1 Samuel 14:24-52

1 Samuel 14:24-52 The Message (MSG)

Saul did something really foolish that day. He addressed the army: “A curse on the man who eats anything before evening, before I’ve wreaked vengeance on my enemies!” None of them ate a thing all day. There were honeycombs here and there in the fields. But no one so much as put his finger in the honey to taste it, for the soldiers to a man feared the curse. But Jonathan hadn’t heard his father put the army under oath. He stuck the tip of his staff into some honey and ate it. Refreshed, his eyes lit up with renewed vigor. A soldier spoke up, “Your father has put the army under solemn oath, saying, ‘A curse on the man who eats anything before evening!’ No wonder the soldiers are drooping!” Jonathan said, “My father has imperiled the country. Just look how quickly my energy has returned since I ate a little of this honey! It would have been a lot better, believe me, if the soldiers had eaten their fill of whatever they took from the enemy. Who knows how much worse we could have whipped them!” They killed Philistines that day all the way from Micmash to Aijalon, but the soldiers ended up totally exhausted. Then they started plundering. They grabbed anything in sight—sheep, cattle, calves—and butchered it where they found it. Then they glutted themselves—meat, blood, the works. Saul was told, “Do something! The soldiers are sinning against GOD. They’re eating meat with the blood still in it!” Saul said, “You’re biting the hand that feeds you! Roll a big rock over here—now!” He continued, “Disperse among the troops and tell them, ‘Bring your oxen and sheep to me and butcher them properly here. Then you can feast to your heart’s content. Please don’t sin against GOD by eating meat with the blood still in it.’” And so they did. That night each soldier, one after another, led his animal there to be butchered. That’s the story behind Saul’s building an altar to GOD. It’s the first altar to GOD that he built. Saul said, “Let’s go after the Philistines tonight! We can spend the night looting and plundering. We won’t leave a single live Philistine!” “Sounds good to us,” said the troops. “Let’s do it!” But the priest slowed them down: “Let’s find out what God thinks about this.” So Saul prayed to God, “Shall I go after the Philistines? Will you put them in Israel’s hand?” God didn’t answer him on that occasion. Saul then said, “All army officers, step forward. Some sin has been committed this day. We’re going to find out what it is and who did it! As GOD lives, Israel’s Savior God, whoever sinned will die, even if it should turn out to be Jonathan, my son!” Nobody said a word. Saul said to the Israelites, “You line up over on that side, and I and Jonathan my son will stand on this side.” The army agreed, “Fine. Whatever you say.” Then Saul prayed to GOD, “O God of Israel, why haven’t you answered me today? Show me the truth. If the sin is in me or Jonathan, then, O GOD, give the sign Urim. But if the sin is in the army of Israel, give the sign Thummim.” The Urim sign turned up and pointed to Saul and Jonathan. That cleared the army. Next Saul said, “Cast the lots between me and Jonathan—and death to the one GOD points to!” The soldiers protested, “No—this is not right. Stop this!” But Saul pushed on anyway. They cast the lots, Urim and Thummim, and the lot fell to Jonathan. Saul confronted Jonathan. “What did you do? Tell me!” Jonathan said, “I licked a bit of honey off the tip of the staff I was carrying. That’s it—and for that I’m to die?” Saul said, “Yes. Jonathan most certainly will die. It’s out of my hands—I can’t go against God, can I?” The soldiers rose up: “Jonathan—die? Never! He’s just carried out this stunning salvation victory for Israel. As surely as GOD lives, not a hair on his head is going to be harmed. Why, he’s been working hand-in-hand with God all day!” The soldiers rescued Jonathan and he didn’t die. Saul pulled back from chasing the Philistines, and the Philistines went home. Saul extended his rule, capturing neighboring kingdoms. He fought enemies on every front—Moab, Ammon, Edom, the king of Zobah, the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he came up with a victory. He became invincible! He smashed Amalek, freeing Israel from the savagery and looting. Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malki-Shua. His daughters were Merab, the firstborn, and Michal, the younger. Saul’s wife was Ahinoam, daughter of Ahimaaz. Abner son of Ner was commander of Saul’s army (Ner was Saul’s uncle). Kish, Saul’s father, and Ner, Abner’s father, were the sons of Abiel. All through Saul’s life there was war, bitter and relentless, with the Philistines. Saul conscripted every strong and brave man he laid eyes on.

1 Samuel 14:24-52 New American Standard Bible - NASB 1995 (NASB1995)

Now the men of Israel were hard-pressed on that day, for Saul had put the people under oath, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food before evening, and until I have avenged myself on my enemies.” So none of the people tasted food. All the people of the land entered the forest, and there was honey on the ground. When the people entered the forest, behold, there was a flow of honey; but no man put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. But Jonathan had not heard when his father put the people under oath; therefore, he put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened. Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly put the people under oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food today.’ ” And the people were weary. Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. See now, how my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. How much more, if only the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found! For now the slaughter among the Philistines has not been great.” They struck among the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. And the people were very weary. The people rushed greedily upon the spoil, and took sheep and oxen and calves, and slew them on the ground; and the people ate them with the blood. Then they told Saul, saying, “Behold, the people are sinning against the LORD by eating with the blood.” And he said, “You have acted treacherously; roll a great stone to me today.” Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people and say to them, ‘Each one of you bring me his ox or his sheep, and slaughter it here and eat; and do not sin against the LORD by eating with the blood.’ ” So all the people that night brought each one his ox with him and slaughtered it there. And Saul built an altar to the LORD; it was the first altar that he built to the LORD. Then Saul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night and take spoil among them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them.” And they said, “Do whatever seems good to you.” So the priest said, “Let us draw near to God here.” Saul inquired of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will You give them into the hand of Israel?” But He did not answer him on that day. Saul said, “Draw near here, all you chiefs of the people, and investigate and see how this sin has happened today. For as the LORD lives, who delivers Israel, though it is in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die.” But not one of all the people answered him. Then he said to all Israel, “You shall be 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.” Therefore, Saul said to the LORD, the God of Israel, “Give a perfect lot.” And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped. Saul said, “Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken. Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” So Jonathan told him and said, “I indeed tasted a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am, I must die!” Saul said, “May God do this to me and more also, for you shall surely die, Jonathan.” But the people said to Saul, “Must Jonathan die, who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Far from it! As the LORD 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 and he did not die. Then Saul went up from pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place. Now when Saul had taken the kingdom over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, the sons of Ammon, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines; and wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment. He acted valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, and delivered Israel from the hands of those who plundered them. Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan and Ishvi and Malchi-shua; and the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn Merab and the name of the younger Michal. The name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. And the name of the captain of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle. Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel. Now the war against the Philistines was severe all the days of Saul; and when Saul saw any mighty man or any valiant man, he attached him to his staff.

1 Samuel 14:24-52 New Living Translation (NLT)

Now the men of Israel were pressed to exhaustion that day, because Saul had placed them under an oath, saying, “Let a curse fall on anyone who eats before evening—before I have full revenge on my enemies.” So no one ate anything all day, even though they had all found honeycomb on the ground in the forest. They didn’t dare touch the honey because they all feared the oath they had taken. But Jonathan had not heard his father’s command, and he dipped the end of his stick into a piece of honeycomb and ate the honey. After he had eaten it, he felt refreshed. But one of the men saw him and said, “Your father made the army take a strict oath that anyone who eats food today will be cursed. That is why everyone is weary and faint.” “My father has made trouble for us all!” Jonathan exclaimed. “A command like that only hurts us. See how refreshed I am now that I have eaten this little bit of honey. If the men had been allowed to eat freely from the food they found among our enemies, think how many more Philistines we could have killed!” They chased and killed the Philistines all day from Micmash to Aijalon, growing more and more faint. That evening they rushed for the battle plunder and butchered the sheep, goats, cattle, and calves, but they ate them without draining the blood. Someone reported to Saul, “Look, the men are sinning against the LORD by eating meat that still has blood in it.” “That is very wrong,” Saul said. “Find a large stone and roll it over here. Then go out among the troops and tell them, ‘Bring the cattle, sheep, and goats here to me. Kill them here, and drain the blood before you eat them. Do not sin against the LORD by eating meat with the blood still in it.’” So that night all the troops brought their animals and slaughtered them there. Then Saul built an altar to the LORD; it was the first of the altars he built to the LORD. Then Saul said, “Let’s chase the Philistines all night and plunder them until sunrise. Let’s destroy every last one of them.” His men replied, “We’ll do whatever you think is best.” But the priest said, “Let’s ask God first.” So Saul asked God, “Should we go after the Philistines? Will you help us defeat them?” But God made no reply that day. 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. Now when Saul had secured his grasp on Israel’s throne, he fought against his enemies in every direction—against Moab, Ammon, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. And wherever he turned, he was victorious. He performed great deeds and conquered the Amalekites, saving Israel from all those who had plundered them. Saul’s sons included Jonathan, Ishbosheth, and Malkishua. He also had two daughters: Merab, who was older, and Michal. Saul’s wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz. The commander of Saul’s army was Abner, the son of Saul’s uncle Ner. Saul’s father, Kish, and Abner’s father, Ner, were both sons of Abiel. The Israelites fought constantly with the Philistines throughout Saul’s lifetime. So whenever Saul observed a young man who was brave and strong, he drafted him into his army.

1 Samuel 14:24-52 King James Version (KJV)

And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any food. And all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey upon the ground. 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. But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore 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. Then answered one of the people, and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food this day. And the people were faint. Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey. 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? And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon: and the people were very faint. And the people flew 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. Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the LORD, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, Ye have transgressed: roll a great stone unto me this day. And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither 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. And Saul built an altar unto the LORD: the same was the first altar that he built unto the LORD. 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 whatsoever seemeth good unto thee. Then said the priest, Let us draw near hither unto God. And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day. And Saul said, Draw ye near hither, all the chief of the people: and know and see wherein this sin hath been this day. For, as the LORD liveth, which saveth 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. Then said he unto all Israel, Be ye on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. And the people said unto Saul, Do what seemeth good unto thee. Therefore Saul said unto the LORD God of Israel, Give a perfect lot. And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the people escaped. And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken. Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what thou hast done. And Jonathan told him, and said, I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in mine hand, and, lo, I must die. And Saul answered, God do so and more also: for thou shalt surely die, Jonathan. And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not. Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place. 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 whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them. And he gathered an host, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them. Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishui, and Melchi-shua: and the names of his two daughters were these; the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal: 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. And Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel. 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 unto him.

1 Samuel 14:24-52 New Century Version (NCV)

The men of Israel were miserable that day because Saul had made an oath for all of them. He had said, “No one should eat food before evening and before I finish defeating my enemies. If he does, he will be cursed!” So no Israelite soldier ate food. Now the army went into the woods, where there was some honey on the ground. They came upon some honey, but no one took any because they were afraid of the oath. Jonathan had not heard the oath Saul had put on the army, so he dipped the end of his stick into the honey and lifted some out and ate it. Then he felt better. Then one of the soldiers told Jonathan, “Your father made an oath for all the soldiers. He said any man who eats today will be cursed! That’s why they are so weak.” Jonathan said, “My father has made trouble for the land! See how much better I feel after just tasting a little of this honey! It would have been much better for the men to eat the food they took from their enemies today. We could have killed many more Philistines!” That day the Israelites defeated the Philistines from Micmash to Aijalon. After that, they were very tired. They had taken sheep, cattle, and calves from the Philistines. Now they were so hungry they killed the animals on the ground and ate them, without draining the blood from them! Someone said to Saul, “Look! The men are sinning against the LORD. They’re eating meat without draining the blood from it!” Saul said, “You have sinned! Roll a large stone over here now!” Then he said, “Go to the men and tell them that each person must bring his ox and sheep to me and kill it here and eat it. Don’t sin against the LORD by eating meat without draining the blood from it.” That night everyone brought his animals and killed them there. Then Saul built an altar to the LORD. It was the first altar he had built to the LORD. Saul said, “Let’s go after the Philistines tonight and rob them. We won’t let any of them live!” The men answered, “Do whatever you think is best.” But the priest said, “Let’s ask God.” So Saul asked God, “Should I chase the Philistines? Will you let us defeat them?” But God did not answer Saul at that time. Then Saul said to all the leaders of his army, “Come here. Let’s find out what sin has been done today. As surely as the LORD lives who has saved Israel, even if my son Jonathan did the sin, he must die.” But no one in the army spoke. Then Saul said to all the Israelites, “You stand on this side. I and my son Jonathan will stand on the other side.” The men answered, “Do whatever you think is best.” Then Saul prayed to the LORD, the God of Israel, “Give me the right answer.” And Saul and Jonathan were picked; the other men went free. Saul said, “Now let us discover if it is I or Jonathan my son who is guilty.” And Jonathan was picked. Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” So Jonathan told Saul, “I only tasted a little honey from the end of my stick. And must I die now?” Saul said, “Jonathan, if you don’t die, may God punish me terribly.” But the soldiers said to Saul, “Must Jonathan die? Never! He is responsible for saving Israel today! As surely as the LORD lives, not even a hair of his head will fall to the ground! Today Jonathan fought against the Philistines with God’s help!” So the army saved Jonathan, and he did not die. Then Saul stopped chasing the Philistines, and they went back to their own land. When Saul became king over Israel, he fought against Israel’s enemies all around. He fought Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the king of Zobah, and the Philistines. Everywhere Saul went he defeated Israel’s enemies. He fought bravely and defeated the Amalekites. He saved the Israelites from their enemies who had robbed them. Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malki-Shua. His older daughter was named Merab, and his younger daughter was named Michal. Saul’s wife was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. The commander of his army was Abner son of Ner, Saul’s uncle. Saul’s father Kish and Abner’s father Ner were sons of Abiel. All Saul’s life he fought hard against the Philistines. When he saw strong or brave men, he took them into his army.

1 Samuel 14:24-52 American Standard Version (ASV)

And the men of Israel were distressed that day; for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until it be evening, and I be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted food. And all the people came into the forest; and there was honey upon the ground. And when the people were come unto the forest, behold, the honey dropped: but no man put his hand to his mouth; for the people feared the oath. But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened. Then answered one of the people, and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth food this day. And the people were faint. Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey. How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to-day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for now hath there been no great slaughter among the Philistines. And they smote of the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. And the people were very faint; and the people flew 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. Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against Jehovah, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, Ye have dealt treacherously: roll a great stone unto me this day. And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against Jehovah in eating with the blood. And all the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and slew them there. And Saul built an altar unto Jehovah: the same was the first altar that he built unto Jehovah. And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and take spoil among them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And they said, Do whatsoever seemeth good unto thee. Then said the priest, Let us draw near hither unto God. And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day. And Saul said, Draw nigh hither, all ye chiefs of the people; and know and see wherein this sin hath been this day. For, as Jehovah liveth, who saveth 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. Then said he unto all Israel, Be ye on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. And the people said unto Saul, Do what seemeth good unto thee. Therefore Saul said unto Jehovah, the God of Israel, Show the right. And Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot; but the people escaped. And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken. Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what thou hast done. And Jonathan told him, and said, I did certainly taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in my hand; and, lo, I must die. And Saul said, God do so and more also; for thou shalt surely die, Jonathan. And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? Far from it: as Jehovah liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not. Then Saul went up from following the Philistines; and the Philistines went to their own place. Now when Saul had taken the kingdom over Israel, he 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 whithersoever he turned himself, he put them to the worse. And he did valiantly, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that despoiled them. Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishvi, and Malchishua; and the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the first-born Merab, and the name of the younger Michal: 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. And Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel. And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any mighty man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him.

1 Samuel 14:24-52 New International Version (NIV)

Now the Israelites were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath, saying, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!” So none of the troops tasted food. The entire army entered the woods, and there was honey on the ground. When they went into the woods, they saw the honey oozing out; yet no one put his hand to his mouth, because they feared the oath. But Jonathan had not heard that his father had bound the people with the oath, so he reached out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb. He raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened. Then one of the soldiers told him, “Your father bound the army under a strict oath, saying, ‘Cursed be anyone who eats food today!’ That is why the men are faint.” Jonathan said, “My father has made trouble for the country. See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey. How much better it would have been if the men had eaten today some of the plunder they took from their enemies. Would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?” That day, after the Israelites had struck down the Philistines from Mikmash to Aijalon, they were exhausted. They pounced on the plunder and, taking sheep, cattle and calves, they butchered them on the ground and ate them, together with the blood. Then someone said to Saul, “Look, the men are sinning against the LORD by eating meat that has blood in it.” “You have broken faith,” he said. “Roll a large stone over here at once.” Then he said, “Go out among the men and tell them, ‘Each of you bring me your cattle and sheep, and slaughter them here and eat them. Do not sin against the LORD by eating meat with blood still in it.’ ” So everyone brought his ox that night and slaughtered it there. Then Saul built an altar to the LORD; it was the first time he had done this. Saul said, “Let us go down and pursue the Philistines by night and plunder them till dawn, and let us not leave one of them alive.” “Do whatever seems best to you,” they replied. But the priest said, “Let us inquire of God here.” So Saul asked God, “Shall I go down and pursue the Philistines? Will you give them into Israel’s hand?” But God did not answer him that day. Saul therefore said, “Come here, all you who are leaders of the army, and let us find out what sin has been committed today. As surely as the LORD who rescues Israel lives, even if the guilt lies with my son Jonathan, he must die.” But not one of them said a word. Saul then said to all the Israelites, “You stand over there; I and Jonathan my son will stand over here.” “Do what seems best to you,” they replied. Then Saul prayed to the LORD, the God of Israel, “Why have you not answered your servant today? If the fault is in me or my son Jonathan, respond with Urim, but if the men of Israel are at fault, respond with Thummim.” Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot, and the men were cleared. Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken. Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” So Jonathan told him, “I tasted a little honey with the end of my staff. And now I must die!” Saul said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if you do not die, Jonathan.” But the men said to Saul, “Should Jonathan die—he who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Never! As surely as the LORD lives, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground, for he did this today with God’s help.” So the men rescued Jonathan, and he was not put to death. Then Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and they withdrew to their own land. After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment on them. He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, delivering Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them. Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malki-Shua. The name of his older daughter was Merab, and that of the younger was Michal. His wife’s name was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the commander of Saul’s army was Abner son of Ner, and Ner was Saul’s uncle. Saul’s father Kish and Abner’s father Ner were sons of Abiel. All the days of Saul there was bitter war with the Philistines, and whenever Saul saw a mighty or brave man, he took him into his service.

1 Samuel 14:24-52 Amplified Bible (AMP)

But the men of Israel were hard-pressed that day, because Saul had put the people under a curse, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food before evening, and before I have taken vengeance on my enemies.” So none of the people ate any food. All the people of the land came to a forest, and there was honey on the ground. When the people entered the forest, the honey was dripping, but no man put his hand to his mouth [to taste it], because the people feared the oath [of Saul]. But Jonathan had not heard when his father put the people under the oath. So he put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into a honeycomb, and then he put his hand to his mouth, and his energy was restored. But one of the people told him, “Your father strictly put the people under an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food today.’ ” And the people were exhausted [and hungry]. Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land [with his foolish curse]. See how my energy is restored because I tasted a little of this honey. How much better [it would have been] if only the people had eaten freely today from the spoil of their enemies which they found! For now the slaughter among the Philistines has not been great.” They struck the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. And the people were very tired. [When night came and the oath ended] the people rushed greedily upon the spoil. They took sheep, oxen, and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground; and they ate them [raw] with the blood [still in them]. Then Saul was told, “Look, the people are sinning against the LORD by eating [the meat] with the blood.” And he said, “You have violated [the Law] and acted treacherously; roll a large stone to me today.” Saul said, “Spread out among the people and tell them, ‘Each one of you bring me his ox or his sheep, and butcher it [properly] here and eat; and do not sin against the LORD by eating [the meat with] the blood.’ ” So that night each one brought his ox with him and butchered it there. And Saul built an altar to the LORD; it was the first altar that he built to the LORD. Then 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 [alive].” They said, “Do whatever seems good to you.” Then the priest said, “Let us approach God here.” Saul asked [counsel] of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will You hand them over to Israel?” But He did not answer him that day. Then Saul said, “Come here, all you who are leaders of the people, and let us find out how this sin [causing God’s silence] happened today. For as the LORD lives, who saves Israel, for even if the guilt is in my son Jonathan, he shall most certainly die.” But not one of all the people answered him. Then he said to all the Israelites, “You shall be on one side; I and my son Jonathan will be on the other side.” The people said to Saul, “Do what seems good to you.” Therefore, Saul said to the LORD, the God of Israel, “Give a perfect lot [identifying the transgressor].” Then Saul and Jonathan were selected [by lot], but the other men went free. Saul said, “Cast [lots] between me and my son Jonathan.” And Jonathan was selected. Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” So Jonathan told him, “I tasted a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am, I must die!” Saul answered, “May God do so [to me], and more also [if I do not keep my word], for you shall most certainly die, Jonathan.” But the people said to Saul, “Must Jonathan, who has brought about this great victory in Israel, be put to death? Far from it! As the LORD 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 and he was not put to death. Then Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place. When Saul assumed control of the kingdom of Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side: Moab, the sons (descendants) of Ammon, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment. He acted valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, and rescued Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them. Now Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchi-shua. The names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn was Merab, and the name of the younger, Michal. The name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. The commander of his army was named Abner, the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle. Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel. Now the war against the Philistines was severe (brutal, relentless) all the days of Saul; and whenever Saul saw any mighty or courageous man, he recruited him for his staff.

1 Samuel 14:24-52 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, so Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies.” So none of the people had tasted food. Now when all the people came to the forest, behold, there was honey on the ground. And when the people entered the forest, behold, the honey was dropping, but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath, so he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright. Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food this day.’” And the people were faint. Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. See how my eyes have become bright because I tasted a little of this honey. How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies that they found. For now the defeat among the Philistines has not been great.” They struck down the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. And the people were very faint. The people pounced on the spoil and took sheep and oxen and calves and slaughtered them on the ground. And the people ate them with the blood. Then they told Saul, “Behold, the people are sinning against the LORD by eating with the blood.” And he said, “You have dealt treacherously; roll a great stone to me here.” And Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people and say to them, ‘Let every man bring his ox or his sheep and slaughter them here and eat, and do not sin against the LORD by eating with the blood.’” So every one of the people brought his ox with him that night and they slaughtered them there. And Saul built an altar to the LORD; it was the first altar that he built to the LORD. Then Saul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night and plunder them until the morning light; let us not leave a man of them.” And they said, “Do whatever seems good to you.” But the priest said, “Let us draw near to God here.” And Saul inquired of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into the hand of Israel?” But he did not answer him that day. And Saul said, “Come here, all you leaders of the people, and know and see how this sin has arisen today. 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 who answered him. Then he said to all Israel, “You shall be 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.” Therefore Saul said, “O LORD God of Israel, why have you not answered your servant this day? If this guilt is in me or in Jonathan my son, O LORD, God of Israel, give Urim. But if this guilt is in your people Israel, give Thummim.” And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped. Then Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan.” And Jonathan was taken. Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” And Jonathan told him, “I tasted a little honey with the tip of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am; I will die.” And Saul said, “God do so to me and more also; you shall surely die, Jonathan.” Then the people said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! 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 ransomed Jonathan, so that he did not die. Then Saul went up from pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place. When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, against the Ammonites, against Edom, against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned he routed them. And he did valiantly and struck the Amalekites and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them. Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchi-shua. And the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn was Merab, and the name of the younger Michal. 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. Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel. There was hard fighting against the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he attached him to himself.

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