1 Samuel Chapter 14 |
1One day, Jonathan son of Saul said to the attendant who carried his arms, “Come, let us cross over to the Philistine garrison on the other side”; but he did not tell his father. 2Now Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah, under the pomegranate tree at Migron, and the troops with him numbered about 600. 3Ahijah son of Ahitub brother of Ichabod son of Phinehas son of Eli, the priest of the Lord at Shiloh, was there bearing an ephod.—The troops did not know that Jonathan had gone. 4At the crossing by which Jonathan sought to reach the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on one side, and another rocky crag on the other, the one called Bozez and the other Seneh. 5One crag was located on the north, near Michmas, and the other on the south, near Geba.
6Jonathan said to the attendant who carried his arms, “Come, let us cross over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf, for nothing prevents the Lord from winning a victory by many or by few.” 7His arms-bearer answered him, “Do whatever you like. You go first, I am with you, whatever you decide.” 8Jonathan said, “We’ll cross over to those men and let them see us. 9If they say to us, ‘Wait until we get to you,’ then we’ll stay where we are, and not go up to them. 10But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the Lord is delivering them into our hands. That shall be our sign.” 11They both showed themselves to the Philistine outpost and the Philistines said, “Look, some Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have been hiding.” 12The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his arms-bearer, “Come up to us, and we’ll teach you a lesson.” Then Jonathan said to his arms-bearer, “Follow me, for the Lord will deliver them into the hands of Israel.” 13And Jonathan clambered up on his hands and feet, his arms-bearer behind him; [the Philistines] fell before Jonathan, and his arms-bearer finished them off behind him. 14The initial attack that Jonathan and his arms-bearer made accounted for some twenty men, within a space about half a furrow long [in] an acre of land. 15Terror broke out among all the troops both in the camp [and] in the field; the outposts and the raiders were also terrified. The very earth quaked, and a terror from God ensued.
16Saul’s scouts in Gibeah of Benjamin saw that the multitude was scattering in all directions.
17And Saul said to the troops with him, “Take a count and see who has left us.” They took a count and found that Jonathan and his arms-bearer were missing.
18Thereupon Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the Ark of God here”; for the Ark of God was at the time among the Israelites.
19But while Saul was speaking to the priest, the confusion in the Philistine camp kept increasing; and Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.”
20Saul and the troops with him assembled and rushed into battle; they found [the Philistines] in very great confusion, every man’s sword turned against his fellow.
21And the Hebrews who had previously sided with the Philistines, who had come up with them in the army [from] round about—they too joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.
22When all the men of Israel who were hiding in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too pursued them in battle.
23Thus the Lord brought victory to Israel that day.
The fighting passed beyond Beth-aven. 24The men of Israel were distressed that day. For Saul had laid an oath upon the troops: “Cursed be the man who eats any food before night falls and I take revenge on my enemies.” So none of the troops ate anything. 25Everybody came to a stack of beehives where some honey had spilled on the ground. 26When the troops came to the beehives and found the flow of honey there, no one put his hand to his mouth, for the troops feared the oath. 27Jonathan, however, had not heard his father adjure the troops. So he put out the stick he had with him, dipped it into the beehive of honey, and brought his hand back to his mouth; and his eyes lit up. 28At this one of the soldiers spoke up, “Your father adjured the troops: ‘Cursed be the man who eats anything this day.’ And so the troops are faint.” 29Jonathan answered, “My father has brought trouble on the people. See for yourselves how my eyes lit up when I tasted that bit of honey. 30If only the troops had eaten today of spoil captured from the enemy, the defeat of the Philistines would have been greater still!”
31They struck down the Philistines that day from Michmas to Aijalon, and the troops were famished. 32The troops pounced on the spoil; they took the sheep and cows and calves and slaughtered them on the ground, and the troops ate with the blood. 33When it was reported to Saul that the troops were sinning against the Lord, eating with the blood, he said, “You have acted faithlessly. Roll a large stone over to me today.” 34And Saul ordered, “Spread out among the troops and tell them that everyone must bring me his ox or his sheep and slaughter it here, and then eat. You must not sin against the Lord and eat with the blood.” Every one of the troops brought his own ox with him that night and slaughtered it there. 35Thus Saul set up an altar to the Lord; it was the first altar he erected to the Lord.
36Saul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night and plunder among them until the light of morning; and let us not leave a single survivor among them.” “Do whatever you please,” they replied. But the priest said, “Let us approach God here.” 37So Saul inquired of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will You deliver them into the hands of Israel?” But this time He did not respond to him. 38Then Saul said, “Come forward, all chief officers of the troops, and find out how this guilt was incurred today. 39For as the Lord lives who brings victory to Israel, even if it was through my son Jonathan, he shall be put to death!” Not one soldier answered him. 40And he said to all the Israelites, “You stand on one side, and my son Jonathan and I shall stand on the other.” The troops said to Saul, “Do as you please.” 41Saul then said to the Lord, the God of Israel, “Show Thammim.” Jonathan and Saul were indicated by lot, and the troops were cleared. 42And Saul said, “Cast the lots between my son and me”; and Jonathan was indicated.
43Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me, what have you done?” And Jonathan told him, “I only tasted a bit of honey with the tip of the stick in my hand. I am ready to die.” 44Saul said, “Thus and more may God do: You shall be put to death, Jonathan!” 45But the troops said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, after bringing this great victory to Israel? Never! As the Lord lives, not a hair of his head shall fall to the ground! For he brought this day to pass with the help of God.” Thus the troops saved Jonathan and he did not die. 46Saul broke off his pursuit of the Philistines, and the Philistines returned to their homes.
47After Saul had secured his kingship over Israel, he waged war on every side against all his enemies: against the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, the Philistines, and the kings of Zobah; and wherever he turned he worsted [them]. 48He was triumphant, defeating the Amalekites and saving Israel from those who plundered it.
49Saul’s sons were: Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchishua; and the names of his two daughters were Merab, the older, and Michal, the younger. 50The name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz; and the name of his army commander was Abiner son of Saul’s uncle Ner. 51Kish, Saul’s father, and Ner, Abner’s father, were sons of Abiel.
52There was bitter war against the Philistines all the days of Saul; and whenever Saul noticed any stalwart man or warrior, he would take him into his service.