnon's murder; the flight of Absalom (2 Samuel 13).
7) Absalom's return, his efforts to usurp the throne of David and his death (2 Samuel 14-18).
8) David's return and Sheba's revolt (2 Samuel 19-20 ).
9) The famine and the victory over the Philistines (2 Samuel 21).
10) David's thanksgiving and last words (2 Samuel 22-23:7).
11) The names and exploits of David's "mighty men" (2 Samuel 23:8-39).
12) The census and the resultant plague (2 Samuel 24).

Quick Reference Maps - 1 Samuel

The Kingdom of Saul

Shiloh

Kirjath Jearim

Jabesh Gilead

Michmash

Judah in the Time of David

The City of Nob and David's Flight

Mount Gilboa

The Kingdom of David and Solomon

 

The First Day. Light.

1 Samuel Resources

The Judges
Samuel the Prophet
Saul, Israel's First King
King David

More About the Book of 1 Samuel
More About the Book of 2 Samuel
1 Samuel in the Picture Study Bible
2 Samuel in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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