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Sunday, March 30 2014

1 Samuel 13: Saul's Burnt Offering

"Samuel said, What hast thou done?"

Samuel's retirement was not a peaceful one (see 1 Samuel 12: Samuel's Farewell). Although Saul was chosen by the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) to be Israel's first human king (see 1 Samuel 8: Our King May Judge Us) because he was physically impressive, humble and wise, he very soon began making the mistakes of an arrogant fool. Samuel's last year was spent witnessing Saul's bungling descent and the beginning of the civil war that would make David the LORD's second-choice king of Israel.

It began with a battle against the powerful Philistines that did not go well for the Israelites. Saul then presumed to make an offering that he was expressly prohibited from making (see the Fact Finder question below): "Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering."

Saul Sacrifices The Oxen

"13:1 Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel,

13:2 Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.

13:3 And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear. 13:4 And all Israel heard say that Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philistines, and that Israel also was had in abomination with the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Gilgal.

13:5 And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Bethaven. 13:6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits. 13:7 And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.

As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. 13:8 And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. 13:9 And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. 13:10 And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him." (1 Samuel 13:1-10 KJV)

Samuel was forced out of retirement for a rebuke ("Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever") and a prophecy that would lead to the civil war ("But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart").

"13:11 And Samuel said, What hast thou done?

And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; 13:12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.

13:13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. 13:14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.

13:15 And Samuel arose, and gat him up from Gilgal unto Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people that were present with him, about six hundred men." (1 Samuel 13:11-15 KJV)

The civil war that would then soon come was unique in that while the Israelites were fighting each other, they would also be fighting the hostile nations around them. It was a complex combination of politics and military strategy that at times benefited David, and eventually ended the civil war when Saul was killed in battle against the Philistines (i.e. the "Palestinians" - "Palestine" is merely a variant English rendering of "Philistine").

"13:16 And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin: but the Philistines encamped in Michmash. 13:17 And the spoilers came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned unto the way that leadeth to Ophrah, unto the land of Shual: 13:18 And another company turned the way to Bethhoron: and another company turned to the way of the border that looketh to the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.

13:19 Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: 13:20 But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock. 13:21 Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads.

13:22 So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found. 13:23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the passage of Michmash." (1 Samuel 13:16-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: How and when did burnt offerings to the LORD originate?
See Leviticus 1: The Burnt Offerings Of The Ancients; see also Isaac: Rising From The Ashes


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This Day In History, March 30

598: During their campaign in the Balkan, the Avars lifted their siege at Tomis, a Byzantine stronghold.

1282: The Sicilians rebelled against King Charles I of Sicily.

1296: Edward I sacked Berwick-upon-Tweed during the war between Scotland and England.

Britain
1406: James I of Scotland was captured and imprisoned by Henry IV of England.

1492: King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella signed a decree to expel all Jews from Spain (with one possible exception - some historians believe that Christopher Columbus was of Jewish ancestry; for a map of the actual voyages of Columbus to "America," see Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).

1533: King Henry VIII of England divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon (Catherine was the Spanish-born daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain - the Spanish monarchs for whom Christopher Columbus was an explorer). It was Henry's divorces that led to Britain's eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

1806: Joseph Bonaparte (brother of Napoleon Bonaparte) was proclaimed king of Naples.

1814: Sixth Coalition forces entered Paris during the Napoleonic Wars.

1856: The Treaty of Paris was signed to end the Crimean War.

1863: William, Prince of Denmark, was recognized as king of Greece and took the title George I.

1867: A treaty for the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, approximately two cents an acre, was submitted to the U.S. Senate.

1870: Texas was readmitted to the Union with the Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War. Texas first rebelled against Mexico to join the U.S., then rebelled against the United States to join the Confederate States.

1917: The Russian provisional government accepted the idea of an independent Poland.

1936: Britain announced a naval construction program of 38 new warships, the largest construction program in 15 years.

1939: The German Heinkel He 100 fighter set a world airspeed record of 745 kilometers per hour (463 mph).

1941: The German Afrika Korps under General Erwin Rommel began its first offensive against British forces in Libya.

1972: During the Vietnam civil war ("north" and "south" Vietnam were a creation of French colonial forces in the 1950s), 120,000 North Vietnamese troops and thousands of Vietcong guerrillas launched a massive 3-wave invasion deep into South Vietnam.

1973: The U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam civil war came to a formal end when the last U.S. prisoner was released and the last soldier left.

1981: U.S. President Ronald Reagan, press secretary James Brady, and secret service agent Timothy McCarthy were shot by John Hinckley in Washington. Despite being shot by John Hinckley, Ronald Reagan broke the "year zero curse" when he became the first U.S. President since 1840, who won a Presidential election in a year ending in a zero, to leave office alive:
1980: Ronald Reagan
1960: John F. Kennedy, assassinated
1940: Franklin D. Roosevelt, natural causes
1920: Warren Harding, natural causes
1900: William McKinley, assassinated
1880: James Garfield, assassinated
1860: Abraham Lincoln, assassinated
1840: William Harrison, natural causes

2002: Queen Elizabeth, the widow of King George VI and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II, died at age 101.


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Copyright © Wayne Blank