1. The same day, Jonathan, son of Saul, said to his armor-bearer, "Let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side. Jonathan did not inform his father about this.
2. Saul was at that time on the outskirts of Gibeah, at Migron, under the pomegranate tree with about six hundred men.
3. Also with Saul was Ahijah, son of Ahitub, brother of Ichabod, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, priest of Yahweh in Shiloh, and he was wearing the ephod to consult Yahweh. Not even the soldiers knew that Jonathan had left them.
4. The pass through which Jonathan planned to go to reach the Philistine garrison was flanked on each side by a rocky crag: one called Bozez, the other, Seneh.
5. One of the crags was to the north in the direction of Michmash; the other to the south, in the direction of Giba.
6. Jonathan said to his shield-bearer, "Let us go over to the garrison of those uncircumcised fellows. It may be that Yahweh will help us, for it is as easy for Yahweh to give victory with a few men as with many."
7. His armor-bearer replied, "Do whatever you think best. As for me, I follow and obey you."
8. Jonathan said, "Look, we will draw near and show ourselves to those men.
9. When they see us, if they cry out: 'Stay there and we shall go over to you,' we shall stay quiet and go no further.
10. But if they say: 'Come up to us,' we shall go up because that will be a sign that Yahweh has delivered them into our hands."
11. When the two were seen by the Philistines, the latter exclaimed, "Look! Hebrews coming out of their hiding places!"
12. And they challenged Jonathan and his shield-bearer, "Come over here and we will teach you a lesson!" Jonathan then told his armor-bearer, "Follow me, for Yahweh has delivered them into the hands of Israel."
13. Then Jonathan crawled up on his hands and feet, his armor-bearer following him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer finished them off.
14. In that first slaying by Jonathan and his armor-bearer, about twenty men lost their lives within half a furlong.
15. Panic struck in the camp and in the countryside, sowing terror in the garrison. Even the band of raiders was disturbed. It was like an earthquake and they were filled with a holy terror.
16. Saul's watchmen in Gibeah of Benjamin saw the commotion in the camp: the Philistines were running and scattering in all directions.
17. Saul then told those who were around him, "Count our men and see who is missing." And they discovered that Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not with them.
18. Saul ordered Ahijah: "Bring the ephod," because Ahijah had taken it with him.
19. But while Saul was talking to the priest, the confusion in the Philistine camp increased. Saul then told the priest, "Withdraw your hand,"
20. and after consulting his men, he went with them to the camp. They saw that there was complete confusion and the soldiers were striking each other with their swords.
21. Moreover, the Hebrews who had joined the Philistines turned around and sided with the Israelites under Saul and Jonathan.
22. When the Israelites who were hiding in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they came out from hiding and pursued them.
23. And so Yahweh delivered Israel that day in a battle that extended beyond Beth-horon.
24. On that day, however, as the Israelites became weary, Saul took an oath putting the people under the ban, "Cursed be the man who takes food before evening, before I have avenged myself on my enemies." Because of this oath, no one dared touch any food.
25. As the men wandered into the forest, they saw honey on the ground and
26. although it was freely dripping from the honeycomb, no one tasted it for fear of the oath.
27. But Jonathan, who had not heard of this oath, dipped the tip of the rod he was holding in the honeycomb and put it to his lips. And he felt fortified.
28. At this, someone said, "Though the people were tired, your father bound them with this oath: cursed be the man who takes food today."
29. Then Jonathan said, "My father did you wrong. See how I have been fortified by tasting a little of this honey.
30. If only our men had freely eaten today of the spoil of their enemies, the Philistines would have suffered an even greater defeat."
31. Nevertheless they pursued the Philistines all the way from Michmash to Aijalon. Then the people, extremely worn out,
32. rushed to the spoils and took sheep, oxen, and calves and, after they had slaughtered them on the ground, they ate over the blood.
33. Saul was told that the people were sinning against Yahweh by eating over the blood. He said, "You have acted like pagan people! Roll a large stone here in front of me."
34. Then he added, "Go around and tell the people to bring their oxen or their sheep to me. Slaughter them here and eat, but do not offend Yahweh by eating over the blood." So that night, everyone brought what he had of the spoils and slaughtered it there.
35. Then Saul built an altar to Yahweh - the first he ever built to Him.
36. Then Saul said, "Let us pursue and spoil the Philistines by night and finish them off by morning without leaving a single man alive." To this the people replied, "Do what you think is best." But the priest said, "We must consult Yahweh."
37. So Saul asked, "Shall I attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into the hands of Israel?" But God did not answer him that day.
38. Saul said, "Call all the army officers here. We must find out who is responsible for the sin that has been committed today.
39. I swear before Yahweh, who has just saved Israel, that he shall surely die even if it happens to be my son Jonathan." No one answered Saul.
40. He told the people, "Go, stand on one side while I and my son Jonathan, stand on the other." The people answered, "Do what you think is good."
41. Then Saul said, "O Yahweh, God of Israel, why did you not answer your servant this time? If it is my son Jonathan or I who have sinned, O Yahweh, God of Israel, let the casting of lots show Urim; if it is your people Israel who have sinned, let it show Thummin." The lot cast pointed to Jonathan and Saul, not to the people.
42. Saul then said, "Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan." The lot singled out Jonathan.
43. Saul then said to Jonathan, "Tell me what you have done." And Jonathan replied, "All I did was to taste a little honey from the tip of the rod that I dipped in the honeycomb! Am I to die for this?"
44. Saul said, "May God strike me down if you are not put to death, Jonathan."
45. But the people protested, "By no means shall Jonathan die, he who has brought this resounding victory to Israel! Not at all! By Yahweh's life not one hair of his head will fall, for he has acted today with God's assistance." So the people rescued Jonathan from certain death.
46. After that, Saul ceased to pursue the Philistines, and they withdrew to their own country.
47. When Saul felt secure as king of Israel, he began to fight against all his surrounding enemies: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah and the Philistines, routing his enemies wherever he went.
48. He crushed the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who were plundering them.
49. The sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malchishua; his two daughters were Merab, his firstborn, and Michal.
50. His wife was Ahinoam, daughter of Ahimaaz. The general of his army was Abner, son of Ner who was Saul's uncle.
51. Kish was the father of Saul and Ner, the father of Abner, was the son of Abiel.
52. Saul struggled fiercely against the Philistines all the days of his life, so whenever he discovered a strong and brave man, he recruited him into his service.