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1 Samuel 14:8-52Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Y’honatan said, “Here, we’ll cross over to those men and let them know we’re there. If they say, ‘Wait till we come to you,’ we’ll stand still where we are and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we’ll go on up; and that will be the sign that Adonai has given us victory over them.”

11 So both of them let their presence be known to the garrison of the P’lishtim; and the P’lishtim said, “Look, some Hebrews coming out of the holes they’ve been hiding in!” 12 Then the men of the garrison said to Y’honatan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us; we want to show you something.” Y’honatan told his armor-bearer, “Come on up after me, for Adonai has handed them over to Isra’el.” 13 Y’honatan climbed up, using his hands as well as his feet, with his armor-bearer behind him. The P’lishtim fell before Y’honatan, and his armor-bearer following him finished them off. 14 That first slaughter, of about twenty men, was accomplished by Y’honatan and his armor bearer in a space only half as long as one side of the area a pair of oxen could plow in a day [about 200 yards].

15 There was panic in the field camp among all the P’lishtim; likewise, the garrison and the raiding party panicked. Besides all this, there was an earthquake; thus it grew into panic caused by God. 16 Sha’ul’s men on watch in Giv‘at-Binyamin could see the enemy camp scattering and running in all directions. 17 Sha’ul ordered the forces with him to call the roll and see who was missing. So they called the roll, and found Y’honatan and his armor-bearer not present. 18 Sha’ul told Achiyah, “Bring the ark of God here”; for at that time the ark of God was with the people of Isra’el. 19 But while Sha’ul was talking to the cohen, the uproar in the camp of the P’lishtim continued and kept getting louder. Sha’ul said to the cohen, “Put your hand down.” 20 Sha’ul and the entire force with him assembled and went to battle, but they found the P’lishtim all fighting each other in utter confusion. 21 The Hebrews from the surrounding countryside who had previously been with the P’lishtim and had gone up with them into the camp deserted and went over to Isra’el with Sha’ul and Y’honatan. 22 Likewise, on hearing that the P’lishtim were fleeing, all the men of Isra’el who had hidden themselves in the hills of Efrayim pursued them in battle. 23 So Adonai saved Isra’el that day, and the battle spread as far as Beit-Aven.

24 Isra’el’s soldiers had been driven to exhaustion that day; but Sha’ul issued this warning to the people: “A curse on any man who eats any food until evening, when I will have finished taking vengeance on my enemies.” So none of the people even tasted food. 25 Now the people came to a forest where there was a honeycomb on the ground. 26 When the people had entered the forest, they saw there the honeycomb with honey dripping out; but no one put his hand to his mouth, because the people feared the oath. 27 But Y’honatan hadn’t heard his father charging the people with the oath, so he put out the end of the staff in his hand, dipped it in the honeycomb and raised it to his mouth; whereupon his eyes lit up. 28 But one of the people said in response, “Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, ‘A curse on any man who eats any food today’; even though the people are fainting with hunger.” 29 Y’honatan answered, “My father has brought trouble to the land. Just look how my eyes have lit up because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much greater would the slaughter of the P’lishtim have been today, then, if the people had eaten freely of the spoil they found with their enemies!”

31 That day they had attacked the P’lishtim from Mikhmas to Ayalon; but the people were very exhausted. 32 So the people rushed at the spoil, seizing sheep, cows and calves, slaughtering them on the ground, and eating the flesh with the blood. 33 Sha’ul was told, “Look how the people are sinning against Adonai, eating with the blood.” He said, “You have not kept faith! Roll a big stone to me immediately! 34 Now,” Sha’ul said, “go around among the people and tell them, ‘Each of you is to bring his cow and his sheep and slaughter them here. Then eat. Don’t sin against Adonai by eating with the blood.” So each person brought his animal with him that evening and killed it there. 35 Sha’ul erected an altar to Adonai; it was the first altar that he erected to Adonai.

36 Sha’ul said, “Let’s go after the P’lishtim by night. We’ll plunder them until dawn; we won’t leave one of them alive.” They answered, “Do whatever seems good to you.” But the cohen said, “Let’s approach God here.” 37 Sha’ul consulted God: “Should I go down in pursuit of the P’lishtim? Will you hand them over to Isra’el?” But he didn’t answer him that day. 38 Sha’ul said, “Come here, all you heads of the people. Think carefully: who has committed this sin today? 39 For, as Adonai Isra’el’s deliverer lives, even if it proves to be Y’honatan my son, he must be put to death.” But no one among all the people answered him. 40 Then he said to all Isra’el, “You be on one side, and I and Y’honatan my son will be on the other side.” The people replied to Sha’ul, “Do what seems good to you.” 41 Sha’ul said to Adonai the God of Isra’el, “Who is right?” Y’honatan and Sha’ul were chosen by lot, and the people went free. 42 Sha’ul said, “Cast lots between me and Y’honatan my son.” Y’honatan was chosen. 43 Then Sha’ul said to Y’honatan, “Tell me what you did.” Y’honatan told him, “Yes, I tasted a little honey with the end of the staff in my hand. Here I am; I’m ready to die.” 44 Sha’ul said, “May God do the same to me and more also if you are not put to death, Y’honatan!” 45 But the people said to Sha’ul, “Must Y’honatan die, who has accomplished this great deliverance in Isra’el? Heaven forbid! As Adonai lives, not one hair of his head will fall to the ground; because he worked with God today!” In this way the people rescued Y’honatan, so that he didn’t die. 46 Then Sha’ul stopped pursuing the P’lishtim, and the P’lishtim returned to their own territory.

47 So Sha’ul took over the rulership of Isra’el. He fought against all his enemies on every side — against Mo’av, the people of ‘Amon, Edom, the kings of Tzovah and the P’lishtim. No matter which way he turned, he defeated them. 48 He demonstrated his strength by attacking ‘Amalek, and he saved Isra’el from the power of those who were plundering them.

49 The sons of Sha’ul were Y’honatan, Yishvi and Malkishua, while the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the older, Merav, and of the younger, Mikhal. 50 Sha’ul’s wife was named Achino‘am the daughter of Achima‘atz; the commander of his army was named Avner the son of Ner, Sha’ul’s uncle. 51 Kish was the father of Sha’ul, and Ner the father of Avner was the son of Avi’el.

52 As long as Sha’ul lived there was bitter war against the P’lishtim. Whenever Sha’ul saw any strong or courageous man, he recruited him into his service.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 14:8-52New King James Version (NKJV)

Then Jonathan said, “Very well, let us cross over to these men, and we will show ourselves to them. If they say thus to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place and not go up to them. 10 But if they say thus, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up. For the Lord has delivered them into our hand, and this will be a sign to us.”

11 So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines. And the Philistines said, “Look, the Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden.” 12 Then the men of the garrison called to Jonathan and his armorbearer, and said, “Come up to us, and we will show you something.”

Jonathan said to his armorbearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has delivered them into the hand of Israel.” 13 And Jonathan climbed up on his hands and knees with his armorbearer after him; and they fell before Jonathan. And as he came after him, his armorbearer killed them. 14 That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armorbearer made was about twenty men within about half an acre of land.[a]

15 And there was trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and the raiders also trembled; and the earth quaked, so that it was a very great trembling. 16 Now the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and there was the multitude, melting away; and they went here and there. 17 Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Now call the roll and see who has gone from us.” And when they had called the roll, surprisingly, Jonathan and his armorbearer were not there. 18 And Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark[b] of God here” (for at that time the ark[c] of God was with the children of Israel). 19 Now it happened, while Saul talked to the priest, that the noise which was in the camp of the Philistines continued to increase; so Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” 20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him assembled, and they went to the battle; and indeed every man’s sword was against his neighbor, and there was very great confusion. 21 Moreover the Hebrews who were with the Philistines before that time, who went up with them into the camp from the surrounding country, they also joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Likewise all the men of Israel who had hidden in the mountains of Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, they also followed hard after them in the battle. 23 So the Lord saved Israel that day, and the battle shifted to Beth Aven.

Saul’s Rash Oath

24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day, for Saul had placed the people under oath, saying, “Cursed is the man who eats any food until evening, before I have taken vengeance on my enemies.” So none of the people tasted food. 25 Now all the people of the land came to a forest; and there was honey on the ground. 26 And when the people had come into the woods, there was the honey, dripping; but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath; therefore he stretched out the end of the rod that was in his hand and dipped it in a honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his countenance brightened. 28 Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed is the man who eats food this day.’” And the people were faint.

29 But Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. Look now, how my countenance has brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found! For now would there not have been a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?”

31 Now they had driven back the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. So the people were very faint. 32 And the people rushed on the spoil, and took sheep, oxen, and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground; and the people ate them with the blood. 33 Then they told Saul, saying, “Look, the people are sinning against the Lord by eating with the blood!”

So he said, “You have dealt treacherously; roll a large stone to me this day.” 34 Then Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people, and say to them, ‘Bring me here every man’s ox and every man’s sheep, slaughter them here, and eat; and do not sin against the Lord by eating with the blood.’” So every one of the people brought his ox with him that night, and slaughtered it there. 35 Then Saul built an altar to the Lord. This was the first altar that he built to the Lord.

36 Now Saul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and plunder them until the morning light; and let us not leave a man of them.”

And they said, “Do whatever seems good to you.”

Then the priest said, “Let us draw near to God here.”

37 So Saul asked counsel of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will You deliver them into the hand of Israel?” But He did not answer him that day. 38 And Saul said, “Come over here, all you chiefs of the people, and know and see what this sin was today. 39 For as the Lord lives, who saves Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die.” But not a man among all the people answered him. 40 Then he said to all Israel, “You be on one side, and my son Jonathan and I will be on the other side.”

And the people said to Saul, “Do what seems good to you.”

41 Therefore Saul said to the Lord God of Israel, “Give a perfect lot.[d] So Saul and Jonathan were taken, but the people escaped. 42 And Saul said, “Cast lots between my son Jonathan and me.” So Jonathan was taken. 43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.”

And Jonathan told him, and said, “I only tasted a little honey with the end of the rod that was in my hand. So now I must die!”

44 Saul answered, “God do so and more also; for you shall surely die, Jonathan.”

45 But the people said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has accomplished this great deliverance in Israel? Certainly not! As the Lord lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people rescued Jonathan, and he did not die.

46 Then Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.

Saul’s Continuing Wars

47 So Saul established his sovereignty over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, against the people of Ammon, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he harassed them.[e] 48 And he gathered an army and attacked the Amalekites, and delivered Israel from the hands of those who plundered them.

49 The sons of Saul were Jonathan, Jishui,[f] and Malchishua. And the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal. 50 The name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. And the name of the commander of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle. 51 Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.

52 Now there was fierce war with the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man or any valiant man, he took him for himself.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 14:14 Literally half the area plowed by a yoke (of oxen in a day)
  2. 1 Samuel 14:18 Following Masoretic Text, Targum, and Vulgate; Septuagint reads ephod.
  3. 1 Samuel 14:18 Following Masoretic Text, Targum, and Vulgate; Septuagint reads ephod.
  4. 1 Samuel 14:41 Following Masoretic Text and Targum; Septuagint and Vulgate read Why do You not answer Your servant today? If the injustice is with me or Jonathan my son, O Lord God of Israel, give proof; and if You say it is with Your people Israel, give holiness.
  5. 1 Samuel 14:47 Septuagint and Vulgate read prospered.
  6. 1 Samuel 14:49 Called Abinadab in 1 Chronicles 8:33 and 9:39
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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