Saul’s Foolish Order

24 Now the men of Israel were hard-pressed on that day, for Saul had (A)put the people under oath, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food [a]before evening, and before I have avenged myself on my enemies.” So none of the people tasted food. 25 All the people of the land entered the forest, and there was honey on the ground. 26 When the people entered the forest, behold, (B)there was honey dripping; but no man put his hand to his mouth, because the people feared the oath. 27 However, Jonathan had not heard it when his father put the people under oath; so (C)he put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth, and (D)his eyes [b]brightened. 28 Then one of the people responded and said, “Your father strictly put the people under oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food today.’” And the people were weary. 29 Then Jonathan said, “(E)My father has troubled the land. See now that my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much more, if only the people had freely eaten today of the spoils of their enemies which they found! For now the defeat among the Philistines has not been great.”

31 They attacked the Philistines that day from (F)Michmash to (G)Aijalon. But the people were very tired. 32 So (H)the people loudly rushed upon the spoils, and took sheep, oxen, and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground; and the people ate them (I)with the blood. 33 Then observers informed Saul, saying, “Look, the people are (J)sinning against the Lord by eating meat with the blood.” And he said, “You have acted treacherously; roll a large rock to me today.” 34 Then Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people and say to them, ‘Each one of you bring me his ox or his sheep, and slaughter it here and eat; and do not sin against the Lord by eating it with the blood.’” So all the people brought them that night, each one his ox [c]with him, and they slaughtered them there. 35 And (K)Saul built an altar to the Lord; it was the first altar that he built to the Lord.

36 Then Saul said, “Let’s go down after the Philistines by night and take plunder among them until the morning light, and let’s not leave a man among them alive.” And they said, “Do whatever seems good [d]to you.” So (L)the priest said, “Let’s approach God here.” 37 So Saul (M)inquired of God: “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will You hand them over to Israel?” But (N)He did not answer him on that day. 38 Then Saul said, “(O)[e]Come here, all you [f]leaders of the people, and investigate and see how this sin has happened today. 39 For (P)as the Lord lives, who saves Israel, even if it is in my son Jonathan, he shall assuredly die!” But not one of all the people answered him. 40 Then he said to all Israel, “You shall be on one side, and I and my son Jonathan will be on the other side.” And the people said to Saul, “Do what seems good [g]to you.” 41 Therefore, Saul said to the Lord, the God of Israel, “(Q)Give a [h]perfect lot.” And Jonathan and Saul were selected by lot, but the people [i]were exonerated. 42 Then Saul said, “Cast lots between me and my son Jonathan.” And Jonathan was selected by lot.

43 So Saul said to Jonathan, “(R)Tell me what you have done.” And Jonathan told him, and said, “(S)I did indeed taste a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am, I must die!” 44 And Saul said, “(T)May God do the same to me and more also, for (U)you shall certainly die, Jonathan!” 45 But the people said to Saul, “Must Jonathan die, he who has [j]brought about this great [k]victory in Israel? Far from it! As the Lord lives, (V)not even a hair of his head shall fall to the ground, because (W)he has worked with God this day.” So the people [l]rescued Jonathan and he did not die. 46 Then Saul went up from [m]pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.

Constant Warfare

47 Now when Saul had taken control of the kingdom over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, (X)the sons of Ammon, Edom, (Y)the kings of Zobah, and (Z)the Philistines; and wherever he turned, he [n]inflicted punishment. 48 And he acted valiantly and [o](AA)defeated the Amalekites, and saved Israel from the hands of [p]those who plundered them.

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  1. 1 Samuel 14:24 Lit until
  2. 1 Samuel 14:27 As in some mss and ancient versions; MT saw
  3. 1 Samuel 14:34 Lit with his hand
  4. 1 Samuel 14:36 Lit in your eyes
  5. 1 Samuel 14:38 Lit Approach here
  6. 1 Samuel 14:38 Lit cornerstones
  7. 1 Samuel 14:40 Lit in your eyes
  8. 1 Samuel 14:41 I.e., a clear answer
  9. 1 Samuel 14:41 Lit got out
  10. 1 Samuel 14:45 Lit worked
  11. 1 Samuel 14:45 Lit deliverance
  12. 1 Samuel 14:45 Lit ransomed
  13. 1 Samuel 14:46 Lit after
  14. 1 Samuel 14:47 Or condemned
  15. 1 Samuel 14:48 Lit struck
  16. 1 Samuel 14:48 Lit its plunderer

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