1 Samuel 14

1 Samuel 14

 
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29 "My father has made trouble for us all!" Jonathan exclaimed. "A command like that only hurts us. See how much better I feel now that I have eaten this little bit of honey.

30 If the men had been allowed to eat freely from the food they found among our enemies, think how many more we could have killed!"

31 But hungry as they were, they chased and killed the Philistines all day from Micmash to Aijalon, growing more and more faint.

32 That evening they flew upon the battle plunder and butchered the sheep, cattle, and calves, but they ate them without draining the blood.

33 Someone reported to Saul, "Look, the men are sinning against the LORD by eating meat that still has blood in it." "That is very wrong," Saul said. "Find a large stone and roll it over here.

34 Then go out among the troops and tell them, `Bring the cattle and sheep here to kill them and drain the blood. Do not sin against the LORD by eating meat with the blood still in it.' " So that night all the troops brought their animals and slaughtered them there.

35 And Saul built an altar to the LORD, the first one he had ever built.

36 Then Saul said, "Let's chase the Philistines all night and destroy every last one of them." His men replied, "We'll do whatever you think is best." But the priest said, "Let's ask God first."

37 So Saul asked God, "Should we go after the Philistines? Will you help us defeat them?" But God made no reply that day.

38 Then Saul said to the leaders, "Something's wrong! I want all my army commanders to come here. We must find out what sin was committed today.

39 I vow by the name of the LORD who rescued Israel that the sinner will surely die, even if it is my own son Jonathan!" But no one would tell him what the trouble was.

40 Then Saul said, "Jonathan and I will stand over here, and all of you stand over there." And the people agreed.

41 Then Saul prayed, "O LORD, God of Israel, please show us who is guilty and who is innocent. Are Jonathan and I guilty, or is the sin among the others?"* And Jonathan and Saul were chosen* as the guilty ones, and the people were declared innocent.1

42 Then Saul said, "Now choose* between me and Jonathan." And Jonathan was shown to be the guilty one.2

43 "Tell me what you have done," Saul demanded of Jonathan. "I tasted a little honey," Jonathan admitted. "It was only a little bit on the end of a stick. Does that deserve death?"

44 "Yes, Jonathan," Saul said, "you must die! May God strike me dead if you are not executed for this."

45 But the people broke in and said to Saul, "Should Jonathan, who saved Israel today, die? Far from it! As surely as the LORD lives, not one hair on his head will be touched, for he has been used of God to do a mighty miracle today." So the people rescued Jonathan, and he was not put to death.

46 Then Saul called back the army from chasing the Philistines, and the Philistines returned home.

47 Now when Saul had secured his grasp on Israel's throne, he fought against his enemies in every direction--against Moab, Ammon, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. And wherever he turned, he was victorious.

48 He did great deeds and conquered the Amalekites, saving Israel from all those who had plundered them.

49 Saul's sons included Jonathan, Ishbosheth,* and Malkishua. He also had two daughters: Merab, who was older, and Michal.3

50 Saul's wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz. The commander of Saul's army was his cousin Abner, his uncle Ner's son.

51 Abner's father, Ner, and Saul's father, Kish, were brothers; both were sons of Abiel.

52 The Israelites fought constantly with the Philistines throughout Saul's lifetime. So whenever Saul saw a young man who was brave and strong, he drafted him into his army.

Read 1 Samuel 15


Notes:

1: Greek version adds If the fault is with me or my son Jonathan, respond with Urim; but if the men of Israel are at fault, respond with Thummim.

2: Hebrew draw lots.

3: Hebrew Ishvi, a variant name for Ishbosheth; also known as Eshbaal.


New Living Translation Bible and Notes used with permission Tyndale House Publishers.

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