1 Samuel 14:39
For, as the LORD liveth, which saveth 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.
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(39) Though it be in Jonathan my son.—“Were Jonathan himself the transgressor, he [Saul] would not spare his life; and so, feeling inwardly bound by his oath, presses for decision by means of the sacred lot, amid the ominous silence of the horror-stricken people.”—Ewald.

1 Samuel 14:39. As the Lord liveth — Here again we have a proof of Saul’s rashness and folly, and of the violence and impetuosity of his temper. As he had before adjured the people, and exposed them to an execration uttered most inconsiderately; so now he lays himself under an execration to put to death, as it turned out, even his son Jonathan, who had been the first and almost sole instrument of effecting this glorious deliverance for Israel, and that for no other fault than tasting a little honey, without knowing that he had thereby exposed himself to his father’s curse. But not a man answered him — None of those that saw Jonathan eating informed against him; because they were satisfied that his ignorance excused him; and from their great love to Jonathan, whom they would not expose to death for so small an offence.

14:36-46 If God turns away our prayer, we have reason to suspect it is for some sin harboured in our hearts, which we should find out, that we may put it away, and put it to death. We should always first suspect and examine ourselves; but an unhumbled heart suspects every other person, and looks every where but at home for the sinful cause of calamity. Jonathan was discovered to be the offender. Those most indulgent to their own sins are most severe upon others; those who most disregard God's authority, are most impatient when their own commands are slighted. Such as cast abroad curses, endanger themselves and their families. What do we observe in the whole of Saul's behaviour on this occasion, but an impetuous, proud, malignant, impious disposition? And do we not in every instance perceive that man, left to himself, betrays the depravity of his nature, and is enslaved to the basest tempers.Saul's rashness becomes more and more apparent. He now adds an additional oath, to bring down yet further guilt in "taking God's name in vain" The expressions in 1 Samuel 14:36, 1 Samuel 14:40, indicate the fear in which the people stood of Saul. None dared to resist his will. 31-34. the people were very faint. And the people flew upon the spoil—at evening, when the time fixed by Saul had expired. Faint and famishing, the pursuers fell voraciously upon the cattle they had taken, and threw them on the ground to cut off their flesh and eat them raw, so that the army, by Saul's rashness, were defiled by eating blood, or living animals; probably, as the Abyssinians do, who cut a part of the animal's rump, but close the hide upon it, and nothing mortal follows from that wound. They were painfully conscientious in keeping the king's order for fear of the curse, but had no scruple in transgressing God's command. To prevent this violation of the law, Saul ordered a large stone to be rolled, and those that slaughtered the oxen to cut their throats on that stone. By laying the animal's head on the high stone, the blood oozed out on the ground, and sufficient evidence was afforded that the ox or sheep was dead before it was attempted to eat it. None of those who either saw Jonathan eating, or heard of it, informed against him; partly because they were satisfied that his ignorance excused him, and that there was some other reason of God’s not answering; and partly from their great love to Jonathan, whom they would not expose to death for so small an offence.

For as the Lord liveth, which saveth Israel,.... And had saved them that day with a great salvation and had wrought a great deliverance for them in freeing them from the Philistines, who had threatened the ruin of the whole nation. This is the form of an oath:

though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die; that is, though the sin should be found in him, or he should be found guilty of the breach of what he had charged them with an oath to observe, namely, to eat no food that day till evening:

but there was not a man among all the people that answered him; who knew that Jonathan had tasted of honey, but they would not acquaint him with it; partly because they knew he did it ignorantly, having no knowledge of his father's charge and oath, and partly because of their great affection to him, who had been the instrument of their deliverance and salvation that day.

For, as the LORD liveth, which saveth 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.
Verse 39. - He shall surely die. With despotic violence, without waiting to learn what the offence was, and judging simply by consequences, because he was delayed in following up the pursuit, he takes a solemn oath that the offending person shall be put to death. Thus twice in the same day he was guilty of the sin of rash swearing. The people condemn him by their silence. They had obeyed him with ready devotion; but now they listen in terror to the rash and violent words which condemn to death the young hero by whom God had that day wrought deliverance for them. 1 Samuel 14:39When Saul perceived, this, he directed all the heads of the people (pinnoth, as in Judges 20:2) to draw near to learn whereby (wherein) the sin had occurred that day, and declared, "As truly as Jehovah liveth, who has brought salvation to Israel, even if it were upon Jonathan my son, he shall die." The first כּי in 1 Samuel 14:39 is explanatory; the second and third serve to introduce the words, like ὅτι, quod; and the repetition serves to give emphasis, lit., "that even if it were upon my son, that he shall die." "And of all the people no one answered him," from terror at the king's word.
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