1 Samuel 14:1-46 1 Samuel 14:1-46 1 Samuel 14:1-46 1 Samuel 14:1-46
1 Samuel 14:1-46
14:1 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. 2 Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah in the pomegranate cave at Migron. The people who were with him were about six hundred men, 3 including Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. 4 Within 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. 5 The one crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba.
6 Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” 7 And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.” 8 Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them. 9 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 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 of land. 15 And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic.
16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude was dispersing here and there. 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 of Israel. 19 Now 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, 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, even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Likewise, when all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too followed hard after them in the battle. 23 So the Lord saved Israel that day. And the battle passed beyond Beth-aven.
24 And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, 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 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, 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 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 Michmash to Aijalon. And the people were very faint. 32 The people pounced on the spoil and took sheep and oxen and calves and slaughtered them on the ground. And the people ate them with the blood. 33 Then they told Saul, “Behold, the people are sinning against the Lord by eating with the blood.” And he said, “You have dealt treacherously; roll a great stone to me here.” 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 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 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?” 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 as the Lord lives who saves Israel, 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.” And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped. 42 Then Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan.” And Jonathan was taken.
43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” And Jonathan told him, “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, “God do so to me and more also; 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! As the Lord lives, 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.
1-3 and Saul was in Geba with his 600 men. Saul's own tent was set up under a fruit tree by the threshing place 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 and Geba to the south.
6 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.”
7 “Do whatever you want,” the soldier answered. “I'll be right there with you.”
8 “This is what we will do,” Jonathan said. “We will go across and let them see us. 9 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. 14 Before they had gone 30 meters , they had killed about 20 Philistines.
15 The whole Philistine army panicked—those in camp, those on guard duty, those in the fields, and those on raiding patrols. All of them were afraid and confused. Then God sent an earthquake, and the ground began to tremble.
Israel Defeats the Philistines
16 Saul's lookouts at Geba saw that the Philistine army was running in every direction, like melted wax. 17 Saul told his officers, “Call the roll and find out who left our camp.” When they had finished, they found out that Jonathan and the soldier who carried his weapons were missing.
18 At that time, Ahijah was serving as priest for the army of Israel, and Saul told him, “Come over here! Let's ask God what we should do.” 19 Just as Saul finished saying this, he could see that the Philistine army camp was getting more and more confused, and he said, “Ahijah, never mind!”
20 Saul quickly called his army together, then led them to the Philistine camp. By this time the Philistines were so confused that they were killing each other.
21 There were also some hired soldiers in the Philistine camp, who now switched to Israel's side and fought for Saul and Jonathan.
22 Many Israelites had been hiding in the hill country of Ephraim. And when they heard that the Philistines were running away, they came out of hiding and joined in chasing the Philistines.
23-24 So the Lord helped Israel win the battle that day.
Saul's Curse on Anyone Who Eats
Saul had earlier told his soldiers, “I want to get even with those Philistines by sunset. If any of you eat before then, you will be under a curse!” So he made them swear not to eat.
By the time the fighting moved past Beth-Aven, the Israelite troops were weak from hunger. 25-26 The army and the people who lived nearby had gone into a forest, and they came to a place where honey was dripping on the ground. But no one ate any of it, because they were afraid of being put under the curse.
27 Jonathan did not know about Saul's warning to the soldiers. So he dipped the end of his walking stick in the honey and ate some with his fingers. He felt stronger and more alert. 28 Then a soldier told him, “Your father swore that anyone who ate food today would be put under a curse, and we agreed not to eat. That's why we're so weak.”
29 Jonathan said, “My father has caused you a lot of trouble. Look at me! I ate only a little of this honey, but already I feel strong and alert. 30 I wish you had eaten some of the food the Philistines left behind. We would have been able to kill a lot more of them.”
31 By evening the Israelite army was exhausted from killing Philistines all the way from Michmash to Aijalon. 32 They grabbed the food they had captured from the Philistines and started eating. They even killed sheep and cows and calves right on the spot and ate the meat without draining the blood. 33 Someone told Saul, “Look! The army is disobeying the Lord by eating meat before the blood drains out.”
“You're right,” Saul answered. “They are being unfaithful to the Lord! Hurry! Roll a big rock over here. 34 Then tell everyone in camp to bring their cattle and lambs to me. They can kill the animals on this rock, then eat the meat. That way no one will disobey the Lord by eating meat with blood still in it.”
That night the soldiers brought their cattle over to the big rock and killed them there. 35 It was the first altar Saul had built for offering sacrifices to the Lord.
The Army Rescues Jonathan
36 Saul said, “Let's attack the Philistines again while it's still dark. We can fight them all night. Let's kill them and take everything they own!”
The people answered, “We will do whatever you want.”
“Wait!” Ahijah the priest said. “Let's ask God what we should do.”
37 Saul asked God, “Should I attack the Philistines? Will you help us win?”
This time God did not answer. 38 Saul called his army officers together and said, “We have to find out what sin has kept God from answering. 39 I swear by the living Lord that whoever sinned must die, even if it turns out to be my own son Jonathan.”
No one said a word.
40 Saul told his army, “You stand on that side of the priest, and Jonathan and I will stand on the other side.”
41 Then Saul prayed, “Our Lord, God of Israel, why haven't you answered me today? Please show us who sinned. Was it my son Jonathan and I, or was it your people Israel?”
The answer came back that Jonathan or Saul had sinned, not the army. 42 Saul told Ahijah, “Now ask the Lord to decide between Jonathan and me.”
The answer came back that Jonathan had sinned. 43 “Jonathan,” Saul exclaimed, “tell me what you did!”
“I dipped the end of my walking stick in some honey and ate a little. Now you say I have to die!”
44 “Yes, Jonathan. I swear to God that you must die.”
45 “No!” the soldiers shouted. “God helped Jonathan win the battle for us. We won't let you kill him. We swear to the Lord that we won't let you kill him or even lay a hand on him!” So the army kept Saul from killing Jonathan.
46 Saul stopped hunting down the Philistines, and they went home.
Jonathan's Daring Deed
1 One day Jonathan said to the young man who carried his weapons, “Let's go across to the Philistine camp.” But Jonathan did not tell his father Saul, 2 who was camping under a pomegranate tree in Migron, not far from Gibeah; he had about six hundred men with him. 3 (The priest carrying the ephod was Ahijah, the son of Ichabod's brother Ahitub, who was the son of Phinehas and grandson of Eli, the priest of the Lord in Shiloh.) The men did not know that Jonathan had left.
4 In Michmash Pass, which Jonathan had to go through to get over to the Philistine camp, there were two large jagged rocks, one on each side of the pass: one was called Bozez and the other Seneh. 5 One was on the north side of the pass, facing Michmash, and the other was on the south side, facing Geba.
6 Jonathan said to the young man, “Let's cross over to the camp of those heathen Philistines. Maybe the Lord will help us; if he does, nothing can keep him from giving us the victory, no matter how few of us there are.”
7 The young man answered, “Whatever you want to do, I'm with you.”
8 “All right,” Jonathan said. “We will go across and let the Philistines see us. 9 If they tell us to wait for them to come to us, then we will stay where we are. 10 But if they tell us to go to them, then we will, because that will be the sign that the Lord has given us victory over them.”
11 So they let the Philistines see them, and the Philistines said, “Look! Some Hebrews are coming out of the holes they have been hiding in!” 12 Then they called out to Jonathan and the young man, “Come on up here! We have something to tell you!”
Jonathan said to the young man, “Follow me. The Lord has given Israel victory over them.” 13 Jonathan climbed up out of the pass on his hands and knees, and the young man followed him. Jonathan attacked the Philistines and knocked them down, and the young man killed them. 14 In that first slaughter Jonathan and the young man killed about twenty men in an area of about half an acre. 15 All the Philistines in the countryside were terrified; the raiders and the soldiers in the camp trembled with fear; the earth shook, and there was great panic.
The Defeat of the Philistines
16 Saul's men on watch at Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin saw the Philistines running in confusion. 17 So Saul said to his men, “Count the soldiers and find out who is missing.” They did so and found that Jonathan and the young man who carried his weapons were missing. 18 “Bring the ephod here,” Saul said to Ahijah the priest. (On that day Ahijah was carrying it in front of the people of Israel.) 19 As Saul was speaking to the priest, the confusion in the Philistine camp kept getting worse, so Saul said to him, “There's no time to consult the Lord!” 20 Then he and his men marched into battle against the Philistines, who were fighting each other in complete confusion. 21 Some Hebrews, who had been on the Philistine side and had gone with them to the camp, changed sides again and joined Saul and Jonathan. 22 Others, who had been hiding in the hills of Ephraim, heard that the Philistines were running away, so they also joined in and attacked the Philistines, 23 fighting all the way beyond Bethaven. The Lord saved Israel that day.
Events after the Battle
24 The Israelites were weak with hunger that day, because Saul, with a solemn oath, had given the order: “A curse be on anyone who eats any food today before I take revenge on my enemies.” So nobody had eaten anything all day. 25 They all came into a wooded area and found honey everywhere. 26 The woods were full of honey, but no one ate any of it because they were all afraid of Saul's curse. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father threaten the people with a curse; so he reached out with the stick he was carrying, dipped it in a honeycomb, and ate some honey. At once he felt much better. 28 But one of the men told him, “We are all weak from hunger, but your father threatened us and said, ‘A curse be on anyone who eats any food today.’”
29 Jonathan answered, “What a terrible thing my father has done to our people! See how much better I feel because I ate some honey! 30 How much better it would have been today if our people had eaten the food they took when they defeated the enemy. Just think how many more Philistines they would have killed!”
31 That day the Israelites defeated the Philistines, fighting all the way from Michmash to Aijalon. By this time the Israelites were very weak from hunger, 32 and so they rushed over to what they had captured from the enemy, took sheep and cattle, slaughtered them on the spot, and ate the meat with the blood still in it. 33 Saul was told, “Look, the people are sinning against the Lord by eating meat with the blood in it.”
“You are traitors!” Saul cried out. “Roll a big stone over here to me.” 34 Then he gave another order: “Go among the people and tell them all to bring their cattle and sheep here. They are to slaughter them and eat them here; they must not sin against the Lord by eating meat with blood in it.” So that night they all brought their cattle and slaughtered them there. 35 Saul built an altar to the Lord, the first one that he built.
36 Saul said to his men, “Let's go down and attack the Philistines in the night, plunder them until dawn, and kill them all.”
“Do whatever you think best,” they answered.
But the priest said, “Let's consult God first.”
37 So Saul asked God, “Shall I attack the Philistines? Will you give us victory?” But God did not answer that day. 38 Then Saul said to the leaders of the people, “Come here and find out what sin was committed today. 39 I promise by the living Lord, who gives Israel victory, that the guilty one will be put to death, even if he is my son Jonathan.” But no one said anything. 40 Then Saul said to them, “All of you stand over there, and Jonathan and I will stand over here.”
“Do whatever you think best,” they answered.
41 Saul said to the Lord, the God of Israel, “Lord, why have you not answered me today? Lord, God of Israel, answer me by the sacred stones. If the guilt is Jonathan's or mine, answer by the Urim; but if it belongs to your people Israel, answer by the Thummim.” The answer indicated Jonathan and Saul; and the people were cleared. 42 Then Saul said, “Decide between my son Jonathan and me.” And Jonathan was indicated. 43 Then Saul asked Jonathan, “What have you done?”
Jonathan answered, “I ate a little honey with the stick I was holding. Here I am—I am ready to die.”
44 Saul said to him, “May God strike me dead if you are not put to death!”
45 But the people said to Saul, “Will Jonathan, who won this great victory for Israel, be put to death? No! We promise by the living Lord that he will not lose even a hair from his head. What he did today was done with God's help.” So the people saved Jonathan from being put to death.
46 After that, Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and they went back to their own territory.
2 Now Saul was sitting under a pomegranate tree in Migron, on the outskirts of Gibeah. The army that was with him numbered about six hundred men. 3 Now Ahijah was carrying an ephod. He was the son of Ahitub, who was the brother of Ichabod and a son of Phineas, son of Eli, the priest of the
4 Now there was a steep cliff on each side of the pass through which Jonathan intended to go to reach the Philistine garrison. One cliff was named Bozez, the other Seneh. 5 The cliff to the north was closer to Micmash, the one to the south closer to Geba.
6 Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised men. Perhaps the
8 Jonathan replied, “All right! We’ll go over to these men and fight them. 9 If they say to us, ‘Stay put until we approach you,’ we will stay right there and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up against us,’ we will go up. For in that case the
11 When they made themselves known to the Philistine garrison, the Philistines said, “Look! The Hebrews are coming out of the holes in which they hid themselves.” 12 Then the men of the garrison said to Jonathan and his armor bearer, “Come on up to us so we can teach you a thing or two!” Then Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up behind me, for the
13 Jonathan crawled up on his hands and feet, with his armor bearer following behind him. Jonathan struck down the Philistines, while his armor bearer came along behind him and killed them. 14 In this initial skirmish Jonathan and his armor bearer struck down about twenty men in an area that measured half an acre.
15 Then fear overwhelmed those who were in the camp, those who were in the field, all the army in the garrison, and the raiding bands. They trembled and the ground shook. This fear was caused by God.
16 Saul’s watchmen at Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin looked on as the crowd of soldiers seemed to melt away first in one direction and then in another. 17 So Saul said to the army that was with him, “Muster the troops and see who is no longer with us.” When they mustered the troops, Jonathan and his armor bearer were not there. 18 So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring near the ephod,” for he was at that time wearing the ephod. 19 While Saul spoke to the priest, the panic in the Philistines’ camp was becoming greater and greater. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand!”
20 Saul and all the army that was with him assembled and marched into battle, where they found the Philistines in total panic killing one another with their swords. 21 The Hebrews who had earlier gone over to the Philistine side joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 When all the Israelites who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines had fled, they too pursued them in battle. 23 So the
Jonathan Violates Saul’s Oath
24 Now the men of Israel were hard pressed that day, for Saul had made the army agree to this oath: “Cursed be the man who eats food before evening! I will get my vengeance on my enemies!” So no one in the army ate anything.
25 Now the whole army entered the forest and there was honey on the ground. 26 When the army entered the forest, they saw the honey flowing, but no one ate any of it, for the army was afraid of the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard about the oath his father had made the army take. He extended the end of his staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb. When he ate it, his eyes gleamed. 28 Then someone from the army informed him, “Your father put the army under a strict oath saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food today!’ That is why the army is tired.” 29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has caused trouble for the land. See how my eyes gleamed when I tasted just a little of this honey. 30 Certainly if the army had eaten some of the enemies’ provisions that they came across today, would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?”
31 On that day the army struck down the Philistines from Micmash to Aijalon, and they became very tired. 32 So the army rushed greedily on the plunder, confiscating sheep, cattle, and calves. They slaughtered them right on the ground, and the army ate them blood and all.
33 Now it was reported to Saul, “Look, the army is sinning against the
36 Saul said, “Let’s go down after the Philistines at night; we will rout them until the break of day. We won’t leave any of them alive!” They replied, “Do whatever seems best to you.” But the priest said, “Let’s approach God here.” 37 So Saul asked 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, “All you leaders of the army come here. Find out how this sin occurred today. 39 For as surely as the
40 Then he said to all Israel, “You will be on one side, and I and my son Jonathan will be on the other side.” The army replied to Saul, “Do whatever you think is best.”
41 Then Saul said, “O
43 So Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” Jonathan told him, “I used the end of the staff that was in my hand to taste a little honey. I must die!” 44 Saul said, “God will punish me severely if Jonathan doesn’t die!”
45 But the army said to Saul, “Should Jonathan, who won this great victory in Israel, die? May it never be! As surely as the
46 Then Saul stopped chasing the Philistines, and the Philistines went back home.