The Early History of Syria and Palestine

By Lewis Bayles Paton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
THE PERIOD OF THE EARLY HEBREW KINGS. 1020-885 B.C.

THE first act of Saul's reign was to gather a force of 3,000 men and smite the garrison at Geba.1 This act of revolt brought out the entire army of the Philistines, and so alarmed the Israelites that they fled for refuge to caves and thickets. At this juncture Jonathan, Saul's son, and his squire surprised the outpost at Michmash and threw the enemy into confusion. An earthquake also occurred which filled them with terror. Saul and his little band then fell upon them, and defeated them. Through this victory Saul won back the freedom of Israel; but the power of the Philistines was still unbroken, and he had to struggle all his life to prevent a second enslavement. "And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul." And when Saul saw any mighty man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him."2 Among those whom he thus gathered into his standing army were not only men of the northern tribes, but also Judæans, and even Edomites.

According to 1 Sam. xiv. 47 Saul waged successful

____________________
1
1 Sam. xiii. 2.
2
1 Sam. xiv. 52.

-176-

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