14 And it came about, on a certain day, that Jonathan son of Saul said unto the young man bearing his armour: Come! and let us pass over unto the garrison of the Philistines, that is on the other side yonder! but to his father he told it not.
2 Now Saul was tarrying in the uttermost part of Gibeah, under the pomegranate tree that is in Migron,—and the people that were with him were about six hundred men;
3 and Ahijah, son of Ahitub, brother of Ichabod, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, was priest of Yahweh in Shiloh wearing an ephod,—and the people knew not that Jonathan had departed.
4 And between the passes by which Jonathan sought to cross over up to the garrison of the Philistines there was a crag of rock on the one side, and a crag of rock on the other side; and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.
5 The one crag was a pillar on the north, over against Michmash,—and the other on the south, over against Geba.
6 So Jonathan said unto the young man bearing his armour—Come! and let us cross over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised, peradventure Yahweh may work by us,—for there is no restraint with Yahweh, to save by many or by few.
7 And his armour-bearer said to him, Do all that is in thy heart,—decide for thyself (lo! I am with thee!) according to thine own heart.
8 Then said Jonathan, Lo! we are crossing over unto the men,—and will discover ourselves unto them.
9 If thus they say unto us, Keep quiet until we get to you, then will we stand still where we are, and will not go up unto them;
10 but if thus they say, Come up unto us, then will we go up; for Yahweh hath delivered them into our hand,—This then is our sign.
11 So they two discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines,—and the Philistines said—Lo! Hebrews coming forth out of the holes wherein they had hidden themselves.
12 And the men of the garrison responded to Jonathan and his armour-bearer, and said—Come up unto us, and we will let you know a thing. Then said Jonathan unto his armour-bearer—Come up after me, for Yahweh hath delivered them into the hand of Israel.
13 So Jonathan went up on his hands and on his feet, and his armour-bearer followed him,—and they fell before Jonathan, and his armour-bearer was slaying after him.
14 And the first smiting wherewith Jonathan and his armour-bearer smote was about twenty men,—within as it were half a furrow’s length of a yoke of land.
15 And there came to be a trembling in the camp, in the field and among all the people, the outposts and the spoilers they too trembled,—and the earth quaked, so it became a preternatural trembling.
16 And the scouts of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and lo! the camp melted away hither and thither.
17 Then said Saul unto the people who were with him: Number, I pray you, and see who hath departed from us. So they numbered; and lo! Jonathan and his armour-bearer were missing.
18 Then said Saul unto Ahijah, Bring near the ark of God; for the ark of God was on that day in the midst of the sons of Israel.
19 And it came to pass, as soon as Saul had spoken unto the priest, that the tumultuous noise that was in the camp of the Philistines went on and on increasing. Then said Saul unto the priest—Withdraw thy hand.
20 And Saul and all the people that were with him gathered themselves together, and came as far as the host,—and lo! the sword of every man was against his fellow, an exceeding great confusion.
21 And the Hebrews who had aforetime belonged to the Philistines, who had come up with them in the host, even they turned round so as to be with Israel who were with Saul and Jonathan.
22 And all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves throughout the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines had fled,—and they also followed hard after them in the battle.
23 Thus did Yahweh on that day save Israel,—and the battle passed over by Beth-aven.
24 Now the men of Israel were tired out on that day,—yet had Saul bound the people by an oath, saying—Cursed be the man that eateth food until the evening, and I be avenged upon mine enemies. So none of the people had tasted food.
25 And all the land had entered into the forest,—and there was honey upon the face of the ground.
26 So the people came into the forest, and lo! there were streams of honey,—but no man reached his hand to his mouth, because the people revered the oath.
27 But Jonathan heard not his father putting the people on oath, so he reached forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and dipped it in the honey-copse,—and brought back his hand to his mouth, and his eyes were brightened.
28 Then responded one from among the people and said—With an oath did thy father charge the people, saying—Cursed be the man that eateth food to-day! And so the people were faint.
29 Then said Jonathan: My father hath afflicted the land,—See, I pray you, how my own eyes have been brightened, 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 now would not the smiting of the Philistines have been mighty?
31 Howbeit they smote the Philistines on that day from Michmash to Aijalon,—but the people became exceeding faint.
32 And the people darted greedily upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and felled them to the ground,—and the people did eat with the blood.
33 And they told Saul, saying, Lo! the people are sinning against Yahweh, by eating with the blood. And he said—Ye have dealt treacherously, roll unto me here a great stone.
34 And Saul said—Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them—Bring near unto me every man his ox, and every man his lamb, and slay them here, and then eat, so shall ye not sin against Yahweh by eating with the blood. And all the people brought near—every man that which was in his hand that night, and they slew them there.
35 And Saul built an altar unto Yahweh,—the same was the first altar that he built unto Yahweh.
36 Then said Saul—Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and make of them a prey until the morning light, and let us not leave of them a man. And they said, All that is good in thine eyes, do! Then said the priest, Let us draw near hither unto God.
37 So Saul asked 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.
38 Then said Saul, Come near hither, all ye chiefs of the people,—and get to know and see, wherein hath been this sin to-day.
39 For, by the life of Yahweh, who saveth Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, yet shall he die. But there was none ready to answer him of all the people.
40 Then said he unto all Israel—Ye, shall be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. And the people said unto Saul, What is good in thine eyes do!
41 And Saul said unto Yahweh—O God of Israel! now set forth the truth. Then were Jonathan and Saul taken, and the people escaped.
42 And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. Then was Jonathan taken.
43 And Saul said unto Jonathan, Come tell me what thou hast done. So Jonathan told him and said, I just tasted with the end of the staff that was in my hand a little honey, here I am—I must die!
44 Then said Saul: So may God do, and so may he add, surely thou must die Jonathan!
45 But the people said unto Saul—Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? Far be it! By the life of Yahweh, there shall not fall a hair of his head to the ground, for with God hath he wrought this day. So the people delivered Jonathan that he died not.
46 Then Saul went up from following the Philistines,—and the Philistines departed unto their own place.
47 And Saul took possession of the kingdom over Israel,—and made war round about against all his enemies—against Moab and against the sons of Ammon and against Edom and against the kings of Zobah and against the Philistines, and whomsoever he turned against, he was victorious.
48 Then made he ready a force, and smote the Amalekites,—and delivered Israel out of the hand of such as plundered them.
49 And the sons of Saul were Jonathan and Ishvi and Malchishua,—and the names of his two daughters were, the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal,—
50 and the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam, daughter of Ahimaaz,—and the name of the prince of his host Abner, son of Ner, Saul’s uncle.
51 And Kish was Saul’s father, and Ner, Abner’s father, was son of Abiel.
52 And the war was severe against the Philistines all the days of Saul,—and whensoever Saul saw any mighty man or any son of valour, he drew him unto himself.