New Heart English Bible
1Now it fell on a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who bore his armor, "Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is on the other side." But he did not tell his father. 2Saul stayed in the uttermost part of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree which is in Migron: and the people who were with him were about six hundred men; 3and Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of the LORD in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. The people did not know that Jonathan was gone. 4Between the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistines' garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side, and a rocky crag on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. 5The one crag rose up on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba.
6Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, "Come, and let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the LORD will work for us; for there is no restraint on the LORD to save by many or by few." 7His armor bearer said to him, "Do all that your heart inclines toward. Look, I am with you, my heart is as your heart." 8Then Jonathan said, "Look, we will pass 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 the LORD has delivered them into our hand. This shall be the sign to us." 11Both 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 had hidden themselves." 12The men of the garrison answered 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 the LORD has delivered them into the hand of Israel." 13Jonathan climbed up on his hands and on his feet, and his armor bearer after him. And they fell before Jonathan; and his armor bearer killed them after him. 14That first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armor bearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were half a furrow's length in an acre of land. 15And there was a terror in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even the raiders were terrified. And the earth quaked, and it became a terror of God.
16And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin saw, and look, the multitude was scattering here and there. 17Then Saul said to the people who were with him, "Count now, and see who is missing from us." When they had counted, look, Jonathan and his armor bearer were not there. 18And Saul said to Ahijah, "Bring near the ephod," for he wore the ephod at that time before Israel. 19And it happened, while Saul was speaking to the priest, that the tumult that was in the camp of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said to the priest, "Withdraw your hand." 20Saul and all the people who were with him were gathered together, and came to the battle: and look, every man's sword was against his fellow: a very great confusion. 21Now the Hebrews who were with the Philistines as before, and who went up with them into the camp, they too turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22Likewise all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed closely after them in the battle. 23So the LORD saved Israel that day, and the battle passed over by Beth Aven. And all the people with Saul were about ten thousand men. And the battle extended itself into every city in the hill country of Ephraim.
24And Saul committed a great blunder that day, for he had placed the people under an oath, saying, "Cursed is the man who eats any food until it is evening, and I am avenged of my enemies." So none of the people tasted food. 25All the people came into the forest; and there was honey on the ground. 26When the people had come to the forest, look, a flow of honey, but no man would raise his hand to his mouth; for the people feared the oath. 27But Jonathan did not hear when his father commanded the people with the oath, so he put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and dipped it in the honeycomb, and raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened. 28Then one of the people answered, and said, "Your father directly commanded the people with an oath, saying, 'Cursed is the man who eats food this day.'" The people were faint. 29Then Jonathan said, "My father has troubled the land. Please look how my eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey. 30How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies when they found it, for the slaughter among the Philistines would have been greater."
31They struck of the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. The people were very faint; 32and the people pounced 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, "Look, the people are sinning against the LORD, 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 the LORD 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 the LORD. This was the first altar that he built to the LORD.
36Saul said, "Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and take spoil among them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them." They said, "Do whatever seems good to you." Then the priest said, "Let us draw near here to God." 37Saul asked counsel of God, "Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you deliver them into the hand of Israel?" But he did not answer him that day. 38And Saul said, "Come here, all you leaders of the people; and investigate and see how this sin has arisen today. 39For, as the LORD lives, who saves Israel, though it is in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die." But there was not a man among all the people who answered him. 40Then he said to all Israel, "You be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side." The people said to Saul, "Do what seems good to you." 41Therefore Saul said, "LORD, God of Israel, why have you not answered your servant this day? If this sin is mine or in Jonathan my son, LORD, God of Israel, give Urim. But if this sin is in your people Israel, give Thummim." And Jonathan and Saul were chosen, but the people were cleared. 42And Saul said, "Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. Whomever the LORD shall indicate to be taken by lot, let him die." And the people said to Saul, "This thing is not to be." And Saul prevailed over the people, and they cast lots between him and Jonathan his son. And Jonathan was selected.
43Then Saul said to Jonathan, "Tell me what you have done." And Jonathan told him, and said, "I certainly did taste a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand; and look, I must die." 44Saul said, "God do so and more also; for you shall surely die, Jonathan." 45The people said to Saul, "Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it. As the LORD lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he has worked with God this day." So the people rescued Jonathan, and he did not die. 46Then Saul went up from following the Philistines; and the Philistines went to their own place.
47Now when Saul had taken the kingdom 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 king of Zobah, and against the Philistines; and wherever he turned, he was victorious. 48And he did valiantly, and struck the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hand of its plunderers.
49Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Jishvi, and Malkishua; and the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn Merob, and the name of the younger Mikal: 50and the name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the commander of his army was Abiner the son of Ner, Saul's uncle. 51Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.
52There was severe war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any mighty man, or any valiant man, he took him to him.