Then Saul said to the leaders, “Something’s wrong! I want all my army commanders to come here. We must find out what sin was committed today. I vow by the name of the LORD who rescued Israel that the sinner will surely die, even if it is my own son Jonathan!” But no one would tell him what the trouble was.
Then Saul said, “Jonathan and I will stand over here, and all of you stand over there.”
And the people responded to Saul, “Whatever you think is best.”
Then Saul prayed, “O LORD, God of Israel, please show us who is guilty and who is innocent.” Then they cast sacred lots, and Jonathan and Saul were chosen as the guilty ones, and the people were declared innocent.
Then Saul said, “Now cast lots again and choose between me and Jonathan.” And Jonathan was shown to be the guilty one.
“Tell me what you have done,” Saul demanded of Jonathan.
“I tasted a little honey,” Jonathan admitted. “It was only a little bit on the end of my stick. Does that deserve death?”
“Yes, Jonathan,” Saul said, “you must die! May God strike me and even kill me if you do not die for this.”
But the people broke in and said to Saul, “Jonathan has won this great victory for Israel. Should he die? Far from it! As surely as the LORD lives, not one hair on his head will be touched, for God helped him do a great deed today.” So the people rescued Jonathan, and he was not put to death.
Then Saul called back the army from chasing the Philistines, and the Philistines returned home.