The battle begins at Michmash, which is in Benjaminite territory just opposite Geba (1 Samuel 13:2–7a, 13:15b–14:23a). The best reading of 1 Samuel 14:23b is found in the Septuagint: “As the fighting passed by Bethel, the entire army was with Saul, some ten thousand men. But then the fighting scattered into the hill country of Ephraim.” In other words, Saul defeated the Philistines in Benjaminite territory, but then the fighting spread into Ephraimite territory. At that point Saul imposed the vow of fasting on the army (1 Samuel 14:24; reconstructed text), after which the Israelite army defeated the Philistines completely (1 Samuel 14:31).