‘Accurate in the Smallest Details’
Writing in The Bible as History, Werner Keller cites an example of what he says “shows how accurate the Bible is even in the smallest details and how reliable are its dates and information.” Writer Keller first quotes from the book The Romance of the Last Crusade, by Major Vivian Gilbert, a British Army officer: “In the First World War a brigade major in Allenby’s army in Palestine was on one occasion searching his Bible with the light of a candle, looking for a certain name. His brigade had received orders to take a village that stood on a rocky prominence on the other side of a deep valley. It was called Michmash and the name seemed somehow familiar.
“Eventually he found it in 1 Samuel 13 and read there: ‘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.’ It then went on to tell how Jonathan and his armor-bearer crossed over during the night ‘to the Philistines’ garrison’ on the other side, and how they passed two sharp rocks: ‘there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez and the name of the other Seneh.’ [1 Sam. 14:4] They clambered up the cliff and overpowered the garrison ‘within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plough.’ The main body of the enemy awakened by the mêlée thought they were surrounded by Saul’s troops and ‘melted away and they went on beating down one another.’ [1 Sam. 14:14-16].”
Tersely telling the remainder of the story, writer Keller says: “Saul attacked with his whole force and beat the enemy. . . . The brigade major reflected that there must still be this narrow passage through the rocks, between the two spurs, and at the end of it the ‘half acre of land.’ He woke the commander and they read the passage through together once more. Patrols were sent out. They found the pass, which was thinly held by the Turks, and which led past two jagged rocks—obviously Bozez and Seneh.
“Up on top, beside Michmash they could see by the light of the moon a small flat field. The brigadier altered his plan of attack. Instead of deploying the whole brigade, he sent one company through the pass under cover of darkness. The few Turks whom they met were overpowered without a sound, the cliffs were scaled, and shortly before daybreak the company had taken up a position on ‘the half acre of land.’ The Turks woke up and took to their heels in disorder since they thought that they were being surrounded by Allenby’s army. . . . ‘And so,’ concludes Major Gilbert, ‘after thousands of years British troops successfully copied the tactics of Saul and Jonathan.’”