Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The Brave Young Prince

The people had hoped that when they should have a king to lead them in war they might break the power of the Philistines, who were still rulers over a large part of the land. But after Saul had been king two years the Philistines seemed to be stronger than ever. They held many walled towns on the hills, and from these their warriors went out robbing the villages and taking away the crops from the farmers, so that the men of Israel were kept very poor and in great fear.

The Philistines would not allow the Israelites to do any work in iron, in order to keep them from making swords, and spears for themselves. When a man wished to have his iron plowshare sharpened or to have a new one made, he must go to the Philistines for the work. So when Saul gathered an army, scarcely any of the men could find swords or spears, and Saul and his son Jonathan were the only ones who wore suits of armor to protect them from the darts of the enemy.

Saul gathered together a little army, of which a part was with him at Michmash, and another part with his son Jonathan at Gibeah, five miles to the south. Jonathan, who was a very brave young man, led his band against the Philistines at Geba, halfway between Gibeah and Michmash, and took that place from them. The news of this fight went through the land, and the Philistines came up the mountains with a great army, having chariots and horsemen. Saul blew a trumpet and called the Israelites to the old camp at Gilgal, down in the valley of the Jordan; and many came, but they came trembling with fear of the Philistines.

Samuel had told him not to march from Gilgal until he should come to offer a sacrifice and to call upon God. But Samuel delayed coming, and Saul grew impatient, for he saw his men scattering. At last Saul could wait no longer. He offered a sacrifice himself, though he was no priest. But while offering was still burning on the altar Samuel came. He said to Saul, "What is this that you have done?"

And Saul answered, "I saw that my men were scattering, and I feared that the enemy might come down upon me, so I offered the sacrifice myself, since you were not here."

"You have done wrong," said Samuel. "You have not kept God's commands. If you had obeyed and trusted the Lord, he would have kept you in safety. But now God will find some other man who will do his will, a man after his own heart, and God will in his own time take the kingdom from you and give it to him."

Saul and Samuel


And Samuel left camp and went away, leaving Saul. Saul led him men, only six hundred, up the mountains to Geba, the place which Jonathan had taken. Across the valley near Michmash was the host of the Philistines in plain sight. One morning Jonathan and the young man who waited on him went down the hill toward the camp of the Philistines. This servant of Jonathan was called his armor-bearer, because he carried Jonathan's shield, and sword, and spear, to have them ready when needed.

Jonathan could see the Philistines just across the valley. He said, "If the Philistines say to us, 'Come over,' we will go and fight then, even though we two are alone, for we will take it as a sign that God will help us."

The Philistines saw the two Israelites standing on a rock across the valley, and they called to them, "Come over here, and we will show you something."

Then Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, "Come on, for the Lord has given them into our hand."

Then they crossed the valley and came suddenly up to the Philistines, and struck them down right and left, without giving them a moment. Some fell down, but others ran away, and soon, as their fellow-soldiers saw them running, they, too, became frightened, and everybody began to run to and fro. Some fought the men who were running away, and before many minutes the Israelites on the hill across the valley could see the Philistines fighting and killing each other, the men running in every direction and their army melting away.

Then Saul and his men came across the valley and joined in the fight; and other Israelites who were in the camp of the Philistines, and under their control, rose against them; and the tribes near at hand came forth and pursued them as they fled. So on that day a great victory was won over the Philistines.

But a great mistake was made by King Saul on the day of the victory. He feared that his men would turn aside from following the Philistines to seize the spoil in their camp, and when the battle began King Saul said, "Let the curse of God light on any man who takes food until the evening. Whoever takes any food before the sun goes down shall die, so that there may be no delay in destroying our enemies."

So on that day no man ate any food until it was evening, and they were faint and feeble from hunger. They were so worn out that they could not chase the Philistines further, and many of the Philistines escaped. That afternoon, as they were driving the Philistines through a forest, they found honey on the trees; but no man tasted it, because of Saul's oath before the Lord, that whoever took a mouthful of food should be put to death."

But Jonathan had not heard of his father's command. He took some honey and was made stronger by it. They said to Jonathan, "Your father commanded all the people not to take any food until the sun goes down, saying 'May the curse of God come upon any one who eats anything until the evening.'" When Jonathan heard of his father's word, he said, "My father has given us all great trouble; for if the men could have taken some food they would have been stronger to fight and to kill their enemies."

On that night Saul found that Jonathan had broken his command, though he knew it not at the time. He said, "I have taken an oath before the Lord, and now, Jonathan, you must die, though you are my own son."

But the people would not allow Jonathan to be put to death, even to keep Saul's oath. They said, "Shall Jonathan die, after he had done such a great deed, and won the victory, and saved the people? Not a hair of his head shall fall, for he has done God's work this day!"

And they rescued Jonathan from the hand of the king and set him free. A great victory had been won, but Saul had already shown that he was not fit to rule, because he was too hasty in his acts and his words, and because he was note careful to obey God's command.

The Philistines after this battle stayed for a time in their own land beside the Great Sea, and did not trouble the Israelites upon the mountains.