1 Samuel 13:23-14:23

Jonathan attacks the Philistines

23 A group of Philistine soldiers went to the narrow road across the hills at Michmash.

1 Samuel 14

1 A young man carried the armour of Saul's son Jonathan. One day, Jonathan said to the young man, ‘Come with me. We will go over to the place where the Philistine soldiers have their camp.’ But Jonathan did not tell his father what he was doing.

2 Saul was staying near Gibeah. He sat under a big fruit tree at Migron. There were about 600 soldiers with him. 3 The priest Ahijah was with Saul. Ahijah wore the priest's ephod. Ahijah was the son of Ichabod's brother, Ahitub. Ahitub was the son of Phinehas and the grandson of Eli. Eli was the priest who had served the Lord in Shiloh.

Nobody knew that Jonathan had left. 4 To reach the Philistines, he had to go along a narrow valley. There were high rocks on both sides of the road. The name of one rock was ‘Bozez’. The name of the other rock was ‘Seneh’. 5 The rock on the north side of the road was near Michmash. The rock on the south side was near Geba.

6 Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armour, ‘Now we will go to the camp of those foreign people. Perhaps the Lord will help us to win the fight. He can win a battle whether there are many soldiers or only a few.’

7 The young man said, ‘You must do whatever you think is right. I will serve you faithfully all the way.’

8 Jonathan said, ‘Listen! We will go across to the Philistines now. We will let them see us. 9 They may tell us to stop and wait for them to come to us. If they say that, we will stay here. 10 But they may ask us to go up and fight against them. Then we will do that. We will know that the Lord has put them under our power. It will be his sign to us.’

11 Jonathan and the young man stood where the Philistine soldiers could see them. The Philistines said, ‘Look! The Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have been hiding.’ 12 They shouted to Jonathan and the young man, ‘Come up here to fight against us! We will teach you how to fight!’

Jonathan said to the young man, ‘Follow me as I climb up to them. The Lord has put those men under Israel's power!’

13 Jonathan climbed up the rock wall on his hands and his feet. The young man climbed up behind him. Jonathan attacked and killed some of the Philistines. The young man followed behind Jonathan and killed more of them. 14 In the first fight, Jonathan and his young man killed about 20 Philistines in a small area.

15 All the other soldiers in the Philistine army then became very afraid. This included the soldiers in the camp, those in the fields, those who were guards, and the groups who were attacking other towns. Even the ground shook because God had made them all very afraid.

16 Some of Saul's soldiers who were with him in Gibeah were watching the Philistines. They saw that their soldiers were running away in different directions. 17 Saul said to his men, ‘Count our soldiers. Find out who is not here.’ When they did that, Jonathan and the young man who carried his armour were not there.

18 Saul said to Ahijah the priest, ‘Bring the ephod here.’ At that time, Ahijah was wearing the ephod. 19 While Saul was saying this, the Philistine soldiers were making more and more noise. They were all very confused. So Saul said to the priest, ‘Take your hand out of the ephod. It is time to go!’

14:19They used special stones in the ephod to find out what God wanted them to do.

20 Then Saul and all the soldiers who were with him marched out to battle. They found that the Philistines were completely confused. They were fighting each other with their swords. 21 Before this time, some of the Hebrew men had gone to join with the Philistine army. Now they went back to join the Israelite army with Saul and Jonathan. 22 The Israelite soldiers who had hidden in hill country of Ephraim also heard the news. When they knew that the Philistine soldiers were running away, they chased after them as well. 23 In that way, the Lord saved Israel's people on that day. The battle moved all the way to Beth Aven and beyond it.