1 Samuel 14 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of 1 Samuel 14)
14:1 Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bare his armour, a Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that [is] on the other side. But he told not his father.

(a) By this example God declared to Israel that the victory did not consist in multitude or armour, but only because of his grace.

14:6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these b uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for [there is] no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.

(b) That is, the Philistines.

14:7 And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that [is] in thine heart: turn thee; behold, c I [am] with thee according to thy heart.

(c) I will follow you wherever you go.

14:9 d If they say thus unto us, Tarry until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up unto them.

(d) This he spoke by the spirit of prophecy, and by this God gave him assurance of victory.

14:11 And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the e holes where they had hid themselves.

(e) Thus they spoke contemptuously and by derision.

14:13 And Jonathan climbed up upon f his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him.

(f) That is, he crept up, or went up with all haste.

14:14 And that g first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, [which] a yoke [of oxen might plow].

(g) The second was when they slew one another, and the third when the Israelites chased them.

14:15 And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth h quaked: so it was a very great trembling.

(h) In that the insensible creatures tremble for fear of God's judgment, it declares how terrible his vengeance will be against his enemies.

14:19 And it came to pass, while Saul talked unto the priest, that the noise that [was] in the host of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said unto the priest, i Withdraw thine hand.

(i) Leave the Ephod alone, for I have no time now to ask counsel from God, (
Numbers 27:21).

14:21 Moreover the Hebrews [that] were with the Philistines before that time, which went up with them into the camp [from the country] round about, even they also [turned] to be with the k Israelites that [were] with Saul and Jonathan.

(k) Though before for fear of the Philistines they declared themselves as enemies to their brethren.

14:24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, l 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.

(l) Such was his hypocrisy and arrogancy, that he thought to attribute to his policy that which God had given by the hand of Jonathan.

14:26 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 m oath.

(m) That is, the punishment if they break their oath.

14:27 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 n eyes were enlightened.

(n) Which were dim before from weariness and hunger.

14:29 Then said Jonathan, My father hath o troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.

(o) By making this cruel law.

14:33 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: p roll a great stone unto me this day.

(p) That the blood of the beast that shall be slain, may be pressed out upon it.

14:36 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 q draw near hither unto God.

(q) To ask counsel from him.

14:41 Therefore Saul said unto the LORD God of Israel, Give r a perfect [lot]. And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the people escaped.

(r) Cause the lot to fall on him that has broken the oath, but he does not consider his presumption in commanding the same oath.

14:45 And the people said unto Saul, s 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.

(s) The people thought it their duty to rescue him, who out of ignorance had broken a rash law, and by whom they had received so great a benefit.

14:48 And he gathered an host, and smote the t Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them.

(t) As the Lord had commanded, (
Deuteronomy 25:17).

14:49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, u and Ishui, and Melchishua: and the names of his two daughters [were these]; the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger x Michal:

(u) Called also Abinadab, (
1 Samuel 31:2).
(x) Who was the wife of David, (1 Samuel 18:27).

14:50 And the name of Saul's wife [was] Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz: and the name of the captain of his host [was] y Abner, the son of Ner, Saul's uncle.

(y) Whom Joab, David's captain, slew (
2 Samuel 3:27).

14:52 And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: z and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him.

(z) As Samuel had forewarned in (
1 Samuel 8:11).