And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, 1so 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.
Now when all the people came to the forest, behold, there was honey on the ground.
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.
But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath, 2so 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.
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 3faint.
Then Jonathan said, "My father has troubled the land. See how my eyes have become bright because I tasted a little of this honey.
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."
They struck down the Philistines that day from 4Michmash to 5Aijalon. And the people were very 6faint.
The people 7pounced on the spoil and took sheep and oxen and calves and slaughtered them on the ground. And the people ate them 8with the blood.
Then they told Saul, "Behold, the people are sinning against the LORD by eating 9with the blood." And he said, "You have dealt treacherously; roll a great stone to me here."
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.
And Saul 10built an altar to the LORD; it was the first altar that he built to the LORD.
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 11the priest said, "Let us draw near to God here."
And Saul inquired of God, "Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into the hand of Israel?"12But he did not answer him that day.
And Saul said, "Come here, all you leaders of the people, and know and see how this sin has arisen today.
For 13as the LORD lives who saves Israel, 14though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die." But there was not a man among all the people who answered him.
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."
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."15And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped.
Then Saul said, 16"Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan." And Jonathan was taken.
Then Saul said to Jonathan, 17"Tell me what you have done." And Jonathan told him, 18"I tasted a little honey with the tip of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am; I will die."
And Saul said, 19"God do so to me and more also; 20you shall surely die, Jonathan."
Then the people said to Saul, "Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! 21As the LORD lives, 22there 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.
Then Saul went up from pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.