998-974 B.C.

1 Samuel 14)

1: Now it came to pass upon a certain day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man that bare his armor (Jonathan was a fighter: a man's man), “Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is on the other side.” But he told not his father.

2: And Saul tarried in the uttermost part of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree (i.e. the well-known one) which is in Migron (Heb. = precipice. North of Gilgal): and the People that were with him were about six hundred men;
3: And Ahiah (= brother or friend of Yehovah. As Ahimelech [brother or friend of the king] was also the son of Ahitub, therefore Ahah and Ahimelech were brothers, and the latter succeeded the former [22:11]), the son of Ahitub, I-chabod's brother (cp. 4:21), the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord's priest in Shiloh, wearing an ephod (see v.18). And the People knew not that Jonathan was gone.

4: And between the passages, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistines' garrison, there was a crag on the one side and a crag on the other side (see Ex. 17:6. Ps. 18:1,2): and the name of the one was Bozez (= shining), and the name of the other Seneh (= sharp, or pointed).
5: The forefront of the one was situated northward over against Michmash (9 miles from Jerusalem), and the other southward over against Geba. (They were between the hill points)

6: And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, “Come, and let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will work for us (note the language of faith. Cp. 2 Chron. 14:11): for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.”
7: And his armourbearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart: turn you; behold, I am with you according to your heart.”
8: Then said Jonathan, “Behold, we will pass over to these men, and we will discover ourselves to them. (he's going to let them see them)
9: If they say thus to us, ‘Keep quiet until we come to you;’ then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up to them.
10: But if they say thus, ‘Come up to us;’ then we will go up: for the Lord has delivered them into our hand: and this shall be a sign to us.”
11: And both of them discovered themselves to the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, “Behold, the Hebrews (cp. v.21) 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 tell you something.” And Jonathan said to his armourbearer, “Come up after me: for the Lord has delivered them into the hand of Israel.” (This is what a true man of God does. He did not go until he got sign from God)
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 an half acre of land (Heb. = furrow, or a furrow's length. The Fig. Ellipsis is supplied, but the words "in a day" might be added for completeness at end of verse. This is the standard measure throughout the Turkish empire, called a deunum = 40 arshuns), which a yoke of oxen might plow.
15: And there was trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also were panic-stricken (cp. 2 Sam. 5:24. 2 Kings 7:6; 19:7), and the earth quaked: so it was a preternatural trembling (Heb. a trembling from Elohim. If God is with you who can be against you?).

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 (Sept. and Syr. reads "to this place and to that place").
17: Then said Saul to 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 to Ahiah, “Bring to this place the Ark of God.” For the ark of God was at that time with the sons of Israel (the word rendered "bring" [năgash] inappropriate for the Ark, which was at Kirjath-jearim [Judg. 20:27, and cp. 2 Sam. 11:11; 15:2]. The Sept. reads "the ephod, for he bear the ephod at the same time before Israel". Cp. v. The context shows that the inquiry of Yehovah by Urim and Thummim was in Saul's mind. See v.18 and note on Ex. 28:30, and cp. 2 Sam.23:6,9; 30:7,8, where the same word is used for "bring").
19: And it came to pass, while Saul talked to the priest (i.e. concerning the inquiry proposed), that the noise that was in the camp of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” (i.e. from the ephod = Stop!)

20-23. Saul's Success.

M  o  20-. Assemblage.
    p  -20. Mutual slaughter of enemies.
   o  21,22. Assemblage.
    p  23. Salvation of Israel.

20: And Saul and all the People that were with him were assembled (by proclamation), and they came to the battle:

and, behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture. (This is how they got their first hardware, they got it from the Philistines)

21: Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time (called so in distinction from the foreigners among whom they lived; referring to language rather than nationality. Cp. v.11. These were the wimps from 13:6,7), which went up with them into the camp from the country round about, even they also turned round to be with the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan.
22: Likewise all the men of Israel which had hid themselves in the hill country of Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle. (these will get the best pickings of the loot, like a bunch of vultures)

23: So the Lord saved Israel that day (according to Jonathan's faith): and the battle passed over as far as Beth-aven (the Sept. adds: "and all the People with Saul were about 10,000 men: and the battle extended itself to every city in the hill county of Ephraim. And Saul committed a great trespass of ignorance that day").

24-46. Jonathan's Sin.

L  q  24-35. Sin committed.
    r  36-. Pursuit proposed by Saul.
   q  -36-45. Sin discovered.
    r  26. Pursuit abandoned by Saul.

24-35. Sin Committed.

q  Ną  24-30. By Jonathan.
   N˛  31-35. By the people.

24-30. By Jonathan.

Ną  s  24-26. The people distressed.
     t  27,28-. Jonathan ignorant.
    s  -28. The people faint.
     t  29,30. Jonathan troubled.

24: And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the People (made them take a vow - dumb thing for a king to do [i.e. regarding not to eat food]), 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 all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey upon the ground (Heb. "the face [i.e. surface] of 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 heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb (gave him strength), and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.
28: Then answered one of the People, and said, “Your father strictly charged the People with an oath, saying, “Cursed be the man that eats any food this day.” (This is very foolish! Troops have to be fed)

And the people were weary.

29: Then said Jonathan, “My father has troubled the People: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.
30: How much more, if haply the People had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?”

1-35.Sin of the People.

N˛  u  31-. Victory.
     v  -31-33-. Sin.
    u  -33,34. Remedy.
     v  35. Altar.

31: And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon:

and the people were very faint.
32: And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the People did eat them with the blood (animals weren't bled. A big no-no. Very putrid. Food poison deluxe).
33: Then they told Saul, saying, “Behold, the people sin against the Lord, in that they eat with the blood.” And he said, “You all have dealt treacherously:

roll a great stone to me (Fig. = "shame on us") this day.” (Sept. reads "here")
34: And Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the People, and say to them, ‘Bring me to this place every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the Lord in eating with the blood.’ ” And all the People brought every man what was in is hand that night, and slew them there.

35: And Saul built an altar to the Lord: the same was the first altar that he built to 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 whatsoever seems good to you.”

Then said the priest, “Let us draw near to this place to God.”
37: And Saul asked counsel of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? will You deliver them into the hand of Israel?” But He answered him not that day (they had just sinned).
38: And Saul said, “Draw you all near to this place, all the chief of the People: and know and see wherein this sin has been this day.
39: For, as the Lord lives, which 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. (they weren't about to rat on him. Who's law was broken!? Not God's. It was Saul's)
40: Then said he to all Israel, “Be you all 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.”
41: Therefore Saul said to the Lord God of Israel, “Give perfections.” (i.e. Thummim. See Ex.28:30. There is evidently a Homśoteleuton here. The scribes, having written the word "Israel", went forward to the word "Israel" a line or two farther on, and omitted the words between, which are preserved in 2 ancient versions, older than any Heb. MS. extant. These omitted words are enclosed within brackets below, I have the translation given by the Sept. version: "Yehovah Elohim of Israel, [Why have You not answered Your servant this day? Is the iniquity in me, or in Jonathan my son? Yehovah Elohim of Israel, Give clear {manifestation, ie. Urim}; and if {the lot} should declare this, give, I pray You, to Your People Israel, give, I pray, holiness" {i.e. Thummim, a perfect lot}].) And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the people escaped.
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 you have 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, and, lo, I must die.”
44: And Saul answered, “God do so to me and more also: for you shall surely die, Jonathan.”
45: And the People said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the Lord lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground (cp. Luke 21:18); for he has worked with God this day.” So the people redeemed Jonathan (Heb. pâdâh. See Ex. 6:6 and 13:13. Perhaps a victim was offered in his stead), that he died not. (The People were using common sense, working things out for themselves. But in even this, seek God's help)

46: Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place.

47-52. The Levies of Saul.

F  w  y  47,48. Wars.
       z  49,50-. Family.
        x  -50. Abner. Chief captain.
   w   z  51. Kindred.
      y  52. Wars.

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 to which place soever he turned himself, he was victorious.
48: And he gathered an host (Heb. "power". Fig., put for army which manifested the power. Or it may be rendered "he wrought mightily), and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them.

49: Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishui (calld Abinadab in 31:2), and Melchi-shua: 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: And Kish was the father of Saul (for the difficulties of this genealogy, see 1 Chron.8:33); and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.

52: And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him to him (as Samuel had said [8:11,16]).

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