1Now it fell on a day that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, and let us cross over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.
2And Saul was sitting under the pomegranate tree that was at the threshing floor on the outskirts of Gibeah, and the people who were with him were about 600 men,
3and Ahijah was wearing an ephod. He was the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas the son of Eli, the priest of Yahweh in Shiloh. And the people did not know that Jonathan was gone.
4Between the passes by which Jonathan sought to cross over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a tooth-shaped cliff on the one side and a tooth-shaped cliff on the other side, and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.
5The one tooth-shaped cliff rose up on the north in front of Michmash and the other on the south in front of Geba.
6And Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that Yahweh will act on our behalf, for nothing can prevent Yahweh from delivering, whether by many or by few.”
8Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men and we will reveal ourselves to them.
9If they say thus to us, ‘Wait until we come to you!’ then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up to them.
10But if they say this, ‘Come up to us!’ then we will go up, for Yahweh has given them into our hand. This will be the sign to us.”
11So the two of them revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines, and the Philistines said, “Look! The Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves!”
12And the men of the garrison called out to Jonathan and his armor-bearer and said, “Come up to us and we will show you something!”
Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come up after me, for Yahweh has given them into the hand of Israel.”
13So Jonathan climbed up on his hands and on his feet and his armor-bearer climbed after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed after him.
14That first slaughter that Jonathan and his armor-bearer made was about twenty men, inside as it were half a furrow’s length in an acre of land.
15And there was a trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people; the garrison and the raiders, they also trembled, and the earth quaked—it was a trembling from God.
16And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude melted away and they went here and there.
17Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Count now and see who is missing from us.” And when they had counted, behold, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there.
18Then Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here” (for the ark of God was with the children of Israel at that time).
19But it came to pass that as Saul was speaking to the priest, that the uproar that was in the camp of the Philistines went on and increased, so Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand!”
20And Saul and all the people who were with him assembled themselves and went to the battle, and behold, every man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great confusion.
21Now the Hebrews that had been with the Philistines before that time, and who went up with them into the camp from all around, they too turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.
22Likewise, when all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines fled, they also pursued them in the battle.
23So Yahweh saved Israel that day.
The battle went out beyond Beth-aven.
24But the men of Israel were distressed that day, for Saul had put the people under an oath-curse, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats any food until it is evening and I have avenged myself of my enemies.” So none of the people tasted food.
25Now when all the people came into the forest, and there was honey on the open ground.
26And when the people came into the forest, behold, the honey flowed, but no man put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath.
27But Jonathan did not hear when his father charged the people with the oath, so he put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened.
28Then one of the people answered and said, “Your father had the people swear, yes, swear, saying, ‘Cursed is the man who eats food this day.’” And the people grew weary.
29Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. Please look how my eyes have been brightened because I tasted a little of this honey.
30How much more if perhaps the people had eaten, yes, eaten today of the spoil of their enemies that they found? For now the slaughter among the Philistines has not been great.”
31They struck down of the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. And the people grew exceedingly weary.
32So the people rushed upon the spoil and took sheep and cattle and calves and killed them on the ground, and the people ate them with the blood.
33Then they told Saul, saying, “Behold, the people are sinning against Yahweh in that they eat meat with the blood.”
He said, “You have dealt treacherously. Roll a large stone to me this day!”
34Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people and tell them, ‘Bring me here every man his ox and every man his sheep, and kill them here and eat; and do not sin against Yahweh in eating meat with the blood.’” All the people brought every man his ox with him that night and killed them there.
35Saul built an altar to Yahweh. This was the first altar that he built to Yahweh.
They said, “Do whatever seems good to you.”
Then the priest said, “Let us draw near here to God.”
38Saul said, “Draw near here, all you chiefs of the people, and know and see in which this sin has been this day.
39For as Yahweh lives who saves Israel, though it is in Jonathan my son, he must surely die.” But there was not a man among all the people who answered him.
The people said to Saul, “Do what seems good to you.”
Jonathan told him and said, “I certainly did taste a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand, and behold, I must die.”
45The people said to Saul, “Must Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! As Yahweh lives, there will not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he has worked with God this day!” So the people rescued Jonathan, that he didn’t die.
46Then Saul went up from following the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.
47Now when Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab and against the children of Ammon and against Edom and against the kings of Zobah and against the Philistines, and wherever he turned himself, he defeated them.
48He did valiantly, and struck the Amalekites and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who despoiled them.
49Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan and Ishvi and Malchishua, and the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal;
50and the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the captain of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle.
51Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.