1 Now the day came that Jonathan, the son of Saul, said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. 2 Saul was staying in the outskirts of aGibeah under the pomegranate tree which is in bMigron. And the people who were with him were cabout six hundred men, 3 and Ahijah, the ason of Ahitub, bIchabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of the Lord at cShiloh, dwas 1wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. 4 aBetween the passes by which Jonathan sought to cross over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp crag on the one side and a sharp crag on the other side, and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. 5 The one crag rose on the north opposite Michmash, and the other on the south opposite Geba.
6 Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of athese uncircumcised; perhaps the Lord will work for us, for bthe Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few.” 7 His armor bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart; turn yourself, and here I am with you according to your 1desire.” 8 Then Jonathan said, “aBehold, we will cross over to the men and reveal ourselves to them. 9 “If they 1say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you’; then we will stand in our place and not go up to them. 10 “But if they 1say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hands; and athis shall be the sign to us.” 11 When both of them revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines, the Philistines said, “Behold, aHebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” 12 So the men of the garrison 1hailed Jonathan and his armor bearer and said, “Come up to us and awe will tell you something.” And Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up after me, for bthe Lord has given them into the hands of Israel.” 13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, with his armor bearer behind him; and they fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer put some to death after him. 14 That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor bearer made was about twenty men within about half a furrow in an acre of land. 15 And there was a trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. Even the garrison and athe raiders trembled, and bthe earth quaked so cthat it became a 1great trembling.
16 Now Saul’s watchmen in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude melted away; and they went here and there. 17 Saul said to the people who were with him, “1Number now and see who has gone from us.” And when they had 1numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armor bearer were not there. 18 Then Saul said to Ahijah, “aBring the ark of God here.” For the ark of God was at that time with the sons of Israel. 19 aWhile Saul talked to the priest, the commotion in the camp of the Philistines continued and increased; so Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” 20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and came to the battle; and behold, aevery man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion. 21 Now the Hebrews who were with the Philistines previously, who went up with them all around in the camp, even athey also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 When all the amen of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines had fled, even they also pursued them closely in the battle. 23 So athe Lord delivered Israel that day, and the battle 1spread beyond bBeth-aven.
24 Now the men of Israel were hard-pressed on that day, for Saul had aput the people under oath, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food 1before evening, and until 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, athere was a flow of honey; but no man put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard when his father put the people under oath; therefore, ahe 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 bhis eyes brightened. 28 Then one of the people 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, “aMy father has troubled the land. See now, how my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 “How much more, if only the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found! For now the slaughter among the Philistines has not been great.”
31 They struck among the Philistines that day from aMichmash to bAijalon. And the people were very weary. 32 aThe people 1rushed greedily upon the spoil, and took sheep and oxen and calves, and slew them on the ground; and the people ate them bwith the blood. 33 Then they told Saul, saying, “Behold, the people are asinning against the Lord by eating with the blood.” And he said, “You have acted treacherously; roll a great stone to me today.” 34 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 with the blood.’ ” So all the people that night brought each one his ox 1with him and slaughtered it there. 35 And aSaul 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 take spoil among them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them.” And they said, “Do whatever seems good 1to you.” So athe priest said, “Let us draw near to God here.” 37 Saul ainquired of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will You give them into the hand of Israel?” But bHe did not answer him on that day. 38 Saul said, “aDraw near here, all you 1chiefs of the people, and investigate and see how this sin has happened today. 39 “For aas the Lord lives, who delivers Israel, though it is in Jonathan my son, he shall surely 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 Jonathan my son will be on the other side.” And the people said to Saul, “Do what seems good 1to you.” 41 Therefore, Saul said to the Lord, the God of Israel, “aGive a perfect lot.” And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped. 42 Saul said, “Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken.
43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, “aTell me what you have done.” So Jonathan told him and said, “bI indeed tasted a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am, I must die!” 44 Saul said, “aMay God do 1this to me and more also, for byou shall surely die, Jonathan.” 45 But the people said to Saul, “Must Jonathan die, who has 1brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Far from it! As the Lord lives, anot one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for bhe has worked with God this day.” So the people 2rescued Jonathan and he did not die. 46 Then Saul went up from 1pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.
47 Now when Saul had taken the kingdom over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, athe sons of Ammon, Edom, bthe kings of Zobah, and cthe Philistines; and wherever he turned, he 1inflicted punishment. 48 He acted valiantly and 1adefeated the Amalekites, and delivered Israel from the hands of 2those who plundered them.
49 Now athe sons of Saul were Jonathan and Ishvi and Malchi-shua; and the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn bMerab and the name of the younger cMichal. 50 The name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. And athe name of the captain of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle. 51 aKish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.
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