Tuesday 4 October, 2016

1 Samuel 13:23-14:23

23 A group of Philistine soldiers had gone out to the pass at Mikmash. 14 1 One day Jonathan, the son of Saul, spoke to the young man carrying his armor. “Come on,” he said. “Let’s go over to the Philistine army camp on the other side of the pass.” But he didn’t tell his father about it. 2 Saul was staying just outside Gibeah. He was under a pomegranate tree in Migron. He had about 600 men with him. 3 Ahijah was one of them. He was wearing a sacred linen apron. He was a son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub. Ahitub was the son of Eli’s son Phinehas. Eli had been the Lord’s priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left. 4 Jonathan planned to go across the pass to reach the Philistine camp. But there was a cliff on each side of the pass. One cliff was called Bozez. The other was called Seneh. 5 One cliff stood on the north side of the pass toward Mikmash. The other stood on the south side toward Geba. 6 Jonathan spoke to the young man carrying his armor. He said, “Come on. Let’s go over to the camp of those fellows who aren’t circumcised. Perhaps the Lord will help us. If he does, it won’t matter how many or how few of us there are. That won’t keep the Lord from saving us.” 7 “Go ahead,” the young man said. “Do everything you have in mind. I’m with you all the way.” 8 Jonathan said, “Come on, then. We’ll go across the pass toward the Philistines and let them see us. 9 Suppose they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you.’ Then we’ll stay where we are. We won’t go up to them. 10 But suppose they say, ‘Come up to us.’ Then we’ll climb up. That will show us that the Lord has handed them over to us.” 11 So Jonathan and the young man let the soldiers in the Philistine camp see them. “Look!” said the Philistines. “Some of the Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” 12 The men in the Philistine camp shouted to Jonathan and the young man carrying his armor. They said, “Come on up here. We’ll teach you a thing or two.” So Jonathan said to the young man, “Climb up after me. The Lord has handed them over to Israel.” 13 Using his hands and feet, Jonathan climbed up. The young man was right behind him. Jonathan struck down the Philistines. The young man followed him and killed those who were still alive. 14 In that first attack, Jonathan and the young man killed about 20 men. They did it in an area of about half an acre. 15 Then panic struck the whole Philistine army. It struck those who were in the camp and those in the field. It struck those who were at the edge of the camp. It also struck those who were in the groups that had been sent out to attack Israel. The ground shook. It was a panic that God had sent. 16 Saul’s lookouts at Gibeah in the land of Benjamin saw what was happening. They saw the Philistine army melting away in all directions. 17 Then Saul spoke to the men with him. He said, “Bring the troops together. See who has left our camp.” When they did, they discovered that Jonathan and the young man carrying his armor weren’t there. 18 Saul said to Ahijah the priest, “Bring the ark of God.” At that time it was with the Israelites. 19 While Saul was talking to the priest, the noise in the Philistine camp got louder and louder. So Saul said to the priest, “Stop what you are doing.” 20 Then Saul and all his men gathered together. They went to the battle. They saw that the Philistines were in total disorder. They were striking one another with their swords. 21 At an earlier time some of the Hebrews had been on the side of the Philistines. They had gone up with them to their camp. But now they changed sides. They joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Some of the Israelites had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim. They heard that the Philistines were running away. They quickly joined the battle and chased after them. 23 So on that day the Lord saved Israel. And the fighting continued on past Beth Aven.

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