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14 1-3 and Saul was in Geba[a] with his six hundred men. Saul’s own tent was set up under a fruit tree[b] by the threshing place[c] at the edge of town. Ahijah was serving as priest, and one of his jobs was to get answers from the Lord for Saul. Ahijah’s father was Ahitub, and his father’s brother was Ichabod. Ahijah’s grandfather was Phinehas, and his great-grandfather Eli had been the Lord’s priest at Shiloh.

One day, Jonathan told the soldier who carried his weapons that he wanted to attack the Philistine camp on the other side of the valley. So they slipped out of the Israelite camp without anyone knowing it. Jonathan didn’t even tell his father he was leaving.

4-5 Jonathan decided to get to the Philistine camp by going through the pass that led between Shiny Cliff and Michmash to the north and Thornbush Cliff[d] and Geba to the south.

Jonathan and the soldier who carried his weapons talked as they went toward the Philistine camp. “It’s just the two of us against all those godless men,” Jonathan said. “But the Lord can help a few soldiers win a battle just as easily as he can help a whole army. Maybe the Lord will help us win this battle.”

“Do whatever you want,” the soldier answered. “I’ll be right there with you.”

“This is what we will do,” Jonathan said. “We will go across and let them see us. If they agree to come down the hill and fight where we are, then we won’t climb up to their camp. 10 But we will go if they tell us to come up the hill and fight. That will mean the Lord is going to help us win.”

11-12 Jonathan and the soldier stood at the bottom of the hill where the Philistines could see them. The Philistines said, “Look! Those worthless Israelites have crawled out of the holes where they’ve been hiding.” Then they yelled down to Jonathan and the soldier, “Come up here, and we will teach you a thing or two!”

Jonathan turned to the soldier and said, “Follow me! The Lord is going to let us win.”

13 Jonathan crawled up the hillside with the soldier right behind him. When they got to the top, Jonathan killed the Philistines who attacked from the front, and the soldier killed those who attacked from behind.[e] 14 Before they had gone a hundred feet,[f] they had killed about twenty Philistines.

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Footnotes

  1. 14.1-3 Geba: Or “Gibeah.” In 13.16 and 14.5 the name “Geba” is used, while 14.2,16 have “Gibeah.” In ancient Hebrew writing there is only one letter different between the two words.
  2. 14.1-3 fruit tree: Hebrew “pomegranate tree.” A pomegranate is a bright red fruit that looks like an apple.
  3. 14.1-3 threshing place: Or “in Migron.”
  4. 14.4,5 Shiny Cliff. . . Thornbush Cliff: Or “Bozez Cliff. . . Seneh Cliff.”
  5. 14.13 Jonathan killed. . . from behind: Or “Jonathan attacked the Philistines with his sword, and the soldier killed those who fell to the ground wounded.”
  6. 14.14 a hundred feet: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.