13:23 A garrison of the Philistines had gone out to the pass at Micmash. 14:1 Then one day Jonathan son of Saul said to his armor bearer, 1 “Come on, let’s go over to the Philistine garrison that is opposite us.” But he did not let his father know.
14:2 Now Saul was sitting under a pomegranate tree in Migron, on the outskirts of Gibeah. The army that was with him numbered about six hundred men. 14:3 Now Ahijah was carrying 2 an ephod. He was the son of Ahitub, who was the brother of Ichabod and a son of Phineas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord in Shiloh. The army was unaware that Jonathan had left.
14:4 Now there was a steep cliff on each side of the pass through which Jonathan intended to go to reach the Philistine garrison. One cliff was named Bozez, the other Seneh. 14:5 The cliff to the north was closer to Micmash, the one to the south closer to Geba.
14:6 Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will intervene 3 for us. Nothing can prevent the Lord from delivering, whether by many or by a few.” 14:7 His armor bearer said to him, “Do everything that is on your mind. 4 Do as you’re inclined. I’m with you all the way!” 5
14:8 Jonathan replied, “All right! 6 We’ll go over to these men and fight them. 14:9 If they say to us, ‘Stay put until we approach you,’ we will stay 7 right there and not go up to them. 14:10 But if they say, ‘Come up against us,’ we will go up. For in that case the Lord has given them into our hand – it will be a sign to us.”
14:11 When they 8 made themselves known to the Philistine garrison, the Philistines said, “Look! The Hebrews are coming out of the holes in which they hid themselves.” 14:12 Then the men of the garrison said to Jonathan and his armor bearer, “Come on up to us so we can teach you a thing or two!” 9 Then Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up behind me, for the Lord has given 10 them into the hand of Israel!”
14:13 Jonathan crawled up on his hands and feet, with his armor bearer following behind him. Jonathan struck down the Philistines, 11 while his armor bearer came along behind him and killed them. 12 14:14 In this initial skirmish Jonathan and his armor bearer struck down about twenty men in an area that measured half an acre.
14:15 Then fear overwhelmed 13 those who were in the camp, those who were in the field, all the army in the garrison, and the raiding bands. They trembled and the ground shook. This fear was caused by God. 14
14:16 Saul’s watchmen at Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin 15 looked on 16 as the crowd of soldiers seemed to melt away first in one direction and then in another. 17 14:17 So Saul said to the army that was with him, “Muster the troops and see who is no longer with us.” When they mustered the troops, 18 Jonathan and his armor bearer were not there. 14:18 So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring near the ephod,” 19 for he was at that time wearing the ephod. 20 14:19 While 21 Saul spoke to the priest, the panic in the Philistines’ camp was becoming greater and greater. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand!”
14:20 Saul and all the army that was with him assembled and marched into battle, where they found 22 the Philistines in total panic killing one another with their swords. 23 14:21 The Hebrews who had earlier gone over to the Philistine side 24 joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 14:22 When all the Israelites who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines had fled, they too pursued them in battle. 14:23 So the Lord delivered Israel that day, and the battle shifted over to Beth Aven. 25
2 tn Heb “bearing.” Many English versions understand this verb to mean “wearing” (cf. KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NLT).
3 tn Heb “act.”
4 tn Heb “in your heart.”
6 tn Heb “Look!”
7 tn Heb “stand.”
8 tn Heb “the two of them.”
9 tn Heb “a thing.”
10 tn The perfect verbal form is used rhetorically here to express Jonathan’s certitude. As far as he is concerned, the victory is as good as won and can be described as such.
11 tn Heb “and they fell before Jonathan.”
12 tn Heb “and the one carrying his equipment was killing after him.”
13 tn Heb “fell upon.”
14 tn Heb “and it was by the fear of God.” The translation understands this to mean that God was the source or cause of the fear experienced by the Philistines. This seems to be the most straightforward reading of the sentence. It is possible, however, that the word “God” functions here simply to intensify the accompanying word “fear,” in which one might translate “a very great fear” (cf. NAB, NRSV). It is clear that on some occasions that the divine name carries such a superlative nuance. For examples see Joüon 2:525 §141.n.
15 tn Heb “at Gibeah of Benjamin.” The words “in the territory” are supplied in the translation for clarity.
16 tn Heb “saw, and look!”
17 tn Heb “the crowd melted and went, even here.”
18 tn Heb “and they mustered the troops, and look!”
19 tc Heb “the ark of God.” It seems unlikely that Saul would call for the ark, which was several miles away in Kiriath-jearim (see 1 Sam 7:2). The LXX and an Old Latin
20 tc Heb “for the ark of God was in that day, and the sons of Israel.” The translation follows the text of some Greek manuscripts. See the previous note.
21 tn Or perhaps “until.”
22 tn Heb “and look, there was”
23 tn Heb “the sword of a man against his companion, a very great panic.”
24 tn Heb “and the Hebrews were to the Philistines formerly, who went up with them in the camp all around.”
25 tc The LXX includes the following words: “And all the people were with Saul, about ten thousand men. And the battle extended to the entire city on mount Ephraim.”