¶ And it fell on a day, that Ionathas the son of Saul said unto his young man that bare his harness: come and let us go over to the watchmen of the Philistines that are yonder on the other side, and told not his father. But Saul tarried in the utmost part of Gabaah under a pomegranate tree, that was in Magron, and the people that were with him were upon a six hundredth men. And Ahiah the son of Ahitob Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehes, the son of Eli, was the LORD's priest in Siloh and bare an Ephod. But the people wist not that Ionathas was gone. And in the way over by which Ionathas sought to go over unto the garrison of the philistines, were there two sharp rocks, even one on the one side, and the other one the other side: the one called Bozez, and the other Seneh. And the one leaneth northward toward Machmas, and the other southward toward Gabaah. Then said Ionathas to the young man that bare his harness: come and let us go over unto the stonding of these uncircumcised, peradventure the LORD will work with us: for the LORD is free to save with many or with few. And his harness bearer said unto him do all that is in thine heart: set thee forward: and see I am with thee, as thine heart lusteth. Then said Ionathas: behold when we go over unto the men, and shew ourselves unto them: if they say on this wise to us: tarry until we come to you, then we will stond still where we be and not go up unto them. But and if they so say unto us: come up unto us, then we will go up, for the LORD hath delivered them into our hands. And this shall be a sign unto us. And when they had both shewed themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines, the Philistines said: see, the Hebrews come out of the holes where they had hid themselves in. And the men of the garrison answered Ionathas and his harness bearer and said: come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. Then said Ionathas unto his harness bearer: come up after me, for the LORD hath delivered them into the hands of Israel. And Ionathas clame upon hands and feet, and his harness bearer after him. Then they fell before Ionathas: and his harness bearer slew them after him. And that first slaughter which Ionathas and his harness bearer made was upon a twenty men, within the compass as it were about an half acre of land. And there was a fear in the host that was in the field, and among all the people: insomuch that they that kept the hold, and they that were gone to rob, were afraid also: and the earth trembled and there was a fear sent of God.
¶ And the watchmen of Saul in Gabaah Benjamin, saw. And behold, the people scattered and ran hither and thither. Then said Saul unto the people that was with him: number and see who is gone away from us. And when they had told: behold, Ionathas and his harness bearer were not there. And then Saul said unto Ahia: bring hither the ark of God. For the ark of God was at the time with the children of Israel. And while Saul talked unto the priest, the people that were in the host of the philistines, ran more and more. And Saul said unto the priest: withdraw thine hand. And Saul cried and all the people that were with him, and went to battle. And behold every man's sword was against his fellow, with a mighty great slaughter. Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time, and were come with them in all parts of the host, they turned to Israel that was with Saul and Ionathas. And they also which had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, as soon as they heard how that the Philistines were fled, they followed after them in battle. And so GOD holp Israel that day. And the battle continued until they came unto Bethaven.
¶ And the men of Israel joined themselves together that day: and Saul adjured the people saying: Cursed be he that eateth any food until night, that I may be avenged of mine enemies. And so there was none of the people that tasted any sustenance. And all the land came to a wood where honey lay upon the ground. And when the people were come into the wood: Behold, the honey dropped. How be it there was no man that moved his hand to his mouth, because that the people feared the curse. But Ionathas heard not when his father adjured the people, wherefore he put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honey comb, and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes received sight. Then spake one of the people and said: thy father adjured the people saying: Cursed be the man that eateth any sustenance this day, and yet the people were fainty. Then said Ionathas: my father hath troubled the land: for see, mine eyes hath received sight, because I tasted a little of this honey: how then if all the people had eaten of the spoil of their enemies which they found, had there not been then a much greater slaughter among the Philistines? And they laid on the Philistines that day, from Machmas to Aialon. And the people were exceeding fainty. Then the people gat them to the spoil and took sheep oxen and calves, and slew them on the ground and did eat with the blood. Then men told Saul saying: Behold the people sin against the LORD, in that they eat with the blood. And he said: ye have trespassed. But roll a great stone unto me now, and go abroad among the people and bid them bring every man his ox and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and sin not against the LORD in eating with the blood. And the people brought every man his ox in his hand by night and slew them there. And Saul made an altar unto the LORD. And that was the first altar that he made unto the LORD.
¶ And Saul said: let us go down after the Philistines by night, and let us make havoc among them until it be day in the morning, and let us not leave one of them. And the people answered: do whatsoever thou thinkest best. Then said the priest: let us come hither unto God. And Saul asked of God: shall I go down after the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into mine hands? But he answered him not at that time. Then said Saul let the people come hither out of all quarters, and know and see, in whom this sin is chanced this day: for as truly as the LORD liveth which hath saved Israel, though it be in Ionathas my son, he shall die for it. But no man answered him of all the people. Then he said unto all Israel: be ye on one side, and I and Ionathas my son will be on another. And the people said unto Saul: what thou thinkest best that do. And Saul said unto the LORD God of Israel: give perfect knowledge. And Saul and Ionathas were caught, and the people escaped free. Then said Saul: cast lots between me and Ionathas my son. And Ionathas was caught. Then Saul said to Ionathas: tell me what thou hast done. And Ionathas told him and said: I tasted a little honey upon the end of my staff that was in mine hand, and see, I must die. Then said Saul God do so and so to me, except that thou die Ionathas. But the people said unto Saul: shallIonathas die which hath so mightily holp Israel? God forbid. As truly as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground: for he hath wrought with God this day. And so the people delivered Ionathas, that he died not. And then Saul departed from following the Philistines. And the Philistines went to their own place.
¶ And so Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side: against the Moabites: against the children of Ammon: against the Edomites: against the kings of Zobah and against the Philistines. And whether soever he turned himself, there he wan, and played the man and slew the Amalekites, and rid Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them. The sons of Saul were, Ionathas, Iesui, and Melchisua. And his two daughters were thus named: the elder was called Merob and the younger Michol. And the name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. And the name of his chief captain was Abner the son of Ner Saul's uncle. And Cis was Saul's father. And Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel. And there was sore war with the Philistines, all the days of Saul. For wheresoever Saul saw a strong man, and an active, he took him unto him.