Saul said, "Let us go down after the Philistines by night and plunder them till dawn, and let us not leave one of them alive." "Do whatever seems best to you," they replied. But the priest said, "Let us inquire1 of God here."
So Saul asked God, "Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into Israel's hand?" But God did not answer2 him that day.
Saul therefore said, "Come here, all you who are leaders of the army, and let us find out what sin has been committed3 today.
As surely as the LORD who rescues Israel lives,4 even if it lies with my son Jonathan,5 he must die."6 But not one of the men said a word.
Saul then said to all the Israelites, "You stand over there; I and Jonathan my son will stand over here." "Do what seems best to you," the men replied.
Then Saul prayed to the LORD, the God of Israel, "Give7 me the right8 answer."a And Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot, and the men were cleared.
Saul said, "Cast the lot9 between me and Jonathan my son." And Jonathan was taken.
Then Saul said to Jonathan, "Tell me what you have done."10 So Jonathan told him, "I merely tasted a little honey11 with the end of my staff. And now must I die?"
Saul said, "May God deal with me, be it ever so severely,12 if you do not die, Jonathan.13"
But the men said to Saul, "Should Jonathan die--he who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Never! As surely as the LORD lives, not a hair14 of his head will fall to the ground, for he did this today with God's help." So the men rescued15 Jonathan, and he was not put to death.
Then Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and they withdrew to their own land.