1 Now it came to pass upon a day that Jonathan, the son of Saul, said unto the young man that bore his armour, Come and let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side. But he did not tell 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, was wearing the ephod. And the people did not know 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 situated northward over against Michmash and the other towards the Negev over against Gibeah.
6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bore his armour, Come and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised; peradventure the LORD will work for us, for it is not difficult for the LORD to save by many or by few.
7 And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thy heart; go. Behold, I am with thee according to thy will.
8 Then Jonathan said, Behold, we will go over unto these men, and we will show 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 has delivered them into our hand, and this shall be a sign unto us.
11 And both of them showed 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 armourbearer and said, Come up to us, and we will show you a thing. Then Jonathan said unto his armourbearer, Come up after me, for the LORD has delivered them into the hand of Israel.
13 And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet and his armourbearer after him; and they fell before Jonathan, and his armourbearer slew after him.
14 And that first slaughter which Jonathan and his armourbearer made was about twenty men within as it were a 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 of the garrison; and those who had gone out to destroy the land, they also trembled, and the earth quaked, and there was fear of God.
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 Saul said 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 the ark of God. For the ark of God was at that time with the sons 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. Then Saul said unto the priest, Withdraw thy hand.
20 And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle; and, behold, each man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture.
21 Moreover, the Hebrews that had been with the Philistines before that time, who had gone 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 who had hid themselves in Mount Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, they also followed hard after them in the battle.
23 So the LORD saved Israel that day; and the battle passed over unto Bethaven.
24 But the men of Israel were distressed that day, for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eats any food until evening that I may be avenged on my enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.
25 And the army of all 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 had not heard when his father charged the people with the oath, therefore, he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand and dipped it in a honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes were enlightened.
28 Then one of the people spoke and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eats any food this day. And the people were faint.
29 Then Jonathan said, My father has troubled the land. See, I pray you, how my eyes have been enlightened because I tasted a little of this honey.
30 How much more if haply the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found? Would there not have been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?
31 And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon, but the people were very faint.
32 Therefore, the people flew upon the spoil and took sheep and oxen and calves and slew them on the ground, and the people ate them with the blood.
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 tell each one to bring his ox and his sheep here unto me and slay them here and eat and do not sin against the LORD in eating with the blood. And of all the people, each one brought 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.
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 whatever seems good unto thee. Then the priest said, Let us draw near unto God here.
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 did not answer him that day.
38 Then Saul said, Bring here all the chief of the people and know and see by whom this sin has been this day.
39 For, as the LORD lives, who saves 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 he said 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 seems good unto thee.
41 Therefore, Saul said unto the LORD God of Israel, Show who is without blemish. And Saul and Jonathan were taken, but the people went out free.
42 And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken.
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 my hand; must I die for this.
44 And Saul answered, God do so and more also, for thou shalt surely die, Jonathan.
45 Then the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who has wrought this great saving health in Israel? No, in no wise: as the LORD lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has wrought with God this day. So the people rescued {Heb. ransomed} Jonathan that he did not die.
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 sons of Ammon and against Edom and against the kings of Zobah and against the Philistines; and wherever he turned himself, he troubled them.
48 And he gathered a host and smote Amalek and delivered Israel out of the hands of those 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 For Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner, the father of Abner, was the son of Abiel.
52 And there was intense 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.