1 Now it came to pass one day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bore his armor, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father.
2 And Saul tarried in the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which is in Migron: and the people that were with him were about six hundred men; 3 And Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the LORD'S priest in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people knew not that Jonathan was gone.
4 And between the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines' garrison, there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. 5 The front of one was located northward opposite Michmash, and the other southward opposite Geba. 6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bore his armor, Come, and let us go over unto 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.
7 And his armorbearer said unto him, Do all that is in your heart: turn you; behold, I am with you according to your heart.
8 Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will pass over unto these men, and we will reveal ourselves unto them. 9 If they say thus unto us, Tarry until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up unto them. 10 But if they say thus, Come up unto us; then we will go up: for the LORD has delivered them into our hand: and this shall be a sign unto us.
11 And both of them revealed themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves. 12 And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armorbearer, and said, Come up to us, and we will show you a thing. And Jonathan said unto his armorbearer, Come up after me: for the LORD has delivered them into the hand of Israel. 13 And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armorbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armorbearer killed behind him. 14 And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armorbearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were a half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.
15 And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the raiders, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling. 16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went here and there. 17 Then said Saul unto the people that were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armorbearer were not there.
18 And Saul said unto Ahijah, Bring here the ark of God. For the ark of God was at that time with the children of Israel. 19 And it came to pass, while Saul talked unto the priest, that the noise that was in the host of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said unto the priest, Withdraw your hand.
20 And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and, behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great confusion. 21 Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time, who went up with them into the camp from the country round about, even they also turned to be with the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Likewise all the men of Israel who had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle. 23 So the LORD saved Israel that day: and the battle passed over unto Beth-aven. 24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had lain an oath on the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eats any food until evening, that I may be avenged on my enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.
25 And all they of the land came to a forest; and there was honey upon the ground. 26 And when the people were come into the forest, behold, the honey dripped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: therefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in a honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were brightened. 28 Then answered one of the people, and said, your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eats any food this day. And the people were faint.
29 Then said Jonathan, My father has troubled the land: see, I ask you, how my eyes have been brightened, because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better, if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for would there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?
31 And they struck down the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon: and the people were very faint. 32 And the people rushed upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood. 33 Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the LORD, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, you have transgressed: roll a great stone unto me this day. 34 And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me here every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the LORD in eating with the blood. And all the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and slew them there. 35 And Saul built an altar unto the LORD: the same was the first altar that he built unto the LORD.
36 And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and plunder them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And they said, Do whatsoever seems good unto you. Then said the priest, Let us draw near here unto God.
37 And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? will you deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day.
38 And Saul said, Draw you near here, all you leaders of the people: and know and see what this sin has been this day. 39 For, as the LORD lives, who saves 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.
40 Then said he unto all Israel, Be you on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. And the people said unto Saul, Do what seems good unto you.
41 Therefore Saul said unto the LORD God of Israel, Give a perfect lot. And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the people escaped.
42 And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken. 43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what you have done. And Jonathan told him, and said, I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in my hand, and, lo, I must die?
45 And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: 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, so that he died not. 46 Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place.
47 So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and 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 struck them down. 48 And he gathered a host, and struck the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that plundered them.
49 Now 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: 50 And the name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz: and the name of the commander of his army was Abner, the son of Ner, Saul's uncle. 51 And Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.