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1 Samuel 14:24-32

Context
Jonathan Violates Saul’s Oath

14:24 Now the men of Israel were hard pressed that day, for Saul had made the army agree to this oath: “Cursed be the man who eats food before evening! I will get my vengeance on my enemies!” So no one in the army ate anything.

14:25 Now the whole army 1  entered the forest and there was honey on the ground. 2  14:26 When the army entered the forest, they saw 3  the honey flowing, but no one ate any of it, 4  for the army was afraid of the oath. 14:27 But Jonathan had not heard about the oath his father had made the army take. He extended the end of his staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb. When he ate it, 5  his eyes gleamed. 6  14:28 Then someone from the army informed him, “Your father put the army under a strict oath 7  saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food today!’ That is why the army is tired.” 14:29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has caused trouble for the land. See how my eyes gleamed 8  when I tasted just a little of this honey. 14:30 Certainly if the army had eaten some of the enemies’ provisions that they came across today, would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?”

14:31 On that day the army struck down the Philistines from Micmash to Aijalon, and they became very tired. 14:32 So the army rushed greedily on 9  the 10  plunder, confiscating sheep, cattle, and calves. They slaughtered them right on the ground, and the army ate them blood and all.

1 tn Heb “all the land.”

2 tn Heb “the surface of the field.”

3 tn Heb “and the army entered the forest, and look!”

4 tn Heb “and there was no one putting his hand to his mouth.”

5 tn Heb “and he returned his hand to his mouth.”

6 tc The translation follows the Qere and several medieval Hebrew mss in reading “gleamed,” rather than the Kethib, “saw.”

7 tn Heb “your father surely put the army under an oath.” The infinitive absolute is used before the finite verb to emphasize the solemn nature of the oath.

8 tc The LXX reads “saw.” See v. 27.

9 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew mss in reading “and they rushed greedily upon,” rather than the Kethib, “and they did.”

10 tc The translation reads with the Qere and many medieval Hebrew mss הַשָּׁלָל (hashalal, “the spoil”) rather than following the Kethib reading, שָׁלָל (shalal, “spoil”).



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