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(A) on the outskirts of Gibeah(B) under a pomegranate tree(C) in Migron.(D) With him were about six hundred men, among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’s(E) brother Ahitub(F) son of Phinehas, the son of Eli,(G) the Lord’s priest in Shiloh.(H) No one was aware that Jonathan had left.

On each side of the pass(I) 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.(J)

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

“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(O) that the Lord has given them into our hands.(P)

11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews(Q) are crawling out of the holes they were hiding(R) 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.(S)

So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand(T) 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(U) struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding(V) parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.[a]

16 Saul’s lookouts(W) 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(X) the ark(Y) 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,(Z) “Withdraw your hand.”

20 Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking(AA) 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(AB) over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 When all the Israelites who had hidden(AC) 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(AD) Israel, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.(AE)

Jonathan Eats Honey

24 Now the Israelites were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath,(AF) 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.(AG) 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(AH) 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(AI) to Aijalon,(AJ) they were exhausted. 32 They pounced on the plunder(AK) and, taking sheep, cattle and calves, they butchered them on the ground and ate them, together with the blood.(AL) 33 Then someone said to Saul, “Look, the men are sinning against the Lord by eating meat that has blood(AM) 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(AN) in it.’”

So everyone brought his ox that night and slaughtered it there. 35 Then Saul built an altar(AO) 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(AP) 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(AQ) 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(AR) today. 39 As surely as the Lord who rescues Israel lives,(AS) even if the guilt lies with my son Jonathan,(AT) he must die.”(AU) 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(AV) between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken.

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

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

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

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(BA) of his head will fall to the ground, for he did this today with God’s help.” So the men rescued(BB) 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,(BC) the Ammonites,(BD) Edom,(BE) the kings[e] of Zobah,(BF) and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment on them.[f] 48 He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites,(BG) delivering Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them.

Saul’s Family

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

14 Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father.

And Saul tarried in the uttermost part of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which is in Migron: and the people that were with him were about six hundred men;

And Ahiah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord's priest in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people knew not that Jonathan was gone.

And between the passages, by which Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines' garrison, 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.

The forefront of the one was situate northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah.

And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.

And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.

Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will pass over unto these men, and we will discover ourselves unto them.

If they say thus unto us, Tarry until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up unto them.

10 But if they say thus, Come up unto us; then we will go up: for the Lord hath delivered them into our hand: and this shall be a sign unto us.

11 And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves.

12 And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armourbearer, and said, Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. And Jonathan said unto his armourbearer, Come up after me: for the Lord hath delivered them into the hand of Israel.

13 And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him.

14 And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.

15 And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling.

16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on beating down one another.

17 Then said Saul unto the people that were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armourbearer were not there.

18 And Saul said unto Ahiah, Bring hither the ark of God. For the ark of God was at that time with the children of Israel.

19 And it came to pass, while Saul talked unto the priest, that the noise that was in the host of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said unto the priest, Withdraw thine hand.

20 And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and, behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture.

21 Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time, which went up with them into the camp from the country round about, even they also turned to be with the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan.

22 Likewise all the men of Israel which had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle.

23 So the Lord saved Israel that day: and the battle passed over unto Bethaven.

24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.

25 And all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey upon the ground.

26 And when the people were come into the wood, behold, the honey dropped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath.

27 But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.

28 Then answered one of the people, and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food this day. And the people were faint.

29 Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.

30 How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?

31 And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon: and the people were very faint.

32 And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood.

33 Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the Lord, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, Ye have transgressed: roll a great stone unto me this day.

34 And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the Lord in eating with the blood. And all the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and slew them there.

35 And Saul built an altar unto the Lord: the same was the first altar that he built unto the Lord.

36 And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and spoil them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And they said, Do whatsoever seemeth good unto thee. Then said the priest, Let us draw near hither unto God.

37 And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day.

38 And Saul said, Draw ye near hither, all the chief of the people: and know and see wherein this sin hath been this day.

39 For, as the Lord liveth, which saveth Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die. But there was not a man among all the people that answered him.

40 Then said he unto all Israel, Be ye on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. And the people said unto Saul, Do what seemeth good unto thee.

41 Therefore Saul said unto the Lord God of Israel, Give a perfect lot. And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the people escaped.

42 And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken.

43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what thou hast done. And Jonathan told him, and said, I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in mine hand, and, lo, I must die.

44 And Saul answered, God do so and more also: for thou shalt surely die, Jonathan.

45 And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not.

46 Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place.

47 So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them.

48 And he gathered an host, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them.

49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishui, and Melchishua: and the names of his two daughters were these; the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal:

50 And the name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz: and the name of the captain of his host was Abner, the son of Ner, Saul's uncle.

51 And Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.

52 And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him.

Jonathan Defeats the Philistines

14 Now it happened one day that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who [a]bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. And Saul was sitting in the outskirts of (A)Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which is in Migron. The people who were with him were about six hundred men. (B)Ahijah the son of Ahitub, (C)Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh, was (D)wearing an ephod. But the people did not know that Jonathan had gone.

Between the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over (E)to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp rock on one side and a sharp rock on the other side. And the name of one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The front of one faced northward opposite Michmash, and the other southward opposite Gibeah.

Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these (F)uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord (G)from saving by many or by few.”

So his armorbearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart.”

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 (H)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 (I)hidden.” 12 Then the men of the garrison called to Jonathan and his armorbearer, and said, “Come up to us, and we will [b]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 (J)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 [c]half an acre of land.

15 And (K)there was [d]trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and (L)the raiders also trembled; and the earth quaked, so that it was (M)a very great trembling. 16 Now the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and there was the multitude, melting away; and they (N)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 [e]ark of God here” (for at that time the ark of God was with the children of Israel). 19 Now it happened, while Saul (O)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 (P)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 (Q)had hidden in the mountains of Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, they also followed hard after them in the battle. 23 (R)So the Lord saved Israel that day, and the battle shifted (S)to Beth Aven.

Saul’s Rash Oath

24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day, for Saul had (T)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 (U)Now all the people of the land came to a forest; and there was (V)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 [f]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 [g]driven back the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. So the people were very faint. 32 And the people rushed on the [h]spoil, and took sheep, oxen, and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground; and the people ate them (W)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 (X)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 (Y)asked counsel of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will You deliver them into the hand of Israel?” But (Z)He did not answer him that day. 38 And Saul said, (AA)“Come over here, all you chiefs of the people, and know and see what this sin was today. 39 For (AB)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, (AC)“Give[i] a perfect lot.(AD)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, (AE)“Tell me what you have done.”

And Jonathan told him, and said, (AF)“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, (AG)“God do so and more also; (AH)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! (AI)As the Lord lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked (AJ)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 (AK)Ammon, against Edom, against the kings of (AL)Zobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he [j]harassed them. 48 And he gathered an army and (AM)attacked[k] the Amalekites, and delivered Israel from the hands of those who plundered them.

49 (AN)The sons of Saul were Jonathan, [l]Jishui, and Malchishua. And the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger (AO)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 (AP)uncle. 51 (AQ)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, (AR)he took him for himself.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 14:1 carried
  2. 1 Samuel 14:12 teach
  3. 1 Samuel 14:14 Lit. half the area plowed by a yoke of oxen in a day
  4. 1 Samuel 14:15 terror
  5. 1 Samuel 14:18 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; LXX ephod
  6. 1 Samuel 14:27 Lit. eyes
  7. 1 Samuel 14:31 Lit. struck
  8. 1 Samuel 14:32 plunder
  9. 1 Samuel 14:41 So with MT, Tg.; LXX, Vg. 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.
  10. 1 Samuel 14:47 LXX, Vg. prospered
  11. 1 Samuel 14:48 Lit. struck
  12. 1 Samuel 14:49 Abinadab, 1 Chr. 8:33; 9:39

Jonathan Defeats the Philistines

14 One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armor, “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 in the pomegranate cave[a] at (A)Migron. The people who were with him were about (B)six hundred men, including (C)Ahijah the son of Ahitub, (D)Ichabod's brother, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord (E)in Shiloh, (F)wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. Within (G)the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side and a rocky crag on the other side. The name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The one crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of (H)Geba.

Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these (I)uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, (J)for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish.[b] Behold, I am with you heart and soul.” Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them. If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place, and we will not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hand. And this shall be the sign to us.” 11 So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines. And the Philistines said, “Look, Hebrews are coming (K)out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 And the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor-bearer and said, “Come up to us, and we will show you a thing.” And Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.” 13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed them after him. 14 And that first strike, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, killed about twenty men within as it were half a furrow's length in an acre[c] of land. 15 And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even (L)the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic.[d]

16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude (M)was dispersing here and there.[e] 17 Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Count and see who has gone from us.” And when they had counted, behold, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there. 18 So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here.” For the ark of God went at that time with the people[f] of Israel. 19 Now (N)while Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the camp of the Philistines increased more and more. 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, (O)every Philistine's sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion. 21 Now the Hebrews who had been with the Philistines before that time and who had gone up with them into the camp, (P)even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Likewise, when all the men of Israel (Q)who had hidden themselves (R)in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too followed hard after them in the battle. 23 (S)So the Lord saved Israel that day. And the battle passed beyond (T)Beth-aven.

Saul's Rash Vow

24 And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, (U)so Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies.” So none of the people had tasted food. 25 Now when all the people[g] came to the forest, behold, there was honey on the ground. 26 And when the people entered the forest, behold, the honey was dropping, 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, (V)so he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright. 28 Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food this day.’” And the people were (W)faint. 29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. See how my eyes have become bright 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 that they found. For now the defeat among the Philistines has not been great.”

31 They struck down the Philistines that day from (X)Michmash to (Y)Aijalon. And the people were very (Z)faint. 32 The people (AA)pounced on the spoil and took sheep and oxen and calves and slaughtered them on the ground. And the people ate them (AB)with the blood. 33 Then they told Saul, “Behold, the people are sinning against the Lord by eating (AC)with the blood.” And he said, “You have dealt treacherously; roll a great stone to me here.”[h] 34 And Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people and say to them, ‘Let every man bring his ox or his sheep and 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 they slaughtered them there. 35 And Saul (AD)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; let us not leave a man of them.” And they said, “Do whatever seems good to you.” But (AE)the priest said, “Let us draw near to God here.” 37 And Saul inquired of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into the hand of Israel?” (AF)But he did not answer him that day. 38 And Saul said, “Come here, all you leaders of the people, and know and see how this sin has arisen today. 39 For (AG)as the Lord lives who saves Israel, (AH)though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die.” But there was not a man among all the people who answered him. 40 Then he said to all Israel, “You shall be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side.” And the people said to Saul, “Do what seems good to you.” 41 Therefore Saul said, “O Lord God of Israel, why have you not answered your servant this day? If this guilt is in me or in Jonathan my son, O Lord, God of Israel, give Urim. But if this guilt is in your people Israel, give Thummim.”[i] (AI)And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped. 42 Then Saul said, (AJ)“Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan.” And Jonathan was taken.

43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, (AK)“Tell me what you have done.” And Jonathan told him, (AL)“I tasted a little honey with the tip of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am; I will die.” 44 And Saul said, (AM)“God do so to me and more also; (AN)you shall surely die, Jonathan.” 45 Then the people said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! (AO)As the Lord lives, (AP)there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people ransomed Jonathan, so that he did not die. 46 Then Saul went up from pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.

Saul Fights Israel's Enemies

47 When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, (AQ)against the Ammonites, against Edom, against the kings of (AR)Zobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned he routed them. 48 And he did valiantly (AS)and struck the Amalekites and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.

49 (AT)Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchi-shua. And the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn was (AU)Merab, and the name of the younger Michal. 50 And the name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. (AV)And the name of the commander of his army was Abner the son of Ner, (AW)Saul's uncle. 51 (AX)Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of (AY)Abiel.

52 There was hard fighting against the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, (AZ)he attached him to himself.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 14:2 Or under the pomegranate [tree]
  2. 1 Samuel 14:7 Septuagint Do all that your mind inclines to
  3. 1 Samuel 14:14 Hebrew a yoke
  4. 1 Samuel 14:15 Or became a panic from God
  5. 1 Samuel 14:16 Septuagint; Hebrew they went here and there
  6. 1 Samuel 14:18 Hebrew; Septuagint “Bring the ephod.” For at that time he wore the ephod before the people
  7. 1 Samuel 14:25 Hebrew land
  8. 1 Samuel 14:33 Septuagint; Hebrew this day
  9. 1 Samuel 14:41 Vulgate and Septuagint; Hebrew Therefore Saul said to the Lord, the God of Israel, “Give Thummim.”

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