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1 Samuel 14Amplified Bible (AMP)

Jonathan’s Victory

14 One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to his young armor bearer, “Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron; and with him were about six hundred men, and Ahijah the son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest at Shiloh, was wearing the ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. Between the passes by which Jonathan sought to cross over to get to the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side and a rocky crag on the other side; one [crag] was named Bozez, and the other, Seneh. The one crag was on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba.

Jonathan said to his young armor bearer, “Come, let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised men; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For there is nothing to prevent the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.” And his armor bearer said to him, “Do everything that is in your heart (mind); here I am with you [a]in whatever you think [best].” Jonathan said, “See now, we are going to cross over to the [Philistine] men and reveal ourselves to them. If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand in our place and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will go up, for the Lord has handed them over to us; and this shall be the sign to us.” 11 When both of them revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines, the Philistines said, “Look, the Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 So the men of the garrison responded to Jonathan and his armor bearer, “Come up to us and we will tell you something.” Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Climb up after me, for the Lord has given them into the hands of Israel.” 13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, his armor bearer following after him. The enemy fell before Jonathan [in combat], and his armor bearer killed some of them after him. 14 That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor bearer made was about twenty men within about half a [plow] furrow in a plot of land [the area of which a yoke of oxen could plow in a day]. 15 And there was trembling in the [Philistine] camp, in the field, and among all the people; even the garrison and the raiding party trembled [in fear], and the earth quaked and it became a trembling and terror from God.

16 Saul’s watchmen in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude melted away and they went here and there. 17 Then Saul said to the people with him, “Take a count and see who has left us.” When they had taken a count, behold, Jonathan and his armor bearer were missing. 18 Saul said to Ahijah [the priest], “Bring the ark of God here.” For at that time the ark of God was with the sons of Israel. 19 While Saul talked to the priest, the commotion in the Philistine camp continued and increased, so Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” 20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle; and behold, every [Philistine] man’s sword was against his companion, in wild confusion. 21 Now the Hebrews who were with the Philistines previously, who went up with them all around in the camp, they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 When all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines had fled, they too pursued them closely in the battle. 23 So the Lord saved Israel that day, and the battle spread beyond Beth-aven.

Saul’s Foolish Order

24 But the men of Israel were hard-pressed that day, because Saul had put the people under a curse, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food before evening, and before I have taken vengeance on my enemies.” So none of the people ate any food. 25 All the people of the land came to a forest, and there was honey on the ground. 26 When the people entered the forest, the honey was dripping, but no man put his hand to his mouth [to taste it], because the people feared the oath [of Saul]. 27 But Jonathan had not heard when his father put the people under the oath. So he put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into a honeycomb, and then he put his hand to his mouth, and his [b]energy was restored. 28 But one of the people told him, “Your father strictly put the people under an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food today.’” And the people were exhausted [and hungry]. 29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land [with his foolish curse]. See how my [c]energy is restored because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better [it would have been] if only the people had eaten freely today from the spoil of their enemies which they found! For now the slaughter among the Philistines has not been great.”

31 They struck the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. And the people were very tired. 32 [When night came and the oath ended] the people rushed greedily upon the spoil. They took sheep, oxen, and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground; and they ate them [raw] with the blood [still in them]. 33 Then Saul was told, “Look, the people are sinning against the Lord by eating [the meat] with the blood.” And he said, “You have violated [the Law] and acted treacherously; roll a large stone to me today.” 34 Saul said, “Spread out among the people and tell them, ‘Each one of you bring me his ox or his sheep, and butcher it [properly] here and eat; and do not sin against the Lord by eating [the meat with] the blood.’” So that night each one brought his ox with him and butchered it there. 35 And Saul built an altar to the Lord; it was the first altar that he built to the Lord.

36 Then 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 [alive].” They said, “Do whatever seems good to you.” Then the priest said, “Let us approach God here.” 37 Saul asked [counsel] of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will You hand them over to Israel?” But He did not answer him that day. 38 Then Saul said, “Come here, all you who are leaders of the people, and let us find out how this sin [causing God’s silence] happened today. 39 For as the Lord lives, who saves Israel, for even if the guilt is in my son Jonathan, he shall most certainly die.” But not one of all the people answered him. 40 Then he said to all the Israelites, “[d]You shall be on one side; I and my son Jonathan will be on the other side.” The people said to Saul, “Do what seems good to you.” 41 Therefore, Saul said to the Lord, the God of Israel, “Give a perfect lot [identifying the transgressor].” Then Saul and Jonathan were selected [by lot], but the other men went free. 42 Saul said, “Cast [lots] between me and my son Jonathan.” And Jonathan was selected.

43 Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” So Jonathan told him, “I tasted a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am, I must die!” 44 Saul answered, “May God do so [to me], and more also [if I do not keep my word], for you shall most certainly die, Jonathan.” 45 But the people said to Saul, “Must Jonathan, who has brought about this great victory in Israel, be put to death? Far from it! 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 was not put to death. 46 Then Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.

Constant Warfare

47 When Saul assumed control of the kingdom of Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side: Moab, the sons (descendants) of Ammon, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment. 48 He acted valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, and rescued Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them.

49 Now Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchi-shua. The names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn was Merab, and the name of the younger, Michal. 50 The name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. The commander of his army was named 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 the war against the Philistines was severe (brutal, relentless) all the days of Saul; and whenever Saul saw any mighty or courageous man, he recruited him for his staff.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 14:7 Lit according to your heart.
  2. 1 Samuel 14:27 Lit eyes brightened.
  3. 1 Samuel 14:29 Lit eyes have brightened.
  4. 1 Samuel 14:40 To identify the guilty party, Saul decided to have lots cast, which was a common and accepted means of finding God’s will. It may be that the Urim and Thummim that were kept in the priest’s breastpiece were used for this purpose (Ex 28:30). Saul chose to narrow the search by first separating Jonathan and himself from the rest of the people, only to discover (v 41) that the people were in fact innocent.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 14New International Version (NIV)

14 One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.

Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men, among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left.

On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez and the other Seneh. One cliff stood to the north toward Mikmash, the other to the south toward Geba.

Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.

“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”

Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us. If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the Lord has given them into our hands.

11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” 12 The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.

So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.”

13 Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him. 14 In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.

Israel Routs the Philistines

15 Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.[a]

16 Saul’s lookouts at Gibeah in Benjamin saw the army melting away in all directions. 17 Then Saul said to the men who were with him, “Muster the forces and see who has left us.” When they did, it was Jonathan and his armor-bearer who were not there.

18 Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God.” (At that time it was with the Israelites.)[b] 19 While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the Philistine camp increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.”

20 Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking each other with their swords. 21 Those Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines and had gone up with them to their camp went over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit. 23 So on that day the Lord saved Israel, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.

Jonathan Eats Honey

24 Now the Israelites were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath, saying, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!” So none of the troops tasted food.

25 The entire army entered the woods, and there was honey on the ground. 26 When they went into the woods, they saw the honey oozing out; yet no one put his hand to his mouth, because they feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard that his father had bound the people with the oath, so he reached out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb. He raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened.[c] 28 Then one of the soldiers told him, “Your father bound the army under a strict oath, saying, ‘Cursed be anyone who eats food today!’ That is why the men are faint.”

29 Jonathan said, “My father has made trouble for the country. See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better it would have been if the men had eaten today some of the plunder they took from their enemies. Would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?”

31 That day, after the Israelites had struck down the Philistines from Mikmash to Aijalon, they were exhausted. 32 They pounced on the plunder and, taking sheep, cattle and calves, they butchered them on the ground and ate them, together with the blood. 33 Then someone said to Saul, “Look, the men are sinning against the Lord by eating meat that has blood in it.”

“You have broken faith,” he said. “Roll a large stone over here at once.” 34 Then he said, “Go out among the men and tell them, ‘Each of you bring me your cattle and sheep, and slaughter them here and eat them. Do not sin against the Lord by eating meat with blood still in it.’”

So everyone brought his ox that night and slaughtered it there. 35 Then Saul built an altar to the Lord; it was the first time he had done this.

36 Saul said, “Let us go down and pursue the Philistines by night and plunder them till dawn, and let us not leave one of them alive.”

“Do whatever seems best to you,” they replied.

But the priest said, “Let us inquire of God here.”

37 So Saul asked God, “Shall I go down and pursue the Philistines? Will you give them into Israel’s hand?” But God did not answer him that day.

38 Saul therefore said, “Come here, all you who are leaders of the army, and let us find out what sin has been committed today. 39 As surely as the Lord who rescues Israel lives, even if the guilt lies with my son Jonathan, he must die.” But not one of them said a word.

40 Saul then said to all the Israelites, “You stand over there; I and Jonathan my son will stand over here.”

“Do what seems best to you,” they replied.

41 Then Saul prayed to the Lord, the God of Israel, “Why have you not answered your servant today? If the fault is in me or my son Jonathan, respond with Urim, but if the men of Israel are at fault,[d] respond with Thummim.” Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot, and the men were cleared. 42 Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken.

43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.”

So Jonathan told him, “I tasted a little honey with the end of my staff. And now I must die!”

44 Saul said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if you do not die, Jonathan.

45 But the men said to Saul, “Should Jonathan die—he who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Never! As surely as the Lord lives, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground, for he did this today with God’s help.” So the men rescued Jonathan, and he was not put to death.

46 Then Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and they withdrew to their own land.

47 After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings[e] of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment on them.[f] 48 He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, delivering Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them.

Saul’s Family

49 Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malki-Shua. The name of his older daughter was Merab, and that of the younger was Michal. 50 His wife’s name was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the commander of Saul’s army was Abner son of Ner, and Ner was Saul’s uncle. 51 Saul’s father Kish and Abner’s father Ner were sons of Abiel.

52 All the days of Saul there was bitter war with the Philistines, and whenever Saul saw a mighty or brave man, he took him into his service.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 14:15 Or a terrible panic
  2. 1 Samuel 14:18 Hebrew; Septuagint “Bring the ephod.” (At that time he wore the ephod before the Israelites.)
  3. 1 Samuel 14:27 Or his strength was renewed; similarly in verse 29
  4. 1 Samuel 14:41 Septuagint; Hebrew does not have “Why … at fault.
  5. 1 Samuel 14:47 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint king
  6. 1 Samuel 14:47 Hebrew; Septuagint he was victorious
New International Version (NIV)

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