16 Saul’s lookouts at Gibeah in Benjamin saw the army melting away in all directions.17 Then Saul said to the men who were with him, “Muster the forces and see who has left us.” When they did, it was Jonathan and his armor-bearer who were not there.
18 Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God.” (At that time it was with the Israelites.)[a]19 While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the Philistine camp increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.”
20 Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking each other with their swords.21 Those Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines and had gone up with them to their camp went over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.22 When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit.23 So on that day the Lord saved Israel, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.
Jonathan Eats Honey
24 Now the Israelites were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath, saying, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!” So none of the troops tasted food.
25 The entire army entered the woods, and there was honey on the ground.26 When they went into the woods, they saw the honey oozing out; yet no one put his hand to his mouth, because they feared the oath.27 But Jonathan had not heard that his father had bound the people with the oath, so he reached out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb. He raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened.[b]28 Then one of the soldiers told him, “Your father bound the army under a strict oath, saying, ‘Cursed be anyone who eats food today!’ That is why the men are faint.”
29 Jonathan said, “My father has made trouble for the country. See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey.30 How much better it would have been if the men had eaten today some of the plunder they took from their enemies. Would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?”
1 Samuel 14:18Hebrew; Septuagint “Bring the ephod.” (At that time he wore the ephod before the Israelites.)
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