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When the people of Israel saw they were in danger, for their troops were seriously outnumbered, they hid in caves and in holes, among the rocks, tombs, and cisterns. Some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan River into Gad and Gilead. But Saul remained at Gilgal; the people continued to follow him, but they were terrified.

Saul waited for Samuel for seven days, the amount of time he had been told by Samuel to wait. But the prophet did not come to Gilgal, and the people began to slip away. A few more days and Saul would have no army left, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

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