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1 Samuel 14:40-47

Context

14:40 Then he said to all Israel, “You will be on one side, and I and my son Jonathan will be on the other side.” The army replied to Saul, “Do whatever you think is best.”

14:41 Then Saul said, “O Lord God of Israel! If this sin has been committed by me or by my son Jonathan, then, O Lord God of Israel, respond with Urim. But if this sin has been committed by your people Israel, respond with Thummim.” 1  Then Jonathan and Saul were indicated by lot, while the army was exonerated. 2  14:42 Then Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan!” 3  Jonathan was indicated by lot.

14:43 So Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” Jonathan told him, “I used the end of the staff that was in my hand to taste a little honey. I must die!” 4  14:44 Saul said, “God will punish me severely if Jonathan doesn’t die!” 5 

14:45 But the army said to Saul, “Should Jonathan, who won this great victory in Israel, die? May it never be! As surely as the Lord lives, not a single hair of his head will fall to the ground! For it is with the help of God that he has acted today.” So the army rescued Jonathan from death. 6 

14:46 Then Saul stopped chasing the Philistines, and the Philistines went back home. 7  14:47 After Saul had secured his royal position over Israel, he fought against all their 8  enemies on all sides – the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. In every direction that he turned he was victorious. 9 

1 tc Heb “to the Lord God of Israel: ‘Give what is perfect.’” The Hebrew textual tradition has accidentally omitted several words here. The present translation follows the LXX (as do several English versions, cf. NAB, NRSV, TEV). See P. K. McCarter, I Samuel (AB), 247-48, and R. W. Klein, 1 Samuel (WBC), 132.

sn The Urim and Thummim were used for lot casting in ancient Israel. Their exact identity is uncertain; they may have been specially marked stones drawn from a bag. See Exod 28:30; Lev 8:8, and Deut 33:8, as well as the discussion in R. W. Klein, 1 Samuel (WBC), 140.

2 tn Heb “went out.”

3 tc The LXX includes the following words: “Whomever the Lord will indicate by the lot, let him die! And the people said to Saul, ‘It is not this word.’ But Saul prevailed over the people, and they cast lots between him and between Jonathan his son.”

4 tn Heb “Look, I, I will die.” Apparently Jonathan is acquiescing to his anticipated fate of death. However, the words may be taken as sarcastic (“Here I am about to die!”) or as a question, “Must I now die?” (cf. NAB, NIV, NCV, NLT).

5 tn Heb “So God will do and so he will add, surely you will certainly die, Jonathan.”

6 tn Heb “and he did not die.”

7 tn Heb “to their place.”

8 tn Heb “his,” which could refer to Israel or to Saul.

9 tc The translation follows the LXX (“he was delivered”), rather than the MT, which reads, “he acted wickedly.”



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