1 Samuel 14

1 Samuel 14

 
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1 One day Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, "Come on, let's go over to where the Philistines have their outpost." But Jonathan did not tell his father what he was doing.

2 Meanwhile, Saul and his six hundred men were camped on the outskirts of Gibeah, around the pomegranate tree at Migron.

3 (Among Saul's men was Ahijah the priest, who was wearing the linen ephod. Ahijah was the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother. Ahitub was the son of Phinehas and the grandson of Eli, the priest of the LORD who had served at Shiloh.) No one realized that Jonathan had left the Israelite camp.

4 To reach the Philistine outpost, Jonathan had to go down between two rocky cliffs that were called Bozez and Seneh.

5 The cliff on the north was in front of Micmash, and the one on the south was in front of Geba.

6 "Let's go across to see those pagans," Jonathan said to his armor bearer. "Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!"

7 "Do what you think is best," the youth replied. "I'm with you completely, whatever you decide."

8 "All right then," Jonathan told him. "We will cross over and let them see us.

9 If they say to us, `Stay where you are or we'll kill you,' then we will stop and not go up to them.

10 But if they say, `Come on up and fight,' then we will go up. That will be the LORD's sign that he will help us defeat them."

11 When the Philistines saw them coming, they shouted, "Look! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!"

12 Then they shouted to Jonathan, "Come on up here, and we'll teach you a lesson!" "Come on, climb right behind me," Jonathan said to his armor bearer, "for the LORD will help us defeat them!"

13 So they climbed up using both hands and feet, and the Philistines fell back as Jonathan and his armor bearer killed them right and left.

14 They killed about twenty men in all, and their bodies were scattered over about half an acre.*1

15 Suddenly, panic broke out in the Philistine army, both in the camp and in the field, including even the outposts and raiding parties. And just then an earthquake struck, and everyone was terrified.

16 Saul's lookouts in Gibeah saw a strange sight--the vast army of Philistines began to melt away in every direction.

17 "Find out who isn't here," Saul ordered. And when they checked, they found that Jonathan and his armor bearer were gone.

18 Then Saul shouted to Ahijah, "Bring the ephod here!" For at that time Ahijah was wearing the ephod in front of the Israelites.*2

19 But while Saul was talking to the priest, the shouting and confusion in the Philistine camp grew louder and louder. So Saul said to Ahijah, "Never mind; let's get going!"*3

20 Then Saul and his six hundred men rushed out to the battle and found the Philistines killing each other. There was terrible confusion everywhere.

21 Even the Hebrews who had gone over to the Philistine army revolted and joined in with Saul, Jonathan, and the rest of the Israelites.

22 Likewise, the men who were hiding in the hills joined the chase when they saw the Philistines running away.

23 So the LORD saved Israel that day, and the battle continued to rage even out beyond Beth-aven.

24 Now the men of Israel were worn out that day, because Saul had made them take an oath, saying, "Let a curse fall on anyone who eats before evening--before I have full revenge on my enemies." So no one ate a thing all day,

25 even though they found honeycomb on the ground in the forest.

26 They didn't even touch the honey because they all feared the oath they had taken.

27 But Jonathan had not heard his father's command, and he dipped a stick into a piece of honeycomb and ate the honey. After he had eaten it, he felt much better.

28 But one of the men saw him and said, "Your father made the army take a strict oath that anyone who eats food today will be cursed. That is why everyone is weary and faint."

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Notes:

1: Hebrew half a yoke; a “yoke” was the amount of land plowed by a pair of yoked oxen in one day.

2: As in some Greek manuscripts; Hebrew reads “Bring the Ark of God.” For at that time the Ark of God was with the Israelites.

3: Hebrew Withdraw your hand.


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

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