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1 Samuel 14:8-16


14:8 Jonathan replied, “All right! 1  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 2  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 3  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!” 4  Then Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up behind me, for the Lord has given 5  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, 6  while his armor bearer came along behind him and killed them. 7  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 8  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. 9 

14:16 Saul’s watchmen at Gibeah in the territory of Benjamin 10  looked on 11  as the crowd of soldiers seemed to melt away first in one direction and then in another. 12 

1 tn Heb “Look!”

2 tn Heb “stand.”

3 tn Heb “the two of them.”

4 tn Heb “a thing.”

5 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.

6 tn Heb “and they fell before Jonathan.”

7 tn Heb “and the one carrying his equipment was killing after him.”

8 tn Heb “fell upon.”

9 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.

10 tn Heb “at Gibeah of Benjamin.” The words “in the territory” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

11 tn Heb “saw, and look!”

12 tn Heb “the crowd melted and went, even here.”

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