One day Jonathan son of Saul said to the young man bearing his armor, "Come, let's go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side." But he did not tell his father.
Saul was staying1 on the outskirts of Gibeah2 under a pomegranate tree3 in Migron.4 With him were about six hundred men,
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among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod's5 brother Ahitub6 son of Phinehas, the son of Eli,7 the LORD's priest in Shiloh.8 No one was aware that Jonathan had left.
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On each side of the pass9 that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez, and the other Seneh.
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One cliff stood to the north toward Micmash, the other to the south toward Geba.10
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Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, "Come, let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised11 fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing12 can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many13 or by few.14"
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"Do all that you have in mind," his armor-bearer said. "Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul."
Jonathan said, "Come, then; we will cross over toward the men and let them see us.
If they say to us, 'Wait there until we come to you,' we will stay where we are and not go up to them.
But if they say, 'Come up to us,' we will climb up, because that will be our sign15 that the LORD has given them into our hands.16"
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So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. "Look!" said the Philistines. "The Hebrews17 are crawling out of the holes they were hiding18 in."
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The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, "Come up to us and we'll teach you a lesson.19" So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, "Climb up after me; the LORD has given them into the hand20 of Israel."
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Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him.
In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.
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Then panic21 struck the whole army--those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding22 parties--and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.
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Saul's lookouts23 at Gibeah in Benjamin saw the army melting away in all directions.
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Then Saul said to the men who were with him, "Muster the forces and see who has left us." When they did, it was Jonathan and his armor-bearer who were not there.
Saul said to Ahijah, "Bring24 the ark25 of God." (At that time it was with the Israelites.)
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While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the Philistine camp increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest,26 "Withdraw your hand."
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Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking27 each other with their swords.
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Those Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines and had gone up with them to their camp went28 over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.
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When all the Israelites who had hidden29 in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit.
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So the LORD rescued30 Israel that day, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.31
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