1 Now it came to pass on a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said to 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 uttermost part of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which is in Migron: and the people that were with him were about six hundred men;
3 And Ahiah, 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 passages, by which Jonathan sought to go over to 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 forefront of the one was situate northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah.
6 And Jonathan said to the young man that 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 to the LORD to save by many or by few.
7 And his armor bearer said to 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 to these men, and we will discover ourselves to them.
9 If they say thus to us, Tarry until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up to them.
10 But if they say thus, Come up to us; then we will go up: for the LORD has delivered them into our hand: and this shall be a sign to us.
11 And both of them discovered themselves to 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 armor bearer, and said, Come up to us, and we will show you a thing. And Jonathan said to his armor bearer, Come up after me: for the LORD has delivered them into the hand of Israel.
13 And Jonathan climbed up on his hands and on his feet, and his armor bearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armor bearer slew after him.
14 And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armor bearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an 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 spoilers, 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 on beating down one another.
17 Then said Saul to the people that were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armor bearer were not there.
18 And Saul said to Ahiah, 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 to the priest, that the noise that was in the host of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said to 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 discomfiture.
21 Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time, which 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 which 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 to Bethaven.
24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured 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 wood; and there was honey on the ground.
26 And when the people were come into the wood, behold, the honey dropped; 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: why he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.
28 Then answered one of the people, and said, Your father straightly 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 pray you, how my eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.
30 How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?
31 And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon: and the people were very faint.
32 And the people flew on 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 to me this day.
34 And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say to 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 to the LORD: the same was the first altar that he built to the LORD.
36 And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and spoil them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And they said, Do whatever seems good to you. Then said the priest, Let us draw near here to 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 the chief of the people: and know and see wherein this sin has been this day.
39 For, as the LORD lives, which 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 to all Israel, Be you on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. And the people said to Saul, Do what seems good to you.
41 Therefore Saul said to 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, see, I must die.
44 And Saul answered, God do so and more also: for you shall surely die, Jonathan.
45 And the people said to 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, 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 vexed them.
48 And he gathered an host, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them.
49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishui, and Melchishua: 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 captain of his host 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.
52 And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him to him.