War with the Philistines
131 Saul was ... years old when he became king; and he reigned two years over Israel. 2 And Saul chose him three thousand men out of Israel: there were with Saul two thousand in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin; and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent. 3 And Jonathan smote the outpost of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard [of it]. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear. 4 And all Israel heard say, Saul has smitten the garrison of the Philistines, and Israel also has become odious to the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Gilgal. 5 And the Philistines were assembled together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea-shore in multitude; and they came up, and encamped in Michmash, eastward from Beth-Aven. 6 And the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait (for the people were distressed); and the people hid themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in cliffs, and in strongholds, and in pits. 7 And the Hebrews went over the Jordan into the land of Gad and Gilead. And Saul was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.
8 And he waited seven days, according to the set time that Samuel [had appointed]; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. 9 And Saul said, Bring hither to me the burnt-offering and the peace-offerings. And he offered up the burnt-offering. 10 And it came to pass, as soon as he had ended offering up the burnt-offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. 11 And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou didst not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines were assembled at Michmash, 12 I said, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to Jehovah; and I forced myself, and offered up the burnt-offering. 13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of Jehovah thy God which he commanded thee; for now would Jehovah have established thy kingdom over Israel for ever. 14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: Jehovah has sought him a man after his own heart, and Jehovah has appointed him ruler over his people; for thou hast not kept what Jehovah commanded thee.
15 And Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people that were found with him, about six hundred men. 16 And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were found with them, abode in Geba of Benjamin; and the Philistines encamped in Michmash. 17 And the ravagers came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies: one company turned the way of Ophrah, into the land of Shual; 18 and another company turned the way to Beth-horon; and the other company turned the way to the district that looks over the ravine of Zeboim toward the wilderness. 19 Now there was no smith found throughout the land of Israel; for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears. 20 And all Israel went down to the Philistines, every man to get his ploughshare, and his hoe, and his axe, and his sickle sharpened, 21 when the edges of the sickles, and the hoes, and the forks, and the axes were blunted; and to set the goads. 22 And it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan; but with Saul and with Jonathan his son there was found. 23 And a garrison of the Philistines went out to the passage of Michmash.
141 Now 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 Philistines' garrison which is on the other side. But he did not tell his father. 2 And Saul abode at the extreme end of Gibeah under the pomegranate-tree which [was] in Migron; and the people that were with him were about six hundred men. 3 (And Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, Jehovah's priest in Shiloh, wore the ephod.) And the people did not know that Jonathan was gone. 4 Now between the passes by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistines' garrison there was a sharp rock on the one side and a sharp rock on the other side; and the name of the one [was] Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. 5 The one crag [formed] a pillar on the north opposite to Michmash, and the other on the south opposite to Geba. 6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bore his armour, Come, and let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised: perhaps Jehovah will work for us; for there is no restraint to Jehovah to save by many or by few. 7 And his armour-bearer said to him, Do all that is in thy heart; turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart. 8 Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will pass over to the men, and we will shew ourselves to them. 9 If they say thus to us, Stand still until we come to you, then we will stay in our place, and will not go up to them. 10 And if they say thus, Come up to us, then we will go up; for Jehovah has given them into our hand; and this shall be the sign to us. 11 And both of them shewed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines; and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves. 12 And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armour-bearer and said, Come up to us, and we will shew you something. And Jonathan said to his armour-bearer, Come up after me; for Jehovah has delivered them into the hand of Israel. 13 And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armour-bearer after him; and they fell before Jonathan; and his armour-bearer slew after him. 14 And that first slaughter which Jonathan and his armour-bearer wrought was about twenty men, as it were on the half-furrow of an acre of land. 15 And there was trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people; the garrison, and the ravagers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked; for it was a trembling [from] God.
16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on slaying one another. 17 Then said Saul to the people that were with him, Muster now, and see who is gone from us. And they mustered, and behold, Jonathan and his armour-bearer were not there. 18 And Saul said to Ahijah, Bring hither the ark of God. For the ark of God was at that time with the children of Israel. 19 And it came to pass while Saul talked to the priest, that the noise which was in the camp of the Philistines went on and increased; and Saul said to the priest, Withdraw thy hand. 20 And Saul and all the people that were with him were called together, and they came to the battle; and behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, a very great confusion. 21 And there were Hebrews with the Philistines before that time, who had gone up with them into the camp round about; and they also [turned] to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 And all the men of Israel who had hid themselves in mount Ephraim heard that the Philistines fled, and they also followed hard after them in the battle. 23 And Jehovah saved Israel that day; and the battle passed over beyond Beth-Aven.
24 But the men of Israel were distressed that day. Now Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth food until evening, and [until] I am avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted food. 25 And all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey on the ground. 26 And the people had come into the wood, and behold, the honey flowed; but no man put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard when his father adjured the people; and he put forth the end of his staff which was in his hand, and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright. 28 Then answered one of the people and said, Thy father strictly adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth food this day; and the people are faint. 29 And Jonathan said, My father has troubled the land: see, I pray you, that mine eyes are bright, because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much more, if the people had eaten freely to-day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for would there not now have been a much greater slaughter among the Philistines? 31 And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Ajalon; and the people were very faint. 32 And the people fell on the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground; and the people ate [them] with the blood. 33 And they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against Jehovah, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, Ye have acted perversely: roll me now a great stone. 34 And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say to them, Bring near to me every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slaughter 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 slaughtered [them] there. 35 And Saul built an altar to Jehovah: this was the first altar he built to Jehovah.
36 And 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. And they said, Do whatsoever is good in thy sight. Then said the priest, Let us come near hither to God. 37 And Saul inquired of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou give them into the hand of Israel? But he did not answer him that day. 38 And Saul said, Draw ye near hither, all the heads of the people; and know and see wherein this sin has been this day. 39 For, [as] Jehovah liveth, who has saved Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall certainly die. And no one answered him among all the people. 40 Then said he to all Israel, Be ye on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side. And the people said to Saul, Do what is good in thy sight. 41 And Saul said to Jehovah the God of Israel, Give a perfect [testimony]! And Jonathan and Saul were taken, and the people escaped. 42 And Saul said, Cast [lots] between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken. 43 And Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what thou hast done. And Jonathan told him and said, With the end of the staff which is in my hand I tasted a little honey, [and] behold, I must die! 44 And Saul said, God do so [to me] and more also; thou shalt certainly die, Jonathan. 45 And the people said to Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who has wrought this great salvation in Israel? Far be it! [as] Jehovah liveth, there shall not a hair of his head fall to the ground; for he has wrought with God this day. So the people delivered Jonathan, that he died not. 46 And Saul went up from following the Philistines; and the Philistines went to their own place.
47 And Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies round about, 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 discomfited [them]. 48 And he did valiantly, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of their spoilers. 49 And the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Jishvi, and Malchi-shua. And the names of his two daughters: the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal. 50 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. 51 And Kish the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner were sons of Abiel. 52 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 to himself.