Larry Hunt's Bible Commentary

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I Samuel 13

Chapter 13

v. 1:  This sort of formulaic expression began in Judges and apparently continues through the accounts of the kings.

v. 2:  The way this is written, one would think this event occurred immediately following that of chapter twelve.  It is as though Saul sent all the people that had gathered against the Ammonites home and kept 3,000.  (See v. 2B.)  But the fact that Saul is said to be a “young man” living in his father’s house in 9:2 and that here his son Jonathan is old enough to be a capable leader seems to indicate the passage of several years.  I’m not sure what his purpose here was, unless he just meant to have a standing army of 3,000.  At any rate, I wonder if the fact that Saul sends men home here and attempts to summon them again in v. 4 could mean that Jonathan’s attack was not planned by Saul.  (The independence that Jonathan displays in 14:1 supports this conclusion.)

vs. 11 and 12:  Note the underlying accusatory tone in Saul’s voice as he says, “When I saw that you did not come at the set time, I felt compelled.”

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