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CHAPTER 14 Jul. 2 
The Philistines Attacked by Jonathan 
One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armour, Come, let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison on the other side. But he didn’t tell his father. 2Saul stayed on the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree which is in Migron; the people who were with him were about six hundred men. Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of Yahweh in Shiloh was there, wearing an ephod. The people didn’t know that Jonathan had gone. 4On each side of the pass by which Jonathan intended to go over to the Philistines’ garrison there was a rocky crag; one was called Bozez and the other Seneh. 5The one crag was on the north in front of Michmash and the other on the south in front of Geba. 6Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armour, Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised people. Perhaps Yahweh will work for us, for nothing can hinder Yahweh from saving, by many or by few. 7His armour bearer said to him, Do all that you have in mind; I am with you according to your heart. 8Then Jonathan said, We will cross over to them and let them see us. 9If they say ‘Wait until we come to you!’, then we will stay where we are and will not go up to them. 10But if they say ‘Come up to us!’, then we will go up, for Yahweh has delivered them into our hand. This will be the sign to us. 11So they revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines, and the Philistines said, Look, the Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in! 12The men of the garrison shouted to Jonathan and his armour bearer, Come up to us and we will show you something! Jonathan said to his armour bearer, Come up after me, for Yahweh has delivered them into the hand of Israel. 13Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet and his armour bearer followed, and the Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armour bearer followed and killed behind him. 14That first slaughter by Jonathan and his armour bearer killed about twenty men in an area of about half an acre.

The Philistines Defeated by Israel
15Then panic struck the whole Philistine army, those in the camp, in the field, and among all the outposts and raiding parties, and the ground shook. There was panic. 16Saul’s watchmen in Gibeah of Benjamin saw that the army had melted away and scattered. 17Then Saul said to the men with him, Count now and see who is missing from us. When they had counted, Jonathan and his armour bearer were not there. 18Saul said to Ahijah, Bring the ark of God here. For the ark of God was with the Israelites at that time. 19While Saul was talking to the priest the tumult in the camp of the Philistines went on and increased, and Saul said to the priest, Withdraw your hand! 20Saul and all the men with him were gathered together and came to the battle, and found that every man’s sword was against his fellow; a very great confusion. 21Now the Hebrews who had been with the Philistines previously and had gone with them into the camp, turned to join the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22Also all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines had fled, followed hard after them in the battle. 23So Yahweh saved Israel that day, and the battle moved beyond Beth Aven.

Jonathan Eats Some Honey
24The men of Israel were in distress that day because Saul had bound the people with an oath saying, Cursed is the man who eats any food before evening, and I have been avenged of my enemies. So none of the people ate any food. 25All the army came into the forest, and there was honey on the ground. 26When they had come to the forest the honey was oozing out, but no-one tasted any because the people feared the oath. 27But Jonathan hadn’t heard when his father commanded the people with the oath, so he dipped the end of his rod into the honeycomb and ate some, and his eyes brightened. 28Then one of the people said, Your father bound the people with an oath saying, ‘Cursed is the man who eats food this day’. The people were exhausted. 29Then Jonathan said, My father has troubled the land. Please look how my eyes have been brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. 30How much better it would have been if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies? Would not the slaughter among the Philistines have been greater? 31They struck down the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. The people were exhausted, 32and they pounced on the spoil, and took sheep, cattle and calves and killed them on the ground and ate them with the blood. 33Then they told Saul, Look, the people are sinning against Yahweh, eating meat with the blood. He said, You have broken faith. Roll a large stone here at once! 34Saul said, Go out among the people and tell them, ‘Each man bring to me here his ox and sheep; kill them here and eat; don’t sin against Yahweh by eating meat with the blood’. So each of them brought his ox with him that night, and killed them there. 35Saul built an altar to Yahweh. This was the first altar that he built to Yahweh. 36Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night and plunder them until the morning, and let us not leave any of them alive. They said, Do whatever seems good to you. But the priest said, Let us enquire of God. 37Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will You deliver them into the hand of Israel? But He didn’t answer him that day.

Saul Condemns Jonathan
38Saul said, Come here, all you chiefs of the people and let us find out which of us has sinned today. 39For as Yahweh lives, Who saves Israel, even if it is Jonathan my son, he must die. But there was not a man among all the people who answered him. 40Then he said to all Israel, You stand 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 to Yahweh, the God of Israel, Show me the right answer. Jonathan and Saul were chosen, but the people escaped.42Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. Jonathan was selected. 43Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what you have done! Jonathan told him, I only tasted a little honey with the end of the rod that was in my hand, and now must I die? 44Saul said, God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if you do not die, Jonathan. 45But the people said to Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! As Yahweh lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day! So the people rescued Jonathan so that he didn’t die. 46Then Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own land. 47After Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah and the Philistines; wherever he turned he defeated them. 48He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.

The Family of Saul
49Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malchishua, and the names of his two daughters were Merab the firstborn and Michal the younger, 50and the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. The captain of his army was Abner 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 into his service.


14:6 Perhaps David was in fact "the young man who carried his armour”. Saul also calls him "young man" in 17:58. There was evidently an intense  spiritual and physical rapport between Jonathan and his armour bearer which was similar to that described between Jonathan and David. "I am with you according to your heart" (:7) has firm connection with David and Jonathan being described as having their souls knit together in 18:1. The record of David's battle with the Philistines in 2 Sam. 5:17-24 has certain similarities with the exploits of 14:8-11; as if, years later, David replicated his early adventure of faith. David already had a reputation in Israel for being "a mighty man of valour, a man of war” (16:18), even before the Goliath incident. This would be understandable if he had gone with Jonathan in chapter 14. His becoming Saul's  armour bearer (16:21) would then be seen as a logical promotion from being Jonathan's armour bearer. David came to lead Jonathan, rather than the other way around. And yet Jonathan accepted this, recognizing his own weakness and David’s spiritual superiority to him, without any jealousy. In this we see a wonderful humility. See on 18:3.
14:10 It is open to debate whether we should set up signs for God to fulfil. As we mature spiritually, it should become clearer and more intuitive to us from His word what we should do and how we should decide issues, without the agonies of indecision and dilemma. 
14:20 Every man’s sword was against his fellow- This was God’s preferred method of destroying Israel’s enemies in so many of the victories He gave them. Division within a community is therefore a sign of God’s judgment of it; and those who justify and encourage division are therefore living out a position of condemnation. 
14:33 Pointless following of legalistic obedience often leads people into sin because of their basic humanity.
14:37 In the same way as answered prayer reflects God’s pleasure, so prayer which God doesn’t respond to at all is one indicator of His displeasure (e.g. Saul’s experience in 1 Sam. 14:37). This isn’t to say that when we don’t receive the answers we expect, then God hasn’t responded. There’s a difference between God responding to prayer and Godanswering prayer as we expect Him to answer.
14:39 Even if it is Jonathan my son- It would seem that Saul was purposefully manipulating circumstance in order to kill his own son. This is how far jealousy blinds eyes, breaks families and relationships and obsesses people beyond reason.