1 {One day} Jonathan the son of Saul said to {his armor bearer}, "Come and let us go over to the garrison of [the] Philistines which [is] over there." But he did not tell his father.
2 Now Saul [was] staying at the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree that [was] in Migron, and the troops that [were] with him [were] about six hundred men. 3 Now Ahijah, the son of Ahitub (the brother of Ichabod), the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli the priest of Yahweh at Shiloh, was carrying an ephod. The troops did not know that Jonathan had gone.
4 Now between the passes where Jonathan sought to go over to the garrison of [the] Philistines [there was] a crag of rock {on one side} and a crag of rock {on the other}. The name of the one [was] Bozez and the name of the other [was] Seneh. 5 The one crag on the north [was] opposite Micmash and the other on the south [was] opposite Geba. 6 So Jonathan said to {his armor bearer}, "Come, let us go over to the garrisons of these uncircumcised; perhaps Yahweh will act for us, for there is no hindrance for Yahweh to save by many or by few."
7 And {his armor bearer} said, "Do all that [is] in your heart {that you are inclined to do}. {I am with you all of the way}!
8 Then Jonathan said, "Look, we [are about to] go over to the men; and we will show ourselves to them. 9 If they say to us: 'Wait until we reach you,' {then we will stand as we are} and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, 'Come up to us,' then we will go up, for Yahweh has given them into our hand, and this [will be] the sign for us."
11 So the two of them showed themselves to the garrison of [the] Philistines, and [the] Philistines said, "The Hebrews [are] coming out from the holes in which they have hidden themselves." 12 Then the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and {his armor bearer}, "Come up to us and we will show you something!" Then Jonathan said to {his armor bearer}, "Come up after me, for Yahweh has given them into the hand of Israel!" 13 So Jonathan went up on his hands and his feet, with {his armor bearer} after him. They fell before Jonathan and then {his armor bearer} would kill them after him. 14 So was the first attack [in] which Jonathan and {his armor bearer} killed about twenty men within about half of a furrow in an acre of [an] open field.
15 Then there was terror in the camp, in the open field, and among all the army of the garrison. Even the {raiders} trembled. The earth shook, and it became {a very great panic}. 16 And the lookouts of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin saw {that} the multitude {surged back and forth}. 17 Saul said to the troops that [were] with him, "Please call the roll and see who has gone from us." So they called the roll {and found that} Jonathan and {his armor bearer} were not [present].
18 Then Saul said to Ahijah, "Bring near the ark of God" (for the ark of God was {at that time} with the {Israelites}). 19 While Saul was still speaking to the priest, the tumult in the camp of [the] Philistines {increased more and more}, so Saul said to the priest, "Withdraw your hand!"
20 Then Saul and all the troops who were with him were assembled on command and came up to the battle, and look! Each [Philistine's] sword [was] against his friend; [and there was] a very great confusion. 21 The Hebrews who had been for [the] Philistines {previously}, who had gone up with them into the camp all around, even they {joined the Israelites} who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 All the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that [the] Philistines had fled, so even they pursued them closely in the battle. 23 So on that day Yahweh delivered Israel, and the battle shifted to Beth Aven. 24 Now the men of Israel were hard pressed on that day, because Saul had made the army take an oath, saying, "Cursed be the man who eats [any] food until evening, when I will have avenged myself on my enemies!" So none of the army tasted [any] food.
25 (Now all [the people of] the land used to go into the forest, for there was honey on the surface of the ground.) 26 When the army came to the forest, look! [There was] honey flowing, but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the army was afraid of the solemn oath. 27 However, Jonathan had not heard about the oath of his father with the army, so he extended the end of the staff which was in his hand, and he dipped it into the honeycomb. Then he put his hand to his mouth and his eyes gleamed. 28 Then a man from the army informed [him] and said, "Your father made the army swear a solemn [oath], saying, 'Cursed be the man who eats food today,'" so the army [is] exhausted.
29 Then Jonathan said, "My father has brought trouble on the land! See now that my eyes have brightened because I have tasted a little of this honey. 30 {How much more could have been done} if the troops had eaten freely today from the plunder of their enemies that they had found! For now the loss among [the] Philistines [is] not great."
31 They defeated [the] Philistines that day from Micmash to Aijalon, and the troops were very weary. 32 Then the troops took the plunder: they took sheep and cattle and {calves} and slaughtered [them] on the ground and the troops ate [them all] with the blood. 33 So they reported [it] to Saul, saying, "Look! The troops [are] sinning against Yahweh by eating [the animals] with the blood!" And he said, "You have dealt treacherously! Roll to me a large stone {today}!" 34 Then Saul said, "Disperse [yourselves] among the troops and say to them, 'Bring to me each [one] his ox and each his sheep and slaughter them in this [place] and eat, but do not sin against Yahweh by eating [the animals] with the blood.'" So all the troops brought [them], each [leading] his ox in his hand that night, and slaughtered [it] there. 35 Then Saul built an altar to Yahweh; {it was the first altar he built} to Yahweh.
36 Saul said, "Let us go down after [the] Philistines [by] night, and let us plunder them until the morning light, and let us not leave [alive] a man among them." So they said, "Do all that [is] good in your eyes." But the priest said, "Let us draw near to God here."
37 So Saul inquired of God, "Should I go down after [the] Philistines? Will you give them into the hand of Israel?" But he did not answer him on that day.
38 Then Saul said, "Come here, all [you] leaders of the people, {so that we find out} what the sin was this day. 39 For as Yahweh lives, who delivers Israel, [I swear] that even if it [is] in Jonathan my son, {he will certainly die}!" But nobody from all the army answered him.
40 Then he said to all Israel, "You will be {on one side}, and I and my son Jonathan will be {on the other}." And the army said to Saul, "Do [what is] good in your eyes."
41 Then Saul said to Yahweh the God of Israel, "{Render a decision perfectly}." Jonathan and Saul were chosen [by lot] and the people went out.
42 Then Saul said, "Let them cast [the lot] between me and my son Jonathan," and Jonathan was chosen. 43 So Saul said, "Tell me what you have done." So Jonathan told him and said, "I {merely tasted} a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am, I must die."
44 Then Saul said, "So may God do [to me] and {more}, you will certainly die today, Jonathan!"
45 But the army said to Saul, "Must Jonathan die, who accomplished this great victory in Israel? Far from it! As Yahweh lives, not a hair from his head will fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day." So the army ransomed Jonathan and he did not die. 46 Saul went up from [pursuing the] Philistines, and [the] Philistines went to their place.
47 So Saul took the kingship over Israel, and he fought all around against his enemies, against Moab, against the {Ammonites}, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines. He inflicted punishment against all who rebelled. 48 He acted bravely and defeated [the] Amalekites and rescued Israel from the hand of those who plundered it.
49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malki-Shua; the names of his two daughters [were as follows]: the name of the firstborn [was] Merab and the younger [was] Michal. 50 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 Now Kish [was] the father of Saul, but Ner, the father of Abner, [was] the son of Abiel.
52 Warfare was severe against [the] Philistines all the days of Saul. Whenever Saul saw {anyone who was a mighty warrior} or {any brave man}, he {conscripted him into his service}.