Monday, March 31 2014
1 Samuel 14: Jonathan's Sweet Victory
"My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey"
If King Saul had not squandered his wisdom and humility (see 1 Samuel 10: King Saul of Israel and 1 Samuel 13: Saul's Burnt Offering), the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) would have had no cause to remove him as the first human king of Israel (see 1 Samuel 8: Our King May Judge Us). There would have been no need to replace Saul of Benjamin with David of Judah (see Joshua 18: The Land Of Benjamin, Joshua 15: Judah's Homeland and the Fact Finder question below). The royal line of Saul would have continued to his son, Jonathan.
Jonathan was a courageous and righteous man who maintained his humility and wisdom while serving his increasingly unstable and unrighteous father. Jonathan was not a "palace prince"; he was a battlefield warrior.
"14:1 Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father.
14:2 And Saul tarried in the uttermost part of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree [see also Pomegranates] which is in Migron: and the people that were with him were about six hundred men;
14:3 And Ahiah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the LORD'S priest in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people knew not that Jonathan was gone.
14:4 And between the passages, by which Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines' garrison, there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.
14:5 The forefront of the one was situate northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah.
14:6 And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.
14:7 And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.
14:8 Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will pass over unto these men, and we will discover ourselves unto them.
14:9 If they say thus unto us, Tarry until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up unto them.
14:10 But if they say thus, Come up unto us; then we will go up: for the LORD hath delivered them into our hand: and this shall be a sign unto us.
14:11 And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves.
14:12 And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armourbearer, and said, Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing.
And Jonathan said unto his armourbearer, Come up after me: for the LORD hath delivered them into the hand of Israel.
14:13 And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him.
14:14 And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.
14:15 And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great trembling.
14:16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on beating down one another.
14:17 Then said Saul unto the people that were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armourbearer were not there.
14:18 And Saul said unto Ahiah, Bring hither the ark of God. For the ark of God was at that time with the children of Israel.
14:19 And it came to pass, while Saul talked unto the priest, that the noise that was in the host of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said unto the priest, Withdraw thine hand.
14:20 And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and, behold, every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture.
14:21 Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time, which went up with them into the camp from the country round about, even they also turned to be with the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan.
14:22 Likewise all the men of Israel which had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle.
14:23 So the LORD saved Israel that day: and the battle passed over unto Bethaven." (1 Samuel 14:-23 KJV)
The LORD does not empower those who disobey Him. As happened with Eli (see 1 Samuel 2: The Prophecy Of The House Of Eli and 1 Samuel 3: The Calling Of Samuel), the LORD even stopped talking to Saul: "And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day."
One of the most foolish declarations of Saul was to have his own son, Jonathan, put to death for eating some wild honey that he found after delivering another victory to his father. Saul had foolishly sent his men into a major day-long battle while fasting: "And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any food." It resulted in a near-mutiny of the victorious army to save their commander, Jonathan. If not for their respect and loyalty to Jonathan, Saul may well have had a revolution that day to remove him from the kingship.
"14:24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.
14:25 And all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey upon the ground.
14:26 And when the people were come into the wood, behold, the honey dropped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath.
14:27 But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.
14:28 Then answered one of the people, and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food this day. And the people were faint.
14:29 Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.
14:30 How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?
14:31 And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon: and the people were very faint.
14:32 And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood.
14:33 Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the LORD, in that they eat with the blood.
And he said, Ye have transgressed: roll a great stone unto me this day.
14:34 And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the LORD in eating with the blood. And all the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and slew them there.
14:35 And Saul built an altar unto the LORD: the same was the first altar that he built unto the LORD.
14:36 And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and spoil them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them.
And they said, Do whatsoever seemeth good unto thee.
Then said the priest, Let us draw near hither unto God.
14:37 And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day.
14:38 And Saul said, Draw ye near hither, all the chief of the people: and know and see wherein this sin hath been this day.
14:39 For, as the LORD liveth, which saveth Israel, though it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die. But there was not a man among all the people that answered him.
14:40 Then said he unto all Israel, Be ye on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side.
And the people said unto Saul, Do what seemeth good unto thee.
14:41 Therefore Saul said unto the LORD God of Israel, Give a perfect lot. And Saul and Jonathan were taken: but the people escaped.
14:42 And Saul said, Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son. And Jonathan was taken.
14:43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what thou hast done.
And Jonathan told him, and said, I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in mine hand, and, lo, I must die.
14:44 And Saul answered, God do so and more also: for thou shalt surely die, Jonathan.
14:45 And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not.
14:46 Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place.
14:47 So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them.
14:48 And he gathered an host, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them." (1 Samuel 14:24-48 KJV)
Saul's reign survived the victory that Jonathan gave to him. Jonathan remained as the key figure all through the time that "there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him." As we will cover in a later study, it would end when Jonathan died in battle with Saul, after bungling Saul led his army into an ambush.
"14:49 Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishui, and Melchishua: and the names of his two daughters were these; the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal:
14:50 And the name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz: and the name of the captain of his host was Abner, the son of Ner, Saul's uncle.
14:51 And Kish was the father of Saul; and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.
14:52 And there was sore war against the Philistines all the days of Saul: and when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him." (1 Samuel 14:49-52 KJV)
Fact Finder: Although the Israelite monarchy was transferred from Benjamin (Saul) to Judah (David), did the tribes of Benjamin and Judah nevertheless remain together as the Kingdom of Judah after Israel divided into "Israel" and "Judah"?
See Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah and Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah
This Day In History, March 31
307: After divorcing Minervina, Roman Emperor Constantine (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy) married Fausta, the daughter of the former Roman Emperor Maximian.
627: Muhammad, the inventor of the Islamic religion (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad), survived a siege of 27 days at Medina (Saudi Arabia) by Meccan forces under Abu Sufyan. Known as the Battle of the Trench.
1084: Clement III, who was elected antipope (see Antipopes) in 1080, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor (see Emperors and Popes).
1492: In the same year that they employed Christopher Columbus to explore the "new world" (see Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy a map of the four voyages of Columbus) King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain (their youngest daughter, Catherine of Aragon was the first wife of King Henry VIII of England; their divorce eventually resulted in Henry breaking away from the Church of Rome and creating his own Church of England) began enforcing their Edict of Expulsion. All Jews in Spain who would not accept immediate conversion to Roman Catholicism were to be physically put out of the country. About 100,000 trudged across the frontier into Portugal, where they were in turn expelled 4 years later; 50,000 went across the straits into North Africa, or by ship to Turkey. About 50,000 chose to become Catholics and remain, including the senior rabbi and most of the leading families. By the end of July, the expulsion of those who would not convert was an accomplished fact. The destruction of Spanish Jewry is considered by some to be the most momentous event in Jewish history since the mid-second century A.D.
1854: The Treaty of Kanagawa was signed between the U.S. and Japan. Signed under an offshore show of threatening U.S. naval force commanded by Admiral William Perry, it opened Japan-U.S. trade.
1866: Spanish naval forced bombed the harbor of Valparaíso, Chile.
1889: The Eiffel Tower in Paris was officially opened to the public.
1903: Richard Pearse, a New Zealand farmer and inventor, achieved a powered flight in an aircraft that he built. Despite the popular propaganda that has dishonestly ignored and denied them, Pearse was among a number of true aircraft pioneers around the world (including Gustave Whitehead of Germany, Alexander Fyodorovich Mozhayskiy of Russia and Clement Ader of France - the French word "aviation" itself was named after Ader's aircraft) who flew a heavier-than-air vehicle long before the Wright Brothers in the U.S.
1909: Construction of RMS Titanic began at the Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast. The "unsinkable" ocean liner sank on its first voyage, less than three hours after scraping an iceberg in the North Atlantic.
1909: Serbia submitted to Austrian control over Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1917: The U.S. purchased some of the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million.
1939: All fighting ceased in the three year Spanish Civil War, completing a victory by Fascist forces, who were assisted by German pilots, more than 50,000 Italian troops and other pro-Fascist volunteers against Spanish republicans. The Second World War began a few months later, in September, when Germany invaded Poland.
1949: The British colony of Newfoundland joined Canada as the 10th province.
1949: Winston Churchill said that the atomic bomb was the only thing that kept the Soviet Union from taking over Europe.
1954: The Soviet Union offered to join NATO.
1966: The Soviet Union launched Luna 10. It became the first space vehicle to orbit the Moon.
1971: Lt. William Calley was sentenced to life imprisonment (later reduced to 20 years, of which he actually served almost nothing before being quietly released) for the My-Lai massacre of 500 women and children in Vietnam.
1979: The military relationship between Britain and Malta ended after 181 years with the departure of the destroyer HMS London from Valetta Harbor.
1991: The Warsaw Pact formally ceased to exist.