1 Samuel 14

Jonathan and his armor bearer strike the Philistine fortress 1
Saul's unwise oath 24
Jonathan found "guilty" of violating the oath; people save him 36 Saul's conquests 47
 1 ¶ Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father.
 2  And Saul tarried in the uttermost part of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which is in Migron: and the people that were with him were about six hundred men;
.3  And Ahiah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the LORD'S priest in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people knew not that Jonathan was gone.
 4  And between the passages, by which Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines' garrison, there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.
 5  The forefront of the one was situate northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah.
  1 - Let us go over Saul was not depending on divine direction and it was time for the Lord to demonstrate the kind of faith needed for success.
  1 - Told not his father We saw Jonathan first in chapter 13 1sa1316. God wanted to convince His people to depend on Him. Jonathan's secrecy indicates that he depended on the word of God. 
  2 - Gibeah See map, north of Jerusalem.
  4 - Between According to Josephus, "Now the enemy's camp was upon a precipice which had three tops, that ended in a small but sharp and long extremity, while there was a rock that surrounded them, like lines made to prevent the attacks of an enemy." (Antiquities vi. 6. 2).
  4 - Bozez ... Seneh Probably meaning "soft" or "tender" and "thorn bush."
  5 - The one crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba. (RSV)
.6  And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.
.7  And his armour bearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.
.8  Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will pass over unto these men, and we will discover ourselves unto them.
 9  If they say thus unto us, Tarry until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up unto them.
 10  But if they say thus, Come up unto us; then we will go up: for the LORD hath delivered them into our hand: and this shall be a sign unto us.
 11  And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves.
 12  And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armour bearer, and said, Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. And Jonathan said unto his armour bearer, Come up after me: for the LORD hath delivered them into the hand of Israel.

  6 - The Lord will work He and, no doubt, his armor bearer, trusted in God.
  8 - Discover ourselves to them Or "let them see us."
 13  And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armour bearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armour bearer slew after him.
 14  And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armour bearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.
 15  And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling.
The armor-bearer, who also was a man of faith and prayer, encouraged the design, and together they withdrew from the camp, secretly, lest their purpose should be opposed. With earnest prayer to the Guide of their fathers, they agreed upon a sign by which they might determine how to proceed. Then passing down into the gorge separating the two armies, they silently threaded their way, under the shadow of the cliff, and partially concealed by the mounds and ridges of the valley. Approaching the Philistine fortress, they were revealed to the view of their enemies, who said, tauntingly, "Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves," then challenged them, "Come up to us, and we will show you a thing," meaning that they would punish the two Israelites for their daring. This challenge was the token that Jonathan and his companion had agreed to accept as evidence that the Lord would prosper their undertaking. Passing now from the sight of the Philistines, and choosing a secret and difficult path, the warriors made their way to the summit of a cliff that had been deemed inaccessible, and was not very strongly guarded. Thus they penetrated the enemy's camp and slew the sentinels, who, overcome with surprise and fear, offered no resistance. Angels of heaven shielded Jonathan and his attendant, angels fought by their side, and the Philistines fell before them. The earth trembled as though a great multitude with horsemen and chariots were approaching. Jonathan recognized the tokens of divine aid, and even the Philistines knew that God was working for the deliverance of Israel. (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 263).
.16 ¶ And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on beating down one another.
 17  Then said Saul unto the people that were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armourbearer were not there.
 18  And Saul said unto Ahiah, Bring hither the ark of God. For the ark of God was at that time with the children of Israel.
 19  And it came to pass, while Saul talked unto the priest, that the noise that was in the host of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said unto the priest, Withdraw thine hand.
  16 - Gibeah of Benjamin "1. A city of Benjamin, 1Sa 13:15, and the birthplace and residence of Saul king of Israel; whence it is frequently called "Gibeah of Saul," 1Sa 11:4; 15:34; 23:19; 26:1; 2Sa 21:6; Isa 10:29.  Gibeah was also famous for its sins; particularly for its sins; particularly for that committed by forcing the young Levite's wife, who went to lodge there; and for the war which succeeded it, to the almost entire extermination of the tribe of Benjamin, Jg 19:1-30.  Scripture remarks, that this occurred at a time when there was no king in Israel, and when every one did what was right in his own eyes.  Dr. Robinson found traces of Gebeah in the small and ruinous village of Jeba, near Ramah, separated from Michmash on the north by a deep valley, and about six miles north by east from Jerusalem." (ATS Dictionary). Recent excavations reveal what is thought to be Saul's palace 6 mi. (10 km.) NE of Jerusalem.
  16 - Melted away "There was no order in the Philistine camp, and the people were dispersing in all directions. The Vulgate has, Et ecce multitudo prostrata, "And behold the multitude were prostrate;" many lay dead upon the field, partly by the sword of Jonathan and his armour-bearer, and partly by the swords of each other, 1Sa 14:20." (Clarke) 
.20  And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and, behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture.
 21  Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time, which went up with them into the camp from the country round about, even they also turned to be with the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan.
 22  Likewise all the men of Israel which had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle.
 23  So the LORD saved Israel that day: and the battle passed over unto Bethaven.
  23 - The Lord saved Israel Jonathan had recognized the folly of his father's desperate plan and was inspired to rely on the Lord's strength. The victory was His.
  23 - Beth-aven  The word, Beth generally means house. The word may mean dwelling or, in modern Arabic, "Beit." Or it may mean "temple ."All the warriors in the garrison at Gibeah, the Israelite deserters in the camp of the Philistines, and the fugitives among the mountains of Ephraim, now all rushed to the pursuit, which was hot and "sanguinary," That is, "bloody."
.24 ¶ And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.
 25  And all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey upon the ground.
 26  And when the people were come into the wood, behold, the honey dropped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath.
.27  But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.
 28  Then answered one of the people, and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food this day. And the people were faint.
.29  Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.
 30  How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?
 31  And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon: and the people were very faint.
.32  And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood.
  24 - Saul had adored He was trying to preserve his own pride.

Image © Corel
  27 - Eyes ... enlightened This appears to mean that he was refreshed.
  29 - My father hath troubled the land Jonathan wisely could not support the rash treatment of the troops.
  32 - With blood This was strongly prohibited and should be today. See on de1223.
 33  Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the LORD, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, Ye have transgressed: roll a great stone unto me this day.
.34  And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the LORD in eating with the blood. And all the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and slew them there.
 35  And Saul built an altar unto the LORD: the same was the first altar that he built unto the LORD.
  34 - Slay them here Saul wanted to show he was following the rules while, like the Pharisees, he had neglected the more serious matters mt2323.
  35 - Saul built ... Same was first Literally, "it he began to build an altar" Or "And this we are informed was the first he had built; Samuel, as prophet had hitherto erected the altars, and Saul thought he had sufficient authority to erect one himself without the prophet, as he once offered sacrifice without him." (Clarke's Commentary.)
.36 ¶ And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and spoil them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And they said, Do whatsoever seemeth good unto thee. Then said the priest, Let us draw near hither unto God.
 37  And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day.
 38  And Saul said, Draw ye near hither, all the chief of the people: and know and see wherein this sin hath been this day.
 39  For, as the LORD liveth, which saveth Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die. But there was not a man among all the people that answered him.
 40  Then said he unto all Israel, Be ye on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. And the people said unto Saul, Do what seemeth good unto thee.
 41  Therefore Saul said unto the LORD God of Israel, Give a perfect lot. And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the people escaped.
 42  And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken.
  36 - By night ... spoil them But Ahiah the priest said that they should inquire of the Lord.
.43  Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what thou hast done. And Jonathan told him, and said, I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in mine hand, and, lo, I must die.
.44  And Saul answered, God do so and more also: for thou shalt surely die, Jonathan.
 45  And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not.
 46  Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place.
.47 ¶ So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them.
 When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, against the Ammonites, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines; wherever he turned he put them to the worse. (RSV).
.48  And he gathered an host, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them.
 49  Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishui, and Melchishua: and the names of his two daughters were these; the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal:
 50  And the name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz: and the name of the captain of his host was Abner, the son of Ner, Saul's uncle.
 51  And Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.
 52  And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him.
  47 - He vexed them
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