I Samuel 14
The Israelites under king Saul are at war against the Philistines, though the Philistines think they have an unfair advantage because they have taken all the Israelite Army's weaponry and all the kings men have for war-fighting are agricultural tools, the only two who do have swords are the king and his son, Jonathan. What the Philistines don't realize is that the Israelites real war-fighting power comes not from man-made weaponry, but from our Father, with Him on their and even our side today, there is no force who can stand up to Him. Will the king and his army use this weapon that they have at their disposal? Let's continue and find out.
13:1-15:35 PROVOCATION OF SAUL. (Alternation.)
13:3-14:46 War with the Philistines.
13:3-14:46 WAR WITH THE PHILISTINES. (Division.)
13:23-14:46 Second aggression of Jonathan.
13:23-14:46 SECOND AGGRESSION OF JONATHAN. (Introversion.)
13:23-14:19 Jonathan’s success.
13:23-14:19 JONATHAN’S SUCCESS. (Extended Alternation.)
14:1 Attack proposed.
I Samuel 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, “Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is on the other side.” But he told not his father. -> Saul's oldest son, Jonathan, is now about 20 or so years of age and as we're about to find out, he is an extremely adept war-fighter. He knows that with Father, no army can oppose you. So now, just he and his armour-bearer are about to come against a garrison of Philistines who are set between them and the main Philistine Army.
Jonathan hasn't told his father what he is about to do, and I'm sure had Saul known, he would have tried to stop him, I think Jonathan knew this as well and that was the reason he didn't tell his father.
14:2-3 Army of Saul.
I Samuel 14:2 And Saul tarried in the uttermost part of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which isin Migron (precipice): and the people that were with him were about six hundred men; -> Remember the Israelite Army had at one time: I Samuel 11:8, numbered 300,030 strong, then in I Samuel 13:2 they were down to 3,000 war-fighters, and now they are only mustering 600 men. Where are all their war-fighters? Well, they sure haven't been killed off, some as we have read were draft dodgers, some Saul said could go back home. It would be nice to have all those men back, I mean, surely had they still been mustering all those men, they wouldn't be in the predicament they find themselves now. That is a true statement to a point, First off, had they left Father as their King and served him only, they'd be far better off than they are now, but they fell away; secondly, again, had they still been following Father with a whole heart, He'd have guided them and not allowed to be in the position they currently find themselves.
This reminds me of us (the United States) today. In Saul's future, because of idolatry, the House of Israel will go into captivity to the Assyrians, we today are also in captivity, though ours is not from outside forces, but internal, we have for the past two Presidential election cycles elected a man who is not one of our own, but an outsider; a foreigner, something Father told us to not ever do.
Migron= This word can have two different meanings: either “a cliff with a vertical, nearly vertical, or overhanging face;” or a “situation of great peril: as in on the precipice of war.” Migron was a town or a spot in the neighborhood of Gibeah, mentioned here in I Samuel 14:2, it is also mentioned in Isaiah 10:28, during Sennacherib’s approach to Jerusalem.
I Samuel 14:3 And Ahiah (friend of YHVH, or brother (that is) worshipper of YAH), the son of Ahitub (brother of goodness), I-chabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the LORD'S priest in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people knew not that Jonathan was gone. -> This is a continuation from the last verse, so the entire verse should read: "And Saul tarried in the uttermost part of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which isin Migron: and the people that were with him wereabout six hundred men; and Ahiah, the son of Ahitub, I-Chabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the LORD's priest in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people knew not that Jonathon was gone."
So what this is saying is that, Saul and his six hundred men and were still in Gibeah, and the high priest, Ahiah, was with them wearing the ephod. Neither Saul or most of his men knew that his son, Jonathan, and his armour-bearer, had gone on ahead without them. The reason they went ahead, as we're about to find out, was to clear the narrow passage that was between them and Michmash, which was full with a garrison of Philistines. So, in a short period of time Jonathan will begin to test Father as to whether the things he was doing were correct, or whether he should have stopped. Jonathan wanted to know precisely whether Father was with him and his armour-bearer in this thing which he was about to do.
We read in I Samuel 4:19-22that Phinehas and his brother, Hophni, Samuel's sons, were evil and wicked men. That when they died, Phinehas' wife was in labor giving birth to his son. She died right after giving birth to and then naming said child, I-Chabod. What we didn't read or know then, was that I-Chabod was not their only child, I-Chabod had an older brother, named Ahitub. Here in this verse, his son, Ahiah is the high priest, and he's wearing the ephod and he is with Saul.
Ahitub also had another son (at least one), Ahiah's younger brother, Ahimelech. As we'll read when we come to I Samuel 22:11, Ahimelech will succeed his older brother as the high priest.
Ahiah was wearing the ephod because the context shows that "inquiry of the LORD by Urim and Thummim" was on Saul's mind as we'll see when we come to Verse v4:18.
14:4-5 Garrison of Philistines. Description.
I Samuel 14:4 And between the passages, by which Jonathan sought to go over unto 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 (the height or shining), and the name of the other Seneh (thorn). -> Sharp rock=A crag. Sela in the Hebrew, and in the Strong's Concordance it is Hebrew word number H5553 - סלע - sela‛, pronounced - seh'-lah, and means: From an unused root meaning to be lofty; a craggy rock, literally or figuratively (a fortress): - (ragged) rock, stone (-ny), strong hold.. Who is it that is our Rock, our Strong Hold and fortress? As we learn in Deuteronomy 32, it is Christ. As we also learn from there (Deuteronomy 32), that their rock (lower case "r") is not our Rock (upper case "R").
I Samuel 14:5 The forefront of the one was situate northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah. -> These two rocks brought the path to a narrow point which was impassable by by only one or two people at a time, thus making the Philistine garrison fell safe and comfortable; until Jonathan and his armour-bearer showed up.
14:6-15 Attack carried out.
I Samuel 14:6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, “Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these 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.” -> Jonathan is going to “throw a fleece out” if you will, in other words, he is about to test Father to ensure that what he, Jonathan, is doing, is correct. Jonathan will not go if the Father is not working for him. There is a point made by Jonathan that we should never forget; "There is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few." When you have Father on your side, you have the majority and the victory. It just doesn't make any difference to Him how many there are against you, if He is with you, you are going to win, and Jonathan knew this in his heart and mind. We can compare Jonathan here in this verse, with what king Asa says in II Chronicles, II Chronicles 14:11 And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, “LORD, it is nothing with Thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.”.
I Samuel 14:7 And his armourbearer said unto him, “Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.” -> Jonathan's armour-bearer was right beside jonathan's side the whole way. He had as much faith in Jonathan as Jonathan had in Father, unwavering.
I Samuel 14:8 Then said Jonathan, “Behold, we will pass over unto these men, and we will discover ourselves unto them. -> Discover ourselves=H1540 - גּלה - gâlâh, pronounced - gaw-law': Meaning “to reveal.” So what Jonathan is about to do, is test Father, by revealing himself to these Philistines, and if (as we'll read) they say to Jonathan, "you stand right where you are," then Jonathan knows that this is from Father meaning He will not give the Philistines into his hand and they'll turn around and flee. However, if the Philistines say to him and his armour-bearer, "come over to us," then he knows that Father is delivering them into his hand and they'll have the victory over this garrison.
I Samuel 14:9 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. -> Tarry=Meaning to "keep quiet." So in other words, Jonathan is tellig his armour-bearer, this will be our sign that we should not proceed, YHVH will not give us the victory.
I Samuel 14:10 But if they say thus, ‘Come up unto us;’ then we will go up: for the LORD hath delivered them into our hand: and this shall be a sign unto us.” -> If they say, "come on up," then yes, YHVH is with us and has given us the victory, and we'll go and "kick some Philistine," if you will.
I Samuel 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 holes where they had hid themselves." -> This is the opposite of what people who are afraid do. Jonathan and this armour-bearer called up to the Philistine Sentry’s and asked for the permission to come up to where they were. They presented themselves as exactly who they were: Hebrews, so there was no doubt that Jonathan was the Philistine’s enemy. The Philistines knew that when they marched their army into the lands of the Israelites in large numbers, the Israelites fled into the hills. So now, when these guards saw Jonathan and his armour-bearer, they thought that these two were part of those cowards who had run from the battle, therefore they feared them not.
I Samuel 14:12 And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armourbearer, and said, “Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing.” And Jonathan said unto his armourbearer, “Come up after me: for the LORD hath delivered them into the hand of Israel.” -> Shew you a thing=Two Hebrew words are comprised to make this saying up. The first is H3045 - ידע - yâda‛, pronounced - yaw-dah': A primitive root; to know (properly to ascertain by seeing);, and the second is: H1697 - דּבר - dâbâr, pronounced - daw-bawr': From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) of thing;, so in other words, the Philistines are taunting Jonathan and his armour-bearer saying, “you come up here and we’ll show you a thing or two – we’ll kick your tails.”
This is just what Jonathan wanted to hear, as because of this answer, he knew that Father was on his side and was giving them the victory over this garrison of Philistines.
Jonathan here is giving us a wonderful ensample to follow: Do not ever do anything without first consulting Father, seeking His counsel and His Blessing. Now that doesn't mean that you should ask Him where to park your car: It does mean though, that for any major decision in your life you should first consult Him.
I Samuel 14:13 And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him. -> These sentries just said the words which let Jonathan know that Father was going to give the Philistines into his hand. Jonathan first had to climb up the hill and take it before he could take the battle to the enemy, and he is having to use both his hands and his feet just to climb up the steep slope of the hill.
Jonathan’s weapon was still in the holder, so once they reached the crest of the hill, then the battle began. Remember that this armor bearer didn’t have a sword, for amongst the Israelites, only Saul and Jonathan were allowed to have a weapon.
I Samuel 14:14 And that 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. -> That first day of battle went well for Jonathan and his armour-bearer. Between the two of them and there being only one sward between them, they bested twenty of the enemy. Yes, I'm sure as the battle progressed, Jonathan's armour-bearer dropped his pick-axe or whatever it was he had as a weapon and then picked up one of the dead Philistine's swords.
I Samuel 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 quaked: so it was a very great trembling. -> And the earth quaked=The earth quaked alright: Father, ELOHIM, was causing this quaking, stirring fear and trembling in both camps; that of Saul's and his hosts, but more so in the camp of the Philistines.
14:16-19 Army of Saul.
I Samuel 14:16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on beating down one another. -> As Saul and his host stood across from the battle scene and watched as the Philistines started killing one another, until those who weren’t dead fled in all directions, it must have been a sight to behold. It’s important to understand that what took place there on that hill top; is that Father gave the Philistines into hands of Jonathan. When Father is with you, no enemy can stand against you. Father can take care of those things that would harm you, or seek to do wrong against you. Bear in mind that Jonathan was a very brave soul. However, he did not go into battle until he knew that Father answered the sign through the bargain that he had made with Him. Jonathan set a condition, and God answered that condition.
We must use common sense in our bargaining with Father. If you need a sign from Him when you try something out of the ordinary, then first pray for wisdom.
I Samuel 14:17 Then said Saul unto the people that were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us.” And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armourbearer were not there. -> Saul understood that something was going on inside the enemy camp, he was smart enough to realize that somebody was over there stirring up the hornets nest, so he ordered a muster of his troops to see if anyone from his camp was no longer within the camp. At the end of the muster it was discovered that his own son, Jonathan, and his armour-bearer had departed the camp and were kicking Philistine tail in their camp., This surely must have made Saul proud of his son.
I Samuel 14:18 And Saul said unto Ahiah, “Bring hither the ark of God.” For the ark of God was at that time with the children of Israel. -> Bring hither the Ark of God=First and foremost this is translator's error because, the word rendered "bring" (H5066, naw-gash) as used here in the Hebrew, is the wrong word and is definately inappropriate in connection with the Ark of YHVH. This is the same word as "touch" from Genesis 3:3 when Eve was speaking to satan in his role of the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
As we read in I Samuel 7:1-2, the Ark at this time was in Kirjath-Jearim, so Saul could not have been meaning the Ark. The Septuagint reads the "ephod," and as we already read in verse v14:3above, Saul had his mind set on using the Urim and Thummim to inquire of Father. This is further evidenced by what Saul states in the next verse v14:19 "withdraw thine hand," and the utterance of the same phrase in referrence to the ephod in the following verses: I Samuel 23:6-9 and I Samuel 30:7-8.
I Samuel 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, “Withdraw thine hand.” -> The inquiry that Saul was discussing with Ahiah, was as to whether or not they should bring the Ark to the battle front. And as Ahiah was about to pose the question to Father and seek His answer via the Urim and Thummim; Saul heard the whooping that Jonathan and his armour-bearer were putting on the Philistine garrison. Therefore he told Ahiah to remove his hand from the ephod, because bringing the Ark to the front would not be necessary.
14:20-23 Saul’s success.
14:20-23 SAUL’S SUCCESS. (Alternation.)
14:20 Mutual slaughter of enemies.
I Samuel 14:20 And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and, behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture. -> Saul and all the people that were with him=Remember he only had six hundred men, mustering in his host at this time. But, what this is saying is that as Saul and his little army approached the crest of the hill, they saw that the Philistines were fighting amongst each other, and better still, they killing each other in great numbers, leaving many swords and spears for Saul and his troops to pick up. This is the way that Father supplied Saul's army with arms. Saul's army armed themselves with the Philistine’s weapons.
There was much confusion in the Philistine camp. Why? We'll find out in the next verse.
I Samuel 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 Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan. -> Sadly, there were some of the Israelites who were so cowardly and afraid of the Philistines, that instead of fighting against them; they went over to their side, figuring they'd be safe, even if they had to be in servitude to the Philistines. However, now htat they see the Israelite Army is getting a foot-hold and about to kick some Philistine, they're figuring on fighting beside their brothers.
This put me in mind of (and it should you too) of the battle in the first earth Age. When satan rebelled against Father there were many who sat on the sidelines and basically said "I'll wait until the war is over and then join-up with the side which wins." In other words, they were "fence sitters," much like these Israelites, but at least these Israelites did finally join in with their brothers and turned on the Philistines.
I Samuel 14:22 Likewise all the men of Israel which had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle. -> Now the draft dodging wimps are even coming out of hiding and joining in on the fray, yeah, now that the Philistines are running for their lives. Gee, how nice of them.
Why is it they're coming out of hiding now? Because this is the time when the spoils of the war are going to be divvied out and they want their share. This type of person you just cannot trust for they are in the battle for their own personal gain of the spoils of war. This type comes along after every war.
14:23 Salvation of Israel.
I Samuel 14:23 So the LORD saved Israel that day: and the battle passed over unto Beth-aven. -> The LORD saved=YHVH saved. Father saved Israel that day because of Jonathan's faith from verse v14:6 above, he walked by faith and not by sight. Don't read over this, as it wasn't Jonathan or even his armor bearer that saved Israel, but Father saved Israel. Never look at Father as some being or force, off in space, for we are made in His image. Father loves all of His children and He will protect them when they live within the commandments, laws, statutes and ordinances which He has laid down in His written Word.
Beth-aven=(House of nothingness). The Septuagint adds: "and all the people with Saul were about 10,000 men: and the battle extended itself to every city in Mount Ephraim. And Saul committed a great trespass of ignorance on that day." That "great trespass" is reiterated in the next verse.
14:23-46 Jonathan’s sin.
14:24-46 JONATHAN’S SIN. (Alternation.)
14:24-35 Sin committed.
14:24-35 SIN COMMITTED. (Division.)
14:24-30 By Jonathan.
14:24-30 BY JONATHAN. (Alternation.)
14:24-26 The people distressed.
I Samuel 14:24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the People, saying, “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. -> For Saul adjured the people...=The men were all hungry and sadly, because of his own self importance, Saul prevented them from eating, this was his great trespass. Why do I say self importance? Because he states "that I may be avenged of mine enemies." Remember when Samuel first came to Saul, under Father's direction, that Saul was a humble man and now from this Chapter on, we'll see that his attitude has changed and he is becoming puffed-up in his own mind.
I Samuel 14:25 And all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey upon the ground. -> Now think of the restraint it will take these hungry men to not put forth their hands to partake of a little of this honey. I commend them, and really have a hard time with Saul issuing his command for their not eating anything until evening. During the course of battle when men are expending much energy, food restores that lost energy so the man can go on fighting, and for the king, the commander-in-chief, to tell his men to not eat, that's just bad juju.
I Samuel 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 oath. -> Every man stayed his hand, not one of them within ear-shot of hearing this curse issued by Saul ate any of the honey.
14:27-28 Jonathan ignorant.
I Samuel 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 eyes were enlightened. -> Here was the trouble, Jonathan and his armour-bearer went ahead of the main force and therefore were out of ear-shot of hearing his father isssue the curse. So, after kicking Philistine, Jonathan was hungry and when he happened upon the honey, not knowing of the curse, he ate.
There is a disagreement of the scholars concerning the translation from the original language and wording of this verse. Even Dr. Bullinger alludes to the disagreement in his notes. Dr. Bullinger points out that the Septuagint and Vulgate writers didn't understand the passage, and the latter misled, using the word "honeycomb." Therefore leading "higher critics" to conclude that "this woods" was a place which was "a dense growing wood or thicket; and it has been suggested that it was the cannabis indica, or hemp plant which produces the Eastern intoxicant: hashish." Though I cannot document it, I strongly disagree with this inference, and will explain more when we get to verse v14:29.
14:28 The people faint.
I Samuel 14:28 Then answered one of the People, and said, “Thy father straitly charged the People with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man that eateth any food this day. And the People were faint.’” -> And the people were faint=Yes they were faint, they had been war-fighting all day long with nothing to eat, they were hungry, but had been commanded to not eat.
14:29-30 Jonathan troubled.
I Samuel 14:29 Then said Jonathan, “My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey. -> Mine eyes have been enlightened=It is because of this statement in this verse and verse v14:27 above that the scholars like to toy with this and put satan's spin on it. See, the "scholars" have twisted the Hebrew in order to use the Hebrew word "ya'ar" which never means honeycomb, but instead does mean "a wood." This wood is a wood that this grown in the dense thicket of woods, and is called "cannabis indica," a hemp plant that is an Eastern form of "hashish." It is an intoxicant that dulls the senses. They are saying that this is what enlightened Jonathan's eyes. The critics are so far off-base, it isn't even funny, for this was a honeycomb and it was the bees which caused the honeycomb to be there in the woods. There can be no mistake between a honeycomb and the substance that comes from a tree. When Jonathan took the honey from that honeycomb, Father restored his strength which he needed to defeat the enemy. The “type of mind” that most critics have, are seen in those who try to disgrace and tare down the true champions of YHVH. Rather than give Father any credit, they choose to give some drug the credit for any gain. Higher critics are those that make their money from tarring down true and righteous things of Father. The think tanks of our generation today are nothing more than satan's idle workshops. Those people claim to be scholars of God's Word, and the only reason they exist as to voice the evil words straight from their father, satan, and his evil spirits. Ignore them for they are of satan. Learn to think for yourself and accept Father's Word as His Spirit brings knowledge to your mind. Learn how to seek out the truth in Father's Word by using the available tools and then put them to good use. Besides, what is the food of the prophets? Matthew 3:4 and Mark 1:6 tell us it is locusts and wild honey: Mark 1:6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;.
I Samuel 14:30 How much more, if haply the People had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?” -> Jonathan is telling the Israelite Army that had they also partaken of some of the honey, they would have had a greater slaughter of the Philistines than they did have that day, and they also would still have some of their energy left over.
14:31-35 By the people.
14:31-35 SIN OF THE PEOPLE. (Introversion.)
I Samuel 14:31 And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon (place of gazelles, or deerfield): and the People were very faint. -> And the people were very faint=Saul should have never issued his curse, he sure didn't do his men any favors.
Aijalon=(1) A city of the Kohathites Joshua 21:24 and I Chronicles 6:69. It was a Levitical city and a city of refuge. In Joshua 19:42 it was originally allotted to the tribe of Dan, Authorized Version, AJALON, which tribe, however, was unable to dispossess the Amorites of the place as can be read in Judges 1:35. Aijalon was one of the towns fortified by Reheboam II Chronicles 11:10, and the last we hear of it is being in the hands of the Philistines in II Chronicles 28:18. Being on the very frontier of the two kingdoms, we can understand how Aijalon should be spoken of sometimes I Chronicles 6:69, and we can compare this with I Chronicles 6:66. As in Ephraim and sometimes II Chronicles 11:10 and here in I Samuel 14:31, as in Judah and Benjamin. It is represented by the modern Yalo , a little to the north of the Jaffa road, about 14 miles out of Jerusalem; (2) A broad and beautiful valley near the city of Aijalon over which Joshua commanded the moon to stand still during the pursuit after the battle of Gibeon Joshua 10:12; and (3) A place in Zebulon, mentioned as the burial-place of Elon, one of the Judges Judges 12:12.
I Samuel 14:32 And the People flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the People did eat them with the blood. -> Saul's men were so hungry by the end of the day's slaughter; that when they did kill their spoils of war to eat, they completely ignored Father's command as He set forth in His food laws of Leviticus 3:17, 7:26-27 and 19:26. This is added onto Saul as his sin, for had he not commanded his men to not eat until the end of the day, the men would not have acted so hastily and eaten the animals while they were still in the blood. The men did not properly prepare the animals for eating, but ate them raw, blood and all. How many times in the movies do you see the indians or others eating the heart of an animal they just killed, as soon as they reach it? This is absolutely not to be done under Father's laws. The reason for this "blood-letting process" is that an animal begins to putrefy at the time of death. These health laws are given to protect us and keep us in good health.
I Samuel 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: roll a great stone unto me this day.” -> Here we begin to see another of Saul's sins: he fails to take the blame upon himself for the people's sin and even his own sins. Rather, he makes excuses and places the blame on others.
Roll a great stone=Saul told those who told him concerning his troops eating the slain animals in their blood, to bring a large stone to him in order that when they slay an animal, they can then properly bleed it as per Father’s command.
Sadly, some denominations use this verse in their justification to say that we Christians are not to have blood transfusions; however, that is not what this concerns. The "eating with the blood," goes against Father's health laws where Father directs the
bleeding of an animal to prepare it properly for dinner.
I Samuel 14:34 And Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, ‘Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the LORD in eating with the blood.’” And all the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and slew them there. -> At the beginning of his reign, Saul was trying to be a good king; however, as time progressed, he lost much of his humbleness, and every order or oath that he issued was either wrong or against Father's laws. He further compounded his sins by his trying to dignify everything that he said by making it part of Father's purpose.
I Samuel 14:35 And Saul built an altar unto the LORD: the same was the first altar that he built unto the LORD. -> This was from the "great stone" from verse v14:33 above. The problem with the erecting of this altar is that Saul most probably had it erected not to give thanks to Father or to properly bleed the animals; but, as a memorial to commemorate his victory over the Philistines.
14:36 Pursuit proposed by Saul.
14:36-45 Sin discovered.
I Samuel 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 draw near hither unto God. -> After having eaten, and knowing that his men are now refreshed; Saul is now ready to finish slaying the Philistines, and tells his men to rest-up for they will set out to do so come dusk. Saul is getting a little ahead of himself here in his wanting to pursue the Philistines as he isn't asking, and hasn't asked, Father, if they should do so.
The men for their part; having been strengthened by the food, tell their king that they are ready to move on the Philistines whenever he is. Ahiah joins in and tells everybody to slow down and first pray to Father, seeking His guidance before they push on.
I Samuel 14:37 And Saul asked counsel of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel?” But He answered him not that day. -> Saul is finally seeking the counsel of YHVH; however, because of his failure to learn the lesson of seeking Father previously, Father is ignoring him presently.
Remember also, the people had just sinned by eating the animals in their own blood, and not yet repented of that sin; so, Father is purposely being stand-offish.
Remember further still, that Saul had placed a curse on anybody that had eaten before the end of the day, and his own son, Jonathan, had done so and that still has not been addressed.
I Samuel 14:38 And Saul said, “Draw ye near hither, all the chief of the People: and know and see wherein this sin hath been this day. -> Saul perceives and recognizes that there is possibly a sin within the camp that has not yet been attended to. So he calls all the leaders of the tribes that are with him to try and figure out what the omission is.
I Samuel 14:39 For, as the LORD liveth, Which saveth Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die.” But there was not a man among all the People that answered him. -> Foolishly and hastily, Saul engages in another oath. This is what the issue is right now; however, he doesn't recognize it; but, what he is saying here is that, "even if my own son has sinned, the person in Israel who has sinned shall surely be put to death in order to release us from Father's wrath." Saul just doesn't know how close to the truth he is; however, none of the leaders are willing to tell him the truth for fear of him.
I Samuel 14:40 Then said he unto all Israel, “Be ye on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side.” And the People said unto Saul, “Do what seemeth good unto thee. -> In order to find out who in Israel sinned against Father, Saul tells the people, "you stand on one side of this line I'll draw in the dirt, and Jonathan and I will stand on the other and then we'll see just who it was that sinned." Little does he know what is about to transpire! Boy, is he going to be surprised when the "lot" falls on him and Jonathan!
I Samuel 14:41 Therefore Saul said unto the LORD God of Israel, “Give a perfect lot.” And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the People escaped. -> Saul now consults Father through the use of the Urim and Thummim, and asks Him to "give a perfect lot" or in plain speak, to give truth or innocence to this matter. Of course, our Father is only capable of giving such.
And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the People escaped=Oops, I'll put big money he wasn't expecting this; I'd have loved to see the look on Saul's face when the "lot" fell on he and Jonathan.
Give a perfect lot=Give perfections: i.e., via the Thummim. There is evidently a homoeoteleuton here. (meaning: like endings. The repetition of the same letters of syllables at the end of successive words. Used also of an omission of words in the text caused by such-like endings: the scribes eye going back to the latter of such similar words instead of the former) The scribes, having written the word "Israel," went forward to the word "Israel" a line or two further on, and omitted the words between, which are preserved in two ancient versions, older than any Hebrew Massoretic text. These omitted words are enclosed in the brackets below, in the translation given of the Septuagint version:-"LORD God of Israel, [Why hast thou not answered Thy servant this day? Is the iniquity in me, or in Jonathan my son? LORD God of Israel, Give clear (manifestation, i.e. Urim); and if (the lot) should declare this, give, I pray Thee, to Thy People Israel, give, I pray holiness" (i.e. Thummim, a perfect lot). The Hebrew (unpointed) thamin (perfect) would thus have been Thummim.
I Samuel 14:42 And Saul said, “Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken. -> Saul is now trying to determine if it was he or his son who sinned, and what the nature of the sin was.
This time when the lot was cast, it came down on Jonathan. It was because Jonathan that had eaten of the honey, when the command or oath by YHVH's anointed was to keep from eating any food. It wasn't because of the actual eating of the honey as that is "clean food," it was because of Jonathan's breaking of the oath which his father issued, in reality it should have been Saul because of the issuance of his oaths, and his self importance.
Stop and think for a moment: it wasn’t Father's Law that was broken, it was Saul’s oath. Jonathan did not take the oath; he was up on the hillside killing the Philistines when the oath was given. He was ignorant of the oath by Saul his father, therefore he was in reality, innocent. This was Saul's commandment, not Father's. It is bad to disobey any of YHVH's law(s), though he is not Father, the king also should be obeyed. When one breaks a commandment in ignorance, no sin has been committed.
I Samuel 14:43 Then 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 that was in mine hand, and, lo, I must die.” -> Jonathan didn't take the oath, however, he now knows that he breK did an oath that his father issued, therefore he is willing to accept the punishment for the breaking of the oath.
I Samuel 14:44 And Saul answered, “God do so and more also (the Septuagint, the Vulgate and the Syriac add "unto me"): for thou shalt surely die, Jonathan.” -> God do so and more also...=Here goes Saul again making an oath. Will he ever learn?
This time the oath is that he is going to carry-out the results of the issuance of the first oath - the death of the one who broke the oath. The means Saul is going to have his son, Jonathan, excuted.
Really, Saul just put himself in a pickle. He just now again issued another oath: God do so and more also... So, either he kills his son Jonathan or he himself has to die. What will now happen?
I Samuel 14:45 And the People said unto Saul, “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. -> The people correctly rebuke Saul in his proclamation that his son, Jonathan, should die because he, Saul, issued the oath that, "whoever eats before then end of the day shall surely be put to death." The people knew that it was Jonathan, his armour-bearer, and more importantly Father Himself, who went before the main body and defeated the garrison of the Philistines making Father the Saviour of Israel that day. The people were so adamant that Saul really had no choice but to give in to their demands, and it was a good choice on his part.
Also, the resoluteness of the people most likely caused Saul to realize that the sin really was his, and not Jonathan's. He should have never issued the oath to begin with, as he had placed the importance of himself before the entire Nation of Israel, when he stated,"that I may be avenged of mine enemies."
Not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground=Were you paying attention because Father has slipped something in this verse that relates to the New Testament, where, in the last days of this Age, when the elect are delivered up to give account of why they will not bow to satan and his system; Luke 21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish. -> Jonathan also was delivered up into battle; and in the end, Father protected him and not one hair of his head fell to the ground. At the end of this Age when satan is here in his role of the pretend-to-be-jesus, those that will be delivered up to do spiritual battle against him, will give an account of themselves, and they will be protected by Father also. And, just as Jonathan was innocent, yet accused, so shall YHVH's elect be innocent and yet accused. Father’s Holy Spirit will be there defending you in your innocence.
14:46 Pursuit abandoned by Saul.
I Samuel 14:46 Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place. -> Saul and the Israelite Army won the battle of the day; however, as we'll see, the war would continue for many years. With the battle now being won and lost, both sides returned to their homes. This will pick back up in the future though, for in the near future, the second man king of Israel will defeat the Philistine's main threat: Goliath.
The next verse through the end of the chapter record the history of the wars of Israel while Saul was king, and also his chronicle his genealogy.
14:47-52 THE LEVIES OF SAUL. (Introversion.)
I Samuel 14:47 So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah (station), and against the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them. -> Saul didn't have an easy time during his reign, he led Israel through their many wars with several different enemies which were all around them, and even some from within, think of David at the end of Saul's reign after Father had rejected Saul as king of Israel. Father had anointed David king before Saul was dead and after their many victories, the people started giving David credit for those victories which made Saul jealous and angered him enough that he wanted to kill David.
He vexed them=The Septuagint read "he was victorious." Through all the wars while Saul was king, Father fought for His People Israel, and they--so long as they followed Him--defeated their enemies. The only enemy of Saul's that he could not and did not defeat was David. Of course, David really wasn't Saul's enemy, only in Saul's mind. Remember, David had several chances to kill Saul or have him killed; however, he knew that like himself, Saul was Father's anointed, and Father wouldn't have been pleased if he had killed Saul.
I Samuel 14:48 And he gathered an host, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them. -> He gathered an host=In the Hebrew this means: "power or a force;" and it is put for the army which manifested that power, it could also be rendered "he wrought mightily."
To this point in Saul's reign he is doing well against Israel's emenies; however, when we get to the next Chapter, I Samuel 15, during the wars with the Amakekites we'll see Saul again start his disobedience to and rebellion against Father.
Amalekites=a nomadic tribe of uncertain origin, which occupied the peninsula of Sinai and the wilderness intervening between the southern hill-ranges of Palestine and the border of Egypt as can be read in Numbers 13:29; I Samuel 15:7 and 28:8. Their wealth consisted in flocks and herds. Mention is made of a "town" in I Samuel 15:5, but their towns could have been little more than stations or nomadic enclosures. The Amalekites first came in contact with the Israelites at Rephidim (resting place), but were signally defeated in Exodus 17:8-16. In union with the Canaanites they again attacked the Israelites on the borders of Palestine, and defeated them near Hormah (a place laid waste) in Numbers 14:45. Saul undertook an expedition against them as we’re reading of here in I Samuel 14. Their power was thenceforth broken, and they degenerated into a horde of banditti (prairie bandits). Their destruction was completed by David in I Samuel 30:1-17.
I Samuel 14:49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan (gift of YHVH or YHVH given), and Ishui (quiet or level, in I Samuel 31:2 Ishui is also identified as Abinadab=father of generosity (that is liberal)), and Melchi-shua (king of help or king of wealth): and the names of his two daughters were these; the name of the firstborn Merab (increase), and the name of the younger Michal (who is like God or rivulet): -> As we learn in I Samuel 31, all 3 of Saul's sons mentioned here die in battle with him; the Philistines killed the young men and wounded Saul so severely, that he asks his armour-bearer to "thrust him through." His armour-bearer would not, so Saul takes his life by falling upon his own sword.
Saul does have another son who is not mentioned here in this verse. It's my belief, though I cannot document this, that he, Ish-bo'sheth (man of shame), is not mentioned here because like his father and brothers, he did not die in this battle with the Philistines. Ish-bo'sheth is the youngest of Saul’s four sons, and his legitimate successor B.C. 1068. Ish-bo'sheth was "forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years" (II Samuel 3:10). During these two years he reigned at Mahanaim, though only in name. The wars and negotiations with David were entirely carried on by Abner (II Samuel 2:12; 3:6,12). The death of Abner deprived the house of Saul of its last remaining support. When Ish-bo'sheth heard of it, "his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled." He was murdered in his bed.
Likewise also, in as much as the daughters: Merab and Michal, are named, they will play a great role in the kingship of Israel.
14:50 Abner. Chief captain.
I Samuel 14:50 And the name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam (brother of grace or gracious, or brother of pleasantness), the daughter of Ahimaaz (brother of anger): and the name of the captain of his host was Abner (father of light), the son of Ner (a light or lamp), Saul's uncle. -> Saul's wife was Ahinoam=This is unusual that the wife (be it the king or somebody else's wife) is mentioned. I think it a shame and sad that it is so infrequent, and I am pleased to see Ahinoam mentioned by name here.
Abner=This was Saul's general over his army, he was also Saul's nephew. In the future, it will be Abner who elevates Ishbosheth (never anointed by Father to be king over Israel) to king over the House of Israel while David is king of the House of Judah.
I Samuel 14:51 And Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel (father of strength or father (that is possessor) of God). -> Saul's father Kish and Abner's father Ner were brothers and their father was Abiel. This then is the genealogy of the royal line through Saul. Forget not though, that they were the descendants of the Tribe of Benjamin.
I Samuel 14:52 And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him. -> Sore war against the Philistines=All the days of his reign and his life Saul, warred with the Philistines and in the end, they had the victory over Saul by killing him and three of his four sons, but not over the House of Israel.
When Saul saw any strong man or any valiant man, he took him=Father through Moses in Deuteronomy 17 and through Samuel in I Samuel 8:10-18, told the Israelites that: if and when they got a man king; he would their sons and conscript them into military
service and their daughters and make them confectionaries, and cooks and bakers.