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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

1 Samuel 14

Verses 1-52

1 Samuel 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.

1 Samuel 14:4 Word Study on “Bozez” Strong and PTW says the name “Bozez” ( בּוֹצֵץ ) (H949) means, “shining.”

1 Samuel 14:4 Word Study on “Seneh” Strong says the name “Seneh” ( סֶנֶֶה ) (H5573) means, “thorn.” PTW says it means, “enemy.”

1 Samuel 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.

1 Samuel 14:6 Comments - Jonathan had much faith in God. Note his confession of faith in 1 Samuel 14:6. In 1 Samuel 14:15 God sends a great earthquake. Jonathan's actions were an act of faith according to Hebrews 11:34.

1 Samuel 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.”

Hebrews 11:34, “Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”

1 Samuel 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.

1 Samuel 14:12 “Come up to us” - Comments - This means to come and fight (1 Samuel 17:44).

1 Samuel 17:44, “And the Philistine said to David, Come to me , and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.”

1 Samuel 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.

1 Samuel 14:21 Comments - When David fought with the Philistines, they feared the same thing happening to them again (1 Samuel 29:4).

1 Samuel 29:4, “And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men?”

1 Samuel 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.

1 Samuel 14:24 Comments - Saul had tried to hold back the spoil from God’s people (1 Samuel 14:29-30). How much greater the victory for God’s people if they be allowed to eat the spoils, or, if pastors would preach prosperity and not deny it.

1 Samuel 14:29-30, “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. 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?”

1 Samuel 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.

1 Samuel 14:33 “roll a great stone unto me this day” - Comments - This stone was to be used to slaughter the livestock, so that the men could eat.

1 Samuel 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.

1 Samuel 14:41 Comments - The phrase, “Give a perfect lot” reads literally, “Give Thummim.” When comparing this literally reading to the LXX reading, which adds additional text, F. F. Bruce believes that the LXX shows a more accurate translation of the original Hebrew text than does the Masoretic Text reading used by the KJV. [28]

[28] F. F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963), 157.

“And Saul said, O Jehovah, God of Israel, why hast thou not answered thy servant this day? If the iniquity be in me, or in Jonathan my son, Jehovah, God of Israel, give Urim; but if thou shouldest say that the iniquity is in thy people of Israel , give Thummim. And Jonathan and Saul are taken, and the people escaped.” ( LXX)

Now the LXX is able to throw light on the use of the Urim and the Thummim by the ancient Israelites. Apparently, the two stones could only give one of two alternatives to each throw.

1 Samuel 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.

1 Samuel 14:45 Comments - Note how Jonathan is leading men into battle and God is giving victory through him, and not King Saul (1 Samuel 13:3). God was giving Jonathan the battles, instead of Saul.

1 Samuel 13:3, “And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear.”

1 Samuel 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.

1 Samuel 14:47 “Saul took the kingdom over Israel” - Comments - Since early in his kingship, Saul had made efforts to restore the kingdom of Israel to a unified nation (1 Samuel 11:14). In 1 Samuel 14:47 Saul successfully accomplishes that task.

1 Samuel 11:14, “Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there .”

1 Samuel 14:49-51 Comments - Saul’s Genealogy 1 Samuel 14:49-51 records Saul’s pedigreed.

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1 Samuel 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 14:52 Comments - This was a time of unrest. Note Saul's need to serve the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:17-19).

Deuteronomy 6:17-19, “ Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God , and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, To cast out all thine enemies from before thee , as the LORD hath spoken.”

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 14". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/1-samuel-14.html. 2013.