1 Samuel Chapter 14  PDF  MSWord

Go to Chapter:
|01 |02 |03 |04 |05 |06 |07 |08 |09 |10 |11 |12 |13 |14 |15 |16 |17 |18 |19 |20 |21 |22 |23 |24 |25 |26 |27 |28 |29 |30 |31 |

Go to verse:
|01 |02 |03 |04 |05 |06 |07 |08 |09 |10 |11 |12 |13 |14 |15 |16 |17 |18 |19 |20 |21 |22 |23 |24 |25 |26 |27 |28 |29 |30 |31 |32 |33 |34 |35 |36 |37 |38 |39 |40 |41 |42 |43 |44 |45 |46 |47 |48 |49 |50 |51 |52 |

Go to Bible: 1 Samuel 14
1Sa 14:1

“That same day.” The Hebrew vocabulary indicates that this is the day that the Philistine army came out to the pass at Michmash. Jonathan did not want the Philistine army to get dug in and become fortified.

“on the other side.” That is, on the other side of the deep valley that runs east to west between Geba and Michmash.

“But he did not tell his father.” It is possible that by this time Jonathan realized that Saul was making some very bad decisions and not getting guidance from God. In contrast, it is almost certain that at this point Jonathan was walking by the spirit and had revelation from God as to what to do. It is unlikely that he would have attacked an entire garrison of the Philistines on his own. There is a wonderful lesson here. It occasionally happens in life that someone who is in a higher position of authority (a leader, a boss) is not walking with God and is making bad decisions, and it takes great prayer and wisdom to go around them, so to speak, and do the right and godly thing. Believers must remember that the highest “boss” or “leader” is God, and that obeying Him takes precedence over obeying earthly leaders. There may be consequences in this life for obeying God, but that is the cost of living in a fallen world. The apostles defied the religious leaders of Israel and were whipped for it (Acts 5:40), but they had done the right thing and will be rewarded for their godly obedience in the next life.

1Sa 14:2

“sitting.” The Hebrew is more literally, “staying,” but Saul was not camped out on the outskirts of Gibeah like he was tenting there under a tree, rather he was regularly there acting in his role as king. Thus, the fact that he was regularly there is represented in Hebrew by the word “staying,” but that could be confusing in English, and so “sitting” more accurately represents to the English readers what Saul was doing, especially since it was under a tree (cp. CEB; NAS; NET; NKJ).

“under the pomegranate tree.” Likely mentioned to highlight Saul’s position as king, getting to sit in the shade while others would stand in the sun (cp. Judg. 4:5).

“at the threshing floor.” The traditional translation, “in Migron,” has always presented difficulty because it has never been located and besides, normally a town would not be located on the outskirts of another town. There is evidence that the meaning likely refers to a threshing floor. Threshing floors were usually large and flat, and thus a good place for a king to sit, and sometimes by the gate or outskirts of the city, as we see at Samaria (1 Kings 22:10). The translation “threshing floor” is espoused by David T. Tsumura and others (D. T. Tsumura, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament: The First Book of Samuel). If the threshing floor was large, it would not be unusual to have trees nearby to provide welcome shade since the grain harvest was always in the hot summer, and the trees could even be close enough to be encroaching upon the threshing floor itself.

“and the people who were with him.” That is, his soldiers.

1Sa 14:3

“Ahijah was wearing an ephod.” So Ahijah was the High Priest at this time, but this is somewhat ominous because Ahijah was a priest in the line of Eli whose descendants would lose the priesthood, and they are serving a king who has lost his kingship.

1Sa 14:4

“Between the passes.” There is one large pass, but it has some different options as to how exactly to cross the ravine.

“a tooth-shaped cliff on the one side.” This location is described in some detail in Josephus.

“Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.” Bozez means “shining,” and Seneh means “acacia,” and still to this day the valley below is dotted with acacia trees.

1Sa 14:5

“in front of Michmash and the other on the south in front of Geba.” This is very specific geography. The valley, the ravine, between Geba on the south and Michmash on the north is so steep that if you are in the ravine there is a cliff in front of you to the north and a cliff behind you to the south.

1Sa 14:6(top)
1Sa 14:7(top)
1Sa 14:8(top)
1Sa 14:9(top)
1Sa 14:10(top)
1Sa 14:11(top)
1Sa 14:12

“show you.” The Hebrew is more idiomatic: “make you know something.”

“Come up after me, for Yahweh has given them into the hand of Israel.” Jonathan certainly had revelation from Yahwah as to what to do by this time, and speaks with the calm assurance of one who knows the will of God. We see the same confident talk when David challenged Goliath (1 Sam. 17:45-47). But God’s revelation does not guarantee victory, it must be accompanied by trust in God and willingness to do the hard work at hand. Jonathan and his armorbearer still had to fight to win the battle.

1Sa 14:13

“And they fell before Jonathan.” Jonathan would likely have killed many and mortally wounded others whom the armor-bearer would then finish off, although the armor-bearer no doubt killed his share of the enemy. The Philistines, overconfident and unprepared for this bold and aggressive attack, were caught off guard, but were still trained soldiers and so killing them required skill and determination. This is an important lesson for believers: even if we are doing the will of God, we must be prepared to be bold and aggressive about it. Occasionally some Christian teacher will say that all we need to do to have God’s victory is trust (“have faith”) and pray. But the many examples throughout the Bible like this one, which shows believers accomplishing the will of God by bold and aggressive (and sometimes risky) action, is the true picture of what it takes to see God’s will done on this fallen earth.

1Sa 14:14

The Hebrew is clipped and idiomatic. Perhaps it could be translated, “in, as it were, half a furrow of a team of oxen plowing in a field.” Many English versions use the word “arce,” and the idea for that translation comes from the tradition that an acre of land was the amount of land that a team of oxen could plow in one day. Similarly, the Hebrew “furrow (“furrow’s length”) had the same basic idea; the length of a furrow that oxen would plow in a day if they went back and forth and plowed a plot of land. However, the exact area indicated by the Hebrew text is unclear because it is unknown how many times the farmer would go back and forth. If he went only a few times, the furrow could be quite long, while if he went back and forth many times the furrow would be shorter. So we really do not know the area in which Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some 20 men, but it would not have been very large, and perhaps very close to half an acre.

1Sa 14:15

“it was a trembling from God.” This great trembling (the Hebrew can also mean “panic”) came from God, who was now actively fighting for Israel. Occasionally the word “God” is used in Hebrew to express something that is large, excessive, or superlative, which explains why some versions read something such as “an exceeding great trembling” (ASV) or “a very great panic” (ESV). However, in this context it seems most logical that the text is letting the reader know why, not just the Philistine garrison that was attacked by Jonathan, but the whole Philistine army, was suddenly struck with great fear and ran away. God sent a great panic on the Philistines.

1Sa 14:16

“Gibeah of Benjamin.” Situated on a high point, the watchmen in Gibeah could see the Philistines running away.

1Sa 14:17(top)
1Sa 14:18(top)
1Sa 14:19(top)
1Sa 14:20(top)
1Sa 14:21(top)
1Sa 14:22(top)
1Sa 14:23

“The battle went out beyond Beth-aven.” Beth-aven was east of Michmash, and the main battle moved westward, the Philistines fleeing back to their cities on the coast (cp. 1 Sam. 14:31). But from 1 Samuel 14:23 we learn that when the Israelites first attacked, the Philistines ran in lots of directions, even to the east.

1Sa 14:24

“distressed.” The Hebrew can also be “pressed, hard pressed, oppressed.” All of these fit the situation. The king and leader, Saul, made a very pious-looking but ungodly curse, which greatly hurt both the people and Israel’s cause in getting free from Philistine domination and re-occupying the Promised Land. Jesus said that we would know evil people and actions by their fruit, and Saul’s fruit was bad.

1Sa 14:25

“came into the forest.” Coming down from the hill country and going toward the coast there are areas of woods punctuated with fields and meadows. The Israelite army had entered one of those areas.

1Sa 14:26(top)
1Sa 14:27(top)
1Sa 14:28(top)
1Sa 14:29(top)
1Sa 14:30(top)
1Sa 14:31(top)
1Sa 14:32(top)
1Sa 14:33(top)
1Sa 14:34(top)
1Sa 14:35(top)
1Sa 14:36(top)
1Sa 14:37(top)
1Sa 14:38(top)
1Sa 14:39(top)
1Sa 14:40(top)
1Sa 14:41(top)
1Sa 14:42(top)
1Sa 14:43(top)
1Sa 14:44(top)
1Sa 14:45(top)
1Sa 14:46(top)
1Sa 14:47(top)
1Sa 14:48(top)
1Sa 14:49

“Ishvi.” Also called Ish-Bosheth (2 Sam. 2:10) and Ish-Baal (1 Chron. 8:33).

1Sa 14:50(top)
1Sa 14:51(top)
1Sa 14:52

“he took him to himself.” That is, Saul drafted him into his army. Saul’s constant battles with the Philistines meant he had to keep his army manned and ready.


prev   top   next