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1 Samuel 14 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Jonathan’s Daring Valor

14 One day Jonathan son of Saul said to the young man carrying his armor, “Come, let’s cross over to the Philistines’ garrison that’s on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. Now Saul was sitting on the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree that is in Migron, and the troops with him were about 600 men. Ahijah son of Ahitub, the brother of Ichabod son of Phinehas son of Eli, the kohen of Adonai in Shiloh, was wearing an ephod. But the troops did not know that Jonathan was gone. Between the crossings by which Jonathan sought to cross over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a rocky crag on one side and another rocky crag on the other side—one was called Bozez and the other Seneh. One crag was to the north near Michmas, and the other to the south near Geba.

Then Jonathan said to the young man carrying his armor, “Come, let’s cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised ones. Perhaps Adonai will work for us, for nothing restrains Adonai from delivering whether by many or by few.” His armor-bearer answered him, “Do whatever is in your heart; go ahead—I’m with you whatever your heart decides.”

Then Jonathan said, “Here, we’ll cross over to the men, then let them see us. If they say to us: ‘Wait till we come to you,’ then we’ll stand still in our place and will not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us!’ then we will go up, for Adonai has delivered them into our hand—that will be our sign.”

11 So they both let themselves be seen by the Philistine garrison. “Look, some Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they were hiding,” the Philistines said. 12 So the men of the garrison shouted down to Jonathan and his armor-bearer saying, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson!”

Then Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Follow me, for Adonai has handed them over to Israel!” 13 So Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer behind him. Then they fell before Jonathan, his armor-bearer behind him finishing them off. 14 That first assault that Jonathan and his armor-bearer made struck down about 20 men within about half a furrow in an acre of land. 15 Terror then spread through the camp, in the field, and among all the troops. Even the outposts and the raiders also trembled, when the earth quaked—it was a trembling from God.

16 Now Saul’s watchmen in Gibeah of Benjamin saw the throng scattering away in every direction. 17 So Saul said to the people who were with him, “Call the roll now and see who went from us.” When they called the roll, behold Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there.

18 Then Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here.” For the ark of God at that time was with Bnei-Yisrael. 19 But while Saul was talking to the kohen, the commotion in the Philistine camp kept increasing, so Saul said to the kohen, “Withdraw your hand.” 20 Then Saul and all the people with him rallied and rushed into the battle. Behold, every man’s sword was against his fellow in utter confusion! 21 Now there were Hebrews who had defected to the Philistines previously and had gone up with them to their camp round about—even they joined the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Also when all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines had fled, they also chased after them in the battle. 23 So Adonai delivered Israel that day. The battle spread as far as Beth-aven.

Saul’s Rash Vow

24 Now the men of Israel were hard-pressed that day, for Saul put the people under oath saying, “Cursed be the man that eats any food before evening, until I have avenged myself on my enemies!” So none of the people tasted food. 25 But when all the people of the land entered the forest, there was honey on the ground. 26 When the people entered the forest, indeed, there was a flow of honey, but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard when his father made the people swear the oath. So he put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb, put his hand to his mouth—and his eyes brightened. 28 Then, one of the soldiers told him, “Your father strictly put the people under oath saying: ‘Cursed be the man that eats food today.’ But the troops are exhausted.”

29 Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the people. Just look how my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much more, if only the troops had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies that they found? Wouldn’t the slaughter among the Philistines have then been greater?”

31 That day they struck down the Philistines from Michmas to Aijalon, though the people were so weary. 32 Then the people rushed greedily upon the plunder, took sheep, oxen and calves, butchered them on the ground, and the people ate them with the blood. 33 Then they reported to Saul saying, “Behold, the people are sinning against Adonai by eating with the blood.”

“You have acted faithlessly,” he said. “Roll a great stone towards me at once.” 34 Then Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people and tell them: ‘Each one of you bring me his ox or his sheep, and butcher them here and eat. Don’t sin against Adonai by eating with the blood.’” So all the people each brought his ox with him that night and butchered it there. 35 Then Saul built an altar to Adonai; it was the first altar that he built to Adonai.

36 Then Saul said, “Let’s go down after the Philistines by night and plunder them until the morning light, we won’t leave any survivors among them.”

“Do whatever seems good in your eyes,” they replied.

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

37 So Saul inquired of God, “Should I go down after the Philistines? Will You deliver them into the hand of Israel?” But He did not answer him that day. 38 Then Saul said, “Draw near here, all you chiefs of the people; investigate and see how this sin was committed today. 39 For as Adonai—Israel’s deliverer—lives, even if it was by my son Jonathan, he will surely die.” But not one among all the people answered him.

40 So he said to all Israel, “You stand on one side, and I and my son Jonathan will stand on the other side.”

“Do what seems good in your eyes,” said the people to Saul.

41 So Saul said to Adonai, “God of Israel, grant a perfect lot.” Jonathan and Saul were chosen, but the people were cleared. 42 Then Saul said, “Cast the lots between me and my son Jonathan,” and Jonathan was taken. 43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you’ve done.”

Jonathan told him saying, “I certainly did taste a little honey—with the end of the rod that was in my hand. Here I am—I must die!”

44 “May God do so to me and even more,” Saul said. “You must surely die, Jonathan.”

45 But the people said to Saul, “Must Jonathan die? It was he who brought about this great deliverance in Israel! Far be it! As Adonai lives, not a hair of his head will 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 broke off pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own country. 47 After Saul had secured his kingship over Israel, he waged war against all his enemies on every side—against Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he punished them. 48 He did so with valor, defeating the Amalekites and delivering Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them.

49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malchi-shua; and the names of his two daughters were: the name of the firstborn Merab and the name of the younger Michal. 50 The name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the commander of his army was Abner son of Ner, Saul’s uncle. 51 Kish was Saul’s father, and Abner’s father was Ner son of Abiel.

52 Now there was bitter war against the Philistines all the days of Saul. So whenever Saul saw any mighty man or any son of valor, he would gather him to himself.

Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

1 Samuel 14 New 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)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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