Shmuel I Fourteen: Jonathan

Jonathan must be in a very weird position. He’s the son of the king, but because of his father’s actions, he knows that he won’t ever inherit the throne. Saul will not leave a dynasty, which must leave a prince in a kind of limbo state. Anyway, Jonathan decides to take some of his men and go to the Philistines, without telling his father. Saul has 600 men with him, but no one knows where Jonathan has gone. “And between the sides which Jonathan sought to cross to the garrison of the Philistines, there was a rocky crag from this side, and a rocky crag from this side; the name of one being Bozez, and the name of the other being Seneh (Samuel I 14:4).” Jonathan wants to ambush the Philistines, so he and his companion make a plan.

“And Jonathan climbed up on his hands and on his feet, with his weapon-bearer after him, and they fell before Jonathan, and his weapon-bearer was slaying after him (Samuel I 14:13).” They wind up killing approximately twenty men. However, Saul and the people have no idea what’s happening. They’re not sure what the attack is, and are very confused. Saul sends his men to join the battle, but Jonathan doesn’t know, leading to a lot of missed communications. “And the men of Israel were hard pressed on that day, ad Saul adjured the people, saying ‘Cursed be the man who will eat food until evening, until I shall be avenged of my enemies,’ and none of the people tasted any food (Samuel I 14:24).”

But Jonathan doesn’t know about this new pronouncement, and he eats some honey. The people are successful, but sin as a result. A confusing battle scene continues. Jonathan is cursed because of his unknowing consumption of the honey, but the people protest on his behalf and he survives. Saul and his family continue to be victorious, along with Israel.


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