Jonathan attacketh the Philistines. A miraculous victory. Saul's unadvised oath, by which Jonathan is put in danger of his life, but is delivered by the people.
OW it came to pass one day that Jonathan, the son of Saul, said to the young man that bore his armour: Come, and let us go over to the garrison of the Philistines, which is on the other side of yonder place. But he told not this to his father.
And Saul abode in the uttermost part of Gabaa, under the pomegranate tree, which was in Magron: and the people with him were about six hundred men.
And Achias, the son of Achitob, brother of Ichabod the son of Phinees, the son of Heli, the priest of the Lord in Silo, wore the ephod. And the people knew not whither Jonathan was gone.
Now there were between the ascents, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the garrison of the Philistines, rocks standing up on both sides, and steep cliffs like teeth on the one side, and on the other, the name of the one was Boses, and the name of the other was Sene:
One rock stood out toward the north, over against Machmas, and the other to the south, over against Gabaa.
And Jonathan said to the young man that bore his armour: Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised, it may be the Lord will do for us: because it is easy for the Lord to save either by many, or by few.
And his armourbearer said to him: Do all that pleaseth thy mind: go whither thou wilt, and I will be with thee wheresoever thou hast a mind.
And Jonathan said: Behold we will go over to these men. And when we shall be seen by them,
If they shall speak thus to us: Stay till we come to you: let us stand still in our place, and not go up to them.
But if they shall say: Come up to us: let us go up, because the Lord hath delivered them into our hands, this shall be a sign unto us.
So both of them discovered themselves to the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said: Behold the Hebrews come forth out of the holes wherein they were hid.
And the men of the garrison spoke to Jonathan, and to his armourbearer, and said: Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. And Jonathan said to his armourbearer: Let us go up, follow me: for the Lord hath delivered them into the hands of Israel.
And Jonathan went up creeping on his hands and feet, and his armourbearer after him. And some fell before Jonathan, others his armourbearer slew as he followed him.
And the first slaughter which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was of about twenty men, within half an acre of land, which a yoke of oxen is wont to plough in a day.
And there was a miracle in the camp, in the fields: and all the people of their garrison, who had gone out to plunder, were amazed, and the earth trembled: and it happened as a miracle from God.
And the watchmen of Saul, who were in Gabaa of Benjamin looked, and behold a multitude overthrown, and fleeing this way and that.
And Saul said to the people that were with him: Look, and see who is gone from us. And when they had sought, it was found that Jonathan and his armourbearer were not there.
And Saul said to Achias: Bring the ark of the Lord. (For the ark of God was there that day with the children of Israel.)
And while Saul spoke to the priest, there arose a great uproar in the camp of the Philistines: and it increased by degrees, and was heard more clearly. And Saul said to the priest: Draw in thy hand.
Then Saul, and all the people that were with him, shouted together, and they came to the place of the fight: and behold every man's sword was turned upon his neighbour, and there was a very great slaughter.
Moreover, the Hebrews that had been with the Philistines yesterday and the day before, and went up with them into the camp, returned to be with the Israelites, who were with Saul and Jonathan.
And all the Israelites that had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, hearing that the Philistines fled, joined themselves with their countrymen in the fight. And there were with Saul about ten thousand men.
And the Lord saved Israel that day. And the fight went on as far as Bethaven.
And the men of Israel were joined together that day: and Saul adjured the people, saying: Cursed be the man that shall eat food till evening, till I be revenged of my enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.
And all the common people came into a forest, in which there was honey upon the ground.
And when the people came into the forest, behold the honey dropped, but no man put his hand to his mouth. For the people feared the oath.
But Jonathan had not heard when his father adjured the people: and he put forth the end of the rod, which he had in his hand, and dipt it in a honeycomb: and he carried his hand to his mouth, and his eyes were enlightened.
And one of the people answering, said: Thy father hath bound the people with an oath, saying: Cursed be the man that shall eat any food this day. (And the people were faint.)
And Jonathan said: My father hath troubled the land: you have seen yourselves that my eyes are enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey:
How much more if the people had eaten of the prey of their enemies, which they found? had there not been made a greater slaughter among the Philistines?
So they smote that day the Philistines, from Machmas to Aialon. And the people were wearied exceedingly.
And falling upon the spoils, they took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people ate them with the blood.
And they told Saul that the people had sinned against the Lord, eating with the blood. And he said: You have transgressed: roll here to me now a great stone.
And Saul said: Disperse yourselves among the people, and tell them to bring me every man his ox and his ram and slay them upon this stone, and eat, and you shall not sin against the Lord, in eating with the blood. So all the people brought every man his ox with him till the night: and slew them there.
And Saul built an altar to the Lord: and he then first began to build an altar to the Lord.
And Saul said: Let us fall upon the Philistines by night, and destroy them till the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them. And the people said: Do all that seemeth good in thy eyes. And the priest said: Let us draw near hither unto God.
And Saul consulted the Lord: Shall I pursue after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hands of Israel? And he answered him not that day.
And Saul said: Bring hither all the corners of the people: and know, and see by whom this sin hath happened to day.
As the Lord liveth, who is the Saviour of Israel, if it was done by Jonathan, my son, he shall surely die. In this none of the people gainsayed him.
And he said to all Israel: Be you on one side and I, with Jonathan, my son, will be on the other side. And the people answered Saul: Do what seemeth good in thy eyes.
And Saul said to the Lord: O Lord God of Israel, give a sign, by which we may know, what the meaning is, that thou answerest not thy servant to day: If this iniquity be in me, or in my son Jonathan, give a proof: or if this iniquity be in thy people, give holiness. And Jonathan and Saul were taken, and the people escaped.
And Saul said: (Cast lots between me, and Jonathan, my son. And Jonathan was taken.
And 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, which was in my hand, and behold I must die.
And Saul said: May God do so and so to me, and add still more: for dying thou shalt die, O Jonathan.
And the people said to Saul: Shall Jonathan then die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? this must not be: 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 delivered Jonathan, that he should not die.
And Saul went back, and did not pursue after the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own places.
And Saul having his kingdom established over Israel, fought against all his enemies round about, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and Edom, and the kings of Soba, and the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he overcame.
And gathering together an army, he defeated Amalec, and delivered Israel from the hand of them that spoiled them.
And the sons of Saul, were Jonathan, and Jessui, and Melchisua: and the names of his two daughters, the name of the firstborn was Merob, and the name of the younger Michol.
And the name of Saul's wife was Achinoam, the daughter of Achimaas; and the name of the captain of his army was Abner, the son of Ner, the cousin german of Saul.
For Cis was the father of Saul, and Ner, the father of Abner, was son of Abiel.
And there was a great war against the Philistines all the days of Saul. For whomsoever Saul saw to be a valiant man, and fit for war, he took him to himself.