1Samuel 14

 

1Samuel 14:1–52

Jonathan’s Victory; Saul’s Victories and Defeat


Outline of Chapter 14:

 

       vv.    1–15      Jonathan and his Armor-Bearer Assault the Philistine Camp

       vv.   16–23      Saul Observes the Commotion in the Philistine Camp and Pursues the Philistines

       vv.   24–30      Saul’s Foolish Oath; Jonathan Unknowingly Breaks this Oath

       vv.   31–35      The Famished Soldiers Eat Without Properly Acknowledging God

       vv.   36–42      When God Does Not Answer Saul, Saul Determines to Find Who Broke the Oath

       vv.   43–46      Saul Determines to Execute Jonathan, Who Broke the Oath; the People Deliver Jonathan

       vv.   47–48      Saul’s Victories Over the Surrounding Heathen

       vv.   49–52      Saul’s Genealogical Line; Saul’s Army


Charts and Maps:

 

       v.      1           A Map of the Battle of Michmash

       v.      2           Troop Movement of the Israelis and the Philistines

       v.      3           The Line to Ahijah

       v.      3           What is the Relationship Between Ahijah and Ahimelech?

       v.      3           The Ages of the Priests and their Descendants

       v.      3           A Brief Summary of the Doctrine of Urim and Thummim

       v.      7           1Samuel 14:7a-b Text from the Greek Septuagint

       v.     12           A Summary of the Doctrine of Matstsâbâh, Mûtstsâb, Matstsêbâh, Matstsebeh, Mitstsâbâh, Matstsâb, Netsîyb, and Nâtsab

       v.     15           1Sam. 14:15 Exegeted from the Septuagint

       v.     16           Summary of the Doctrine of Mûg

       v.     18           1Samuel 14:18—Which Translations Follow the Greek and Which Follow the Hebrew?

       v.     18           A Summary of Old Testament Textual Criticism

       v.     18           Based upon Textual Criticism, which is the Preferred Reading for 1Samuel 14:18?

       v.     18           Which is the Preferred Reading for 1Samuel 14:18 from a Theological and Logical Standpoint?

       v.     22           The Events which Took Place

       v.     22           What We Think Might Have Happened to Cause the Philistines to Panic

       v.     23           1Samuel 14:22b Text from the Greek Septuagint

       V.    23           1Samuel 14:23 Text from the Greek Septuagint

       v.     23           How Did the Israelites Defeat the Philistines?

       v.     24           What’s Wong with Saul’s Oath?

       v.     31           A Map Containing the Cities of Michmash and Aijalon

       v.     32           Passages Relating to the Eating of Blood

       v.     35           Other Altars in Scripture

       v.     41           1Samuel 14:41 from the Septuagint

       v.     41           Textual Criticism and 1Sam. 14:41

       v.     42           1Samuel 14:42 Text from the Greek Septuagint

       v.     42           Options Regarding God’s Answer to Saul

       v.     45           Jonathan and Achan, a Comparison

       v.     47           A Map of Israel and the Surrounding Nations

       v.     47           Saul’s Wars

       v.     48           A Summary of Saul’s Military Victories

       v.     49           Saul’s Varied Line

       v.     50           What if this battle with the Philistines did not occur early in Saul’s kingship...?

       v.     51           Possible Lines to Saul

       v.     51           1Samuel 14:49–51 in the Contemporary English Version


Doctrines Covered

Doctrine of matstsâbvâh, mûtstsâbv, matstsêbvâh, matstsebveh, mitstsâbvâh, matstsâbv, netsîybv, and nâtsabv

The Hebrew Word Mûg

Textual Criticism: the Old Testament

 

Doctrines Alluded To

Urim and Thummim

 


I ntroduction: In 1Sam. 14, we venture into a very detailed examination of Jonathan’s incredibly brave two-man attack upon the Philistines. The primary reason that this is treated as a separate chapter from 1Sam. 13 is that we follow Jonathan and his incredibly heroic exploits.


1Sam. 14 deals with the success of Jonathan and also suggests to us who has written this and the previous chapter—Jonathan. We have a great deal of detail here which could only be known by Jonathan or by his armor bearer. One of the very difficult things to determine is who is the author of any portion of Scripture when the author has not made that clear to us.


One of the things which we notice immediately is that there are words used by this author which are not found anywhere else in 1Sam. 1–12; and there are quite a number of words found here but not in 1Sam. 13. The indication is that we are dealing with what appears to be a different author who has a greater vocabulary than the author of the first 12 chapters.


One of the things which surprised me in this chapter was just how many mistaken interpretations that I came across in the commentaries of McGee, Barnes and Keil and Delitzsch (as well as in other, less accurate, commentaries where erroneous interpretations are to be expected).


Finally, we would hope that if the text is more difficult that we would have a very reliable text. Furthermore, this is narrative, rather than simply being a list of names of people or cities, so I would have expected fewer problems with the Hebrew. Unfortunately, there will be several places where it is clear that the Hebrew text is corrupt, as well as several places where the Greek and Hebrew are radically different. What often helps us in this latter situation is the Dead Sea Scrolls; if they are in agreement with the Greek, then we can generally assume that the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) is the better source. Unfortunately, we have several instances where the latter Hebrew text and the Dead Sea Scrolls are in agreement with one another, and differ from the Septuagint. This will make for some tough choices. This will cause us to examine the laws of textual criticism in this chapter.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


Jonathan and his Armor-Bearer Assault the Philistine Camp


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so is the day and so says Jonathan, son of Saul, unto his boy carrying his manufactured goods, “Come and let us pass over into a post of the Philistines who [are] beyond this.” And to his father he did not make known.

1Samuel

14:1

Then [it] was on the day that Jonathan, Saul’s son, said to his personal attendant carrying his weapons, “Come and we will pass over to the garrison of Philistines which [is] beyond this.” But he did not tell [this] to his father.

Then, on one particular day, Jonathan, Saul’s son, said to his personal servant that carried his weapons and armor, “Let’s go over beyond that to where the garrison of Philistines is.” However, he did not let his father know his plans.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so is the day and so says Jonathan, son of Saul, unto his boy carrying his manufactured goods, “Come and let us pass over into a post of the Philistines who [are] beyond this.” And to his father he did not make known.

Septuagint                             And when a certain day arrived, Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man that bore his armor, “Come, and let us go over to Messah of the Philistines that is on the other side yonder; but he told not his father. .

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences; the only significant difference is where the LXX transliterates one word instead of translating it.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       One day, Jonathan told the soldier who carried his weapons that he wanted to attack the Philistine camp on the other side of the valley. So they slipped out of the Israelite camp without anyone knowing it. Jonathan didn’t even tell his father he was leaving. [The CEV transposes vv. 1, 2 and 3]

The Message                         Later that day, Jonathan, Saul's son, said to his armor bearer, "Come on, let's go over to the Philistine garrison patrol on the other side of the pass." But he didn't tell his father.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         One day Saul’s son Jonathan said to his armorbearer, “Let’s go to the Philistine military post on the other side.” But Jonathan didn’t tell his father [he was going].

JPS (Tanakh)                        One day, Jonathan son of Saul said to the attendant who carried his arms, “Come, let us cross over to the Philistine garrison on the other side”; but he did not tell his father.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Now the day came that Jonathan, the son of Saul, said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on yonder side.” But he did not tell his father.

Young's Updated LT              And the day comes that Jonathan son of Saul says unto the young man bearing his weapons, “Come and we pass over unto the station of the Philistines, which is on the other side of this;” and to his father he had not declared it.




What is the gist of this verse? Jonathan speaks to the young man who carries his weapons, telling him that they were going to go over to the camp of the Philistines. He does not tell his father that he is going.


1Samuel 14:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

yôwm (םי) [pronounced yohm]

day, today (with a definite article)

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Yôwnâthân (ןָטָני) [pronounced yoh-naw-THAWN]

transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3129 (& #3083) BDB #220

There are two primary ways of spelling Jonathan; the other is: Yehôwnâthân (ןָטָנהי) [pronounced ye-hoh-naw-THAWN], which we find used 71 times, whereas Yôwnâthân is found 41 times.

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

na׳ar (ר-ע-נ) [pronounced NAH-ģahr]

boy, youth, young man, personal attendant

masculine singular noun (with a definite article)

Strong’s #5288 & #5289 BDB #654

nâsâ (א ָ ָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

kelîy (י.ל) [pronounced kelee]

manufactured good, artifact, article, utensil, vessel, weapon, armor, furniture, receptacle; baggage, valuables

masculine plural noun with a masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3627 BDB #479


Translation: Then it was the day when Jonathan, the son of Saul, said to the young man bearing his armor... Jonathan again decides to take matters into his own hands. The beginning wâw consecutive closely connects this chapter with the previous one (along with the context of this chapter).


Apparently, Jonathan has an assistant who carries Jonathan’s armor and weapons (as there would be for Saul), and Jonathan speaks to this assistant.


1Samuel 14:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative (with a voluntative hê)

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳âbar (ר ַב ָע) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to pass over, to pass through, to pass on, to pass, to go over

1st person plural, Qal imperfect (with a voluntative hê)

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

matstsâb (ב ָ ַמ) [pronounced matz-TZABV]

standing-place, station, garrison, post

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4673 BDB #662

Pelishetîy (י. ש ̣ל) [pronounced pe-lish-TEE]

transliterated Philistines

gentilic adjective (acts like a proper noun), masculine plural with the definite article

Strong’s #6430 BDB #814

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

׳êber (ר ב ֵע) [pronounced ĢAYB-ver]

region across, beyond, side

masculine singular construct

Strong's #5676 BDB #719

hallâz (זָ-ה) [pronounced hahl-LAWZ]

this, who, which

demonstrative pronoun

Strong’s #1975 BDB #229


battleofmichmash.jpgScanned from The MacMillan Bible Atlas; 3rd Edition; Aharoni, Avi-Yonah, Rainey, and Safrai; MacMillan; ©1993 by Carta; p. 70.

Translation: “Come and pass over to the garrison of the Philistines which is beyond this.” Here, Jonathan suggests to his armor bearer that they go over to the Philistine outpost. There is no more information recorded here than this, so it is possible that the armor bearer does not know what they are going to do. It might even possible that Jonathan does not know exactly what he is going to do at this point. However, it is clear from the previous chapter that Israel has a problem. The Philistine army has moved full-force into central Israel and daily plagues Israel with raids to nearby cities (1Sam. 13:17–18). The attacked Israel with impunity. The purpose of these Philistine raids was threefold: (1) they kept their men in training by raiding nearby cities; (2) these raids psychologically pummeled the Israelites (we will later find that some Israelites even allied themselves with the Philistines); and (3) this provided the Philistine encampment with much needed food and supplies. This was not unusual for a people of that era to do. David will move to Ziklag temporarily (1Sam. 27) and he will support his army by raiding nearby peoples. Don’t misunderstand me—I am not saying that this is right; it is simply what was done at this time.


In any case, Jonathan knew something had to be done, as the Philistines were acting in defiance of the armies of the Living God. They were raiding nearby cities for food and sustenance, as well as to psychologically disturb the Israelites, and Jonathan rightfully determined that had to stop.


What this visit by Jonathan and his armor-bearer entails is not very clear, so let me tell you about the geography here. Between Michmash (where the Philistines were) and Geba (where Jonathan was) is the deep Wady es Suweinit, which runs between Bethel and Beeroth (represented today by the modern Beitin and Bireh), and into the Jordan valley. Between Michmash and Geba are two precipitous walls formed by this wady, so that going from one city to the other is no easy matter.

 

Robinson tells us of his traveling from Jeba to Mukhmas: The way was so steep, and the rocky steps so high, that we were compelled to dismount; while the baggage mules got along with great difficulty. Here, where we crossed, several short side wadys came in from the south-west and north-west. The ridges between these terminate in elevating points projecting into the great wady; and the most easterly of these bluffs on each side were probably the outposts of the two garrisons of Israel and the Philistines. The road passes around the eastern side of the southern hill, the post of Israel, and then strikes up over the western part of the northern one, the post of the Philistines, and the scene of Jonathan’s adventure. Footnote Put quite simply, moving between MIchmash and Geba was not an easy thing to do. This is another reason why the assaults that the Philistines carried out went east, west and north.


1Samuel 14:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âbv (ב ָא,) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household or clan

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

generally negates the word immediately following; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

nâgad (ד ַג ָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHD]

to make conspicuous, to make known, to expound, to explain, to declare, to inform, to confess, to make it pitifully obvious that

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong's #5046 BDB #616


Translation: ...and he did not make [this] known to his father. This should be pretty obvious. There is little doubt that Saul saw Jonathan as the one who got him into this mess. Therefore, Saul would not really want Jonathan to do anything more. Now, we may feel the same way; however, it will become clear in this chapter that Jonathan had his head screwed on right and that he was doing what he should be doing.


And Saul was staying in an extremity of the Gibeah under the pomegranate which [was] in Migron and the people who [were] with him about six hundreds a man.

1Samuel

14:2

Meanwhile, Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. The people who [were] with him [numbered] about 600 men.

At this time, Saul has hole up on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree; his troops numbered approximately 600.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And Saul was staying in an extremity of the Gibeah under the pomegranate which [was] in Migron and the people who [were] with him about six hundreds a man.

Septuagint                             And Saul sat on the top of the hill under the pomegranate tree that is in Magdon, and there were with him about six hundred men.

 

Significant differences:          Apart from my transliterating Gibeah instead of translating it, the MT and LXX are the same.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

The Message                         Meanwhile, Saul was taking it easy under the pomegranate tree at the threshing floor on the edge of town at Geba (Gibeah). There were about six hundred men with him.

NLT                                Meanwhile, Saul and his six hundred men were camped on the outskirts of Gibeah, around the pomegranate tree at Migron.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

JPS (Tanakh)                        Now Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah, under the pomegranate tree at Migron, and the troops with him numbered about 600.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     And Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree which is in Migron. And the people who were with him were about six hundred men,...

Young's Updated LT              And Saul is abiding at the extremity of Gibeah, under the pomegranate which is in Migron, and the people who are with him, about six hundred men,...



What is the gist of this verse? Saul is apparently not in Gibeah proper, but on the outskirts of Gibeah sitting under a pomegranate tree, in a panic, wondering what to do. There are about 600 men with him (recall that he recently had a personal force of 3000 men, and that he had put a call out to all Israeli males to join him in Gilgal—1Sam. 13:2, 4).


1Samuel 14:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

yâshab (ב ַשָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

inhabiting, staying, dwelling, sitting

Qal active participle

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

qâtseh (ה צ ָק) [pronounced kaw-TSEH]

end, extremity, outskirts

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #7097 BDB #892

Gibe׳âh (ה ָע ׃ב ̣) [pronounced gibve-ĢAW]

transliterated Gibeah; this same word means hill

proper feminine singular noun; construct form

Strong’s #1390 BDB #149

tachath (ת ַח ַ) [pronounced TAH-khahth]

underneath, below, under, beneath

preposition

Strong’s #8478 BDB #1065

rimmôwn (ן̣ר) [pronounced rim-MOHN]

pomegranate, pomegranate tree

masculine singular noun (with a definite article)

Strong’s #7416 BDB #941

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

migerôwn (ןרג̣מ) [pronounced mige-ROHN]

transliterated Migron (possibly Migdon)

proper noun locale

Strong’s #4051 BDB #550


Translation: And Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree which [is] in Migron;... We know nothing about this place Migron, except that it is on the outskirts of Gibeah, south of Michmash. Migron is also mentioned in Isa. 10:28; the details are sketchy, the intervening time frame is great, so that we do not know if the reference is to the same Migron or not. Robert Gordon suggests that a slight rearrangement of the letters for Migron would result in threshing floor. Footnote I have examined several possibilities, and I just don’t see it. The end result would have the two prepositions, bêyth and min, together (or, in from), which is not something which I can find another instance of. Given that we have no pressing reason that this proper noun is wrong, we will accept it as is.


Given all that had happened, Saul was taken aback. He really had no idea what to do, and he sat underneath the pomegranate tree in Migron pondering his situation. This is one of the smartest things that Saul could do—nothing. He was almost out of assets and in a hopeless situation. It was better for him to sit back and do nothing than it was to act.


One portion of this verse which I originally ignored was this pomegranate tree. Generally speaking, in a city, the important meetings took place near the gates of the city. However, Saul and his army are not holed up in a city, but on the outskirts of Gibeah. When Saul is outdoors, he does not stand out in the sun, he has a place underneath a tree which he has chosen. This is in keeping with Deborah, who used to sit under the palm tree (Judges 4:5) or the tamarisk tree under which Saul will stand in 1Sam. 22:6. This would indicate to us that this is summer in Israel, even though I am not certain whether that knowledge will help us in this chapter.


1Samuel 14:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people

masculine singular collective noun (with a definite article)

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

׳îm (ם ̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

shêsh (ש̤ש) [pronounced shaysh]

six

masculine form of numeral

Strong’s #8337 BDB #995

mêâh (ה ָא ֵמ) [pronounced may-AW]

one hundred

feminine plural numeral

Strong’s #3967 BDB #547

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

man, each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35


Translation: ...and the people who [were] with him [numbered] approximately six hundred men. Saul has no idea what to do. This verse tells us that he did not have much of an army remaining. He originally had a personal fighting force of 3000 men (1Sam. 13:2) and he had just put out a call to all Israel to join him in Gilgal, his original rallying point (1Sam. 13:4). The end result is that he now has 600 men, indicating an unusually high desertion rate as well as a meager response to his call to action. It will also turn out that a considerable force of Israelis joined the Philistines, preferring to back a winner (1Sam. 14:21).


Often, as I go through various commentaries, it is very unclear as to what is physically going on. In one commentary, Saul has moved south from Geba to Gibeah in this verse. In another, in v. 2, Saul is in Gibeah while Jonathan is in Geba. Who moves from where to where? Using the very rough map below, I will describe the correct troop movement.

Troop Movement of the Israelis and the Philistines

1.    Originally, Saul is in Michmash with 2000 men; Jonathan is in Gibeah with 1000 men. Jonathan strikes a garrison of Philistines which is in Geba (1Sam. 13:2–3).

2.    Saul summons the males of Israel to Gilgal (1Sam. 13:4). As Saul called for all Israel to assemble there, we may reasonably assume that Jonathan and his troops went there as well.

3.    The Philistines gather in Michmash with 6000 horsemen, 3000 chariots, and innumerable support (1Sam. 13:5). Saul’s men begin to desert him, and he will be left with only 600 men (1Sam. 13:6–7, 15 14:2).

4.    Samuel goes to Saul in Gilgal, but Saul has already offered up sacrifices to God apart from Samuel (1Sam. 13:14).

5.    Samuel leaves Gilgal and Saul and his men go to Gibeah (1Sam. 13:15—in the Greek).

6.    Where we pick up the thread of our narrative in v. 2, Saul, Jonathan Footnote and 600 men are in Gibeah (1Sam. 14:2); the Philistines are in Michmash, sending out raiding parties to the east, west and north (1Sam. 13:17–18).

1sam_14.gif

 


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Saul had also just finished a tense confrontation with Samuel, who told him that his kingdom and dynasty were over, insofar as God was concerned (1Sam. 13:11–14). We have no record of Saul confessing or acknowledging his sin against God. We do not have any expression of regret. In fact, for all Saul knows, this could be his last stand. After all, Samuel did tell him that his kingdom would not endure and that God has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and Jehovah appointed him as ruler over His people (1Sam. 13:14b). Furthermore, Saul’s army did not have the weapons to fight the Philistines. He was in a hopeless situation.


On the plus side, the men who remained with Saul are very courageous and dedicated men. They have witnessed thousands of men desert, yet they have remained with Saul in his move from Gilgal to Gibeah in what many of them realized could be their last days. Also on the positive side, we see no evidence of Saul blaming his son Jonathan for what has taken place. He does not spend any time concerned with assigning blame to their present situation.


And Ahijah son of Ahitub, brother [or, relative] of Ichabod, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, priest of Yehowah in Shiloh wearing an ephod. And the people had not known that had gone Jonathan.

1Samuel

14:3

And Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, brother of Ichabod, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, [was] the priest of Yehowah in Shiloh wearing the ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone [from them].

Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, the brother of Ichabod, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, was the priest of Yehowah in Shiloh who wore the ephod. The people did not know that Jonathan had left them.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And Ahijah son of Ahitub, brother [or, relative] of Ichabod, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, priest of Yehowah in Shiloh wearing an ephod. And the people had not known that had gone Jonathan.

Septuagint                             And Achia son of Achitob, the brother of Jochabed the son of Phinees, the son of Heli, was the priest of God in Selom wearing an ephod; and the people knew not that Jonathan was gone.

 

Significant differences:          None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Ahijah was serving as priest, and one of his jobs was to get answers from the Lord for Saul. Ahijah’s father was Ahitub, and his father’s brother was Ichabod. Ahijah’s grandfather was Phinehas, and his great-grandfather Eli had been the Lord’s priest at Shiloh.

The Message                         Ahijah, wearing the priestly Ephod, was also there. (Ahijah was the son of Ahitub, brother of Ichabod, son of Phinehas, who was the son of Eli the priest of GOD at Shiloh.) No one there knew that Jonathan had gone off.

NLT                                (Among Saul’s men was Ahijah the priest, who was wearing the linen ephod. Ahijah was the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother. Ahitub was the son of Phinehas and the grandson of Eli, the priest of the Lord who had served at Shiloh.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         [He had with him about 600 men] in addition to Ahijah, the son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub, who was the son of Phinehas and the grandson of Eli, the Lord’s priest at Shiloh. Ahijah was wearing the priestly ephod. [the portion in brackets is v. 2b]

JPS (Tanakh)                        Ahijah son of Ahitub brother of Ichabod son of Phinehas son of Eli, the priest of the Lord at Shiloh, was there bearing an ephod.—The troops did not know that Jonathan had gone.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     ...and Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of the Lord at Shiloh, was wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone.

Young's Updated LT              ...and Ahiah, son of Ahitub, brother of Ichabod, son of Phinehas son of Eli priest of Jehovah in Shiloh, bearing an ephod; and the people knew not that Jonathan had gone.


What is the gist of this verse? What we have here is the priestly line. Ahijah is the priest of Israel who wears the ephod. He was with Saul. He is the son of Ahitub who is Ichabod’s brother (or relative). Ichabod is the son of Phinehas, who is the son of Eli, who was the priest of God at Shiloh. In the second half of this verse, we are told that Jonathan disappeared from camp and no one knew.


1Samuel 14:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ăchîyyâh (הָ  ֲא) [pronounced uh-khee-YAW]

brother of Yah (God), and is transliterated Ahijah

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #281 BDB #26

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

ăchîţûwbv (בטי.חֲא) [pronounced uh-khee-TUBV]

my brother [is] goodness, and is transliterated Ahitub

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #285 BDB #26

âch (ח ָא) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine singular construct

Strong's #251 BDB #26

îy kâbvôwd (דבָכ י.א) [pronounced ee-kawb-VOHD]

not glory or not glorious and is transliterated Ichabod

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #336 BDB #33

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

phîynechâç (סָחני.) [pronounced pheene-KHOSS]

 which possibly means Negro in Egyptian, and is transliterated Phinehas

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #6372 BDB #810

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

׳êlîy (י.ל̤ע) [pronounced ģay-LEE]

transliterated Eli

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #5941 BDB #750

kôhên (ן ֵהֹ) [pronounced koh-HANE]

priest

masculine singular construct

Strong's #3548 BDB #463

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

Shilôw (ל̣ש) [pronounced shi-LOH]

to be quiet, to be at ease, to be prosperous; transliterated Shiloh

proper noun locale

Strong’s #7887 BDB #1017

nâsâ (א ָ ָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

êphôwd (דפ̤א) [pronounced ay-FOHD]

part of religious clothing worn by High Priest; transliterated ephod

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #646 BDB #65


Translation: And Ahijah [was] the son of Ahitub, brother [or, relative] of Ichabod, son of Phinehas son of Eli, the priest of Yehowah in Shiloh, bearing the Ephod. The verb nâsâ indicates that there is more to this than the simple wearing of an outfit. Bearing, lifting up, carrying the ephod means that there is religious significance to the wearing of the Ephod; there is more to it than simply wearing a piece of clothing. It has always been closely tied to determining the will of God.


Furthermore, my guess would be that the wearing of the Ephod is attributed to Ahijah rather than to Eli (see also 1Sam. 14:18, 36b–37). Footnote However, this introduces a problem—if Ahijah is the one wearing the Ephod, then would he also be the priest of Yehowah at that time in Shiloh? Now, the problem is not with Scripture, as we do not know exactly when Shiloh was destroyed; therefore, one interpretation this verse is that the Tent of God is still set up in Shiloh (minus the Ark of God, which is in Kiriath-jearim—1Sam. 7:1); and the destruction of Shiloh is still to come (as you may recall from our discussion, Shiloh may have been already destroyed by the Philistines under the watch of Samuel).


However, it is also possible to read this verse with Eli as having been the High Priest of Yehowah in Shiloh (he would have really been that last true High Priest); and his relative Ahijah is said to be wearing (actually, bearing) the Ephod, presumably in Gibeah with Saul and the people. The indication is that we are, in the midst of this confrontation, also mentioning the line of Eli, which is functioning once again in the realm of the priesthood, albeit imperfectly. Such an interpretation would allow for the previous destruction of Shiloh, having occurred around the time that the Ark was taken, and prior to the 20 or so years of peace enjoyed on Samuel’s watch, alluded to in 1Sam. 7:13–14.


So there is no confusion—we have no contradiction here; we are simply trying to properly interpret this verse, and its interpretation would be related to when exactly Shiloh was destroyed. My interpretation is that Eli was the High Priest in Shiloh, which has since been destroyed; and that Ahijah is Eli’s descendant, and that Ahijah is the one bearing the ephod and therefore the one who has the spiritual authority (which is below Samuel’s authority). If we take this position, then all other previous mentions of Shiloh should be in agreement with our interpretation; otherwise, our speculation must be revised.


Sometimes, words just do not competently convey information. This is one of the reasons that my works include so many charts. It is much easier to grasp a family line by examining a chart than it is by reading the words which say the same thing.

The Line to Ahijah

Eli

(High Priest and judge)

┌─────────────────────────────────────────────┐

Hophni Phinehas

                       (Not named in v. 3) (who died in battle; his wife died in childbirth)

                                                                                              │

                                                                                               Ichabod

Ahitub

(given the verbiage, he could be the son of Hophni, Phinehas or Ichabod)

Ahijah

(who might be equivalent to Ahimelech—

see 1Chron. 6:3b for discussion)

However, if I were a betting man, I would go with the following lineage:

Eli

(High Priest and judge)

┌─────────────────────────────────────────────┐

Hophni Phinehas

                                                  ┌──────────────────────────┴─────┐

                                                                       Ahitub Ichabod

                                                                           │

                                                                       Ahijah

                               (who is equivalent to Ahimelech or the brother of Ahimelech)

Now, here’s the problem. Ahitub is said to be the brother of Ichabod; this is a very imprecise term. Ahitub could be the actual physical brother of Ichabod, meaning that he would have been born earlier than Ichabod (recall that Ichabod’s mother died when bearing him—1Sam. 4:19–21). We have nothing to support or deny that Ahitub and Ichabod are brothers. The line given here could clearly substantiate of whom we are speaking (if he was simply called a relative of Ichabod, we might question whether this is the same Ichabod who was descended from Eli). What is a possibility is, given that this line goes back to Eli, that Ahitub is descended from Eli, but that we are not told exactly through whom. However, given the context, there is no reason why, if Ahitub was the son of Hophni, that he would not be so named.

Now, what I would like to do is to equate this Ahitub with the one in the line of Eleazar, as we are told that the line of Eli (which came down from Ithamar) would end. The problem with that is that the lines which follows both Ahitub’s are entirely different. Both of their lines are covered in great detail in 1Chron. 6:1 under the chart The Tribe of Levi.

My problem was originally, why not clearly state that Ahitub is the son of Phinehas? However, this verse actually allows for that interpretation. Ahitub is said to be Ichabod’s brother, and then we have the phrase son of Phinehas. Although in the English, we would like to read sons of Phinehas, the Hebrew can mean that without using the plural. This can be understood as Ahitub being both Ichabod’s brother and the son of Phinehas (along with Ichabod).

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We will not hear of Ahijah again. However, in 1Sam. 21–22, Ahimelech, also called the son of Ahitub, is mentioned, and he appears to be the head of the priests in Nob. So,...

What is the Relationship Between Ahijah and Ahimelech?

Three Theories

1. The next problem to deal with is Ahijah, who is very possibly equivalent to Ahimelech of 1Sam. 22, who is called the son of Ahitub several times by Saul. In the Hebrew, Ahijah is Ăchîyyâh (הָ  ֲא) [pronounced uh-khee-YAW]; Ahimelech is Ăchîymeleke (∵ל∵מי.חֲא) [pronounced uh-khee-MEH-lek]. Although there is no way that one of these names is mistaken for the other, it is reasonable to suppose that the first is the shortened equivalent of the second. Ahimelech means son of the king. One might inquire, You’re the son of the king? Which king would that be? However, there is nothing wrong with taking this as being the son of the Divine King, referring to God the Son, Who is King over Israel. Ahijah means son of Jah (a divine name). The difference in the names is simply replacing Jah with melek; both names refer to the same Divine King over Israel. A similar example of this would be the names Eliakim and Jehoiakim (two names for the same person—2Kings 23:34), as well as Eliab and Eliel (1Chron. 6:27, 34). Given that Ahimelech is called the son of Ahitub three times in that passage, and Ahijah’s name is never mentioned, we would assume that they are one and the same person. Of the three possibilities, this seems to be the most likely, primarily because Ahijah is never mentioned again). I will include a family line chart for each case to make this much easier to see.

Eli

(High Priest and judge)

┌─────────────────────────────────────────────┐

Hophni Phinehas

                                                  ┌──────────────────────────┴─────┐

                                                                       Ahitub Ichabod

                                                                           │

                                                                Ahijah = Ahimelech

2. Another alternative is that Ahijah is the brother and possibly predecessor to Ahimelech. For some unknown reason, by 1Sam. 22, Ahijah is no longer the High Priest (in fact, it is even uncertain that he is the High Priest here). Ahimelech is not really called the High Priest in 1Sam. 22, but he does appear to be the head of the priests in Nob at that time. This uncertainly leads me to another tangent. We are fairly certain that the city of Shiloh was razed already by the Philistines, although the Scriptural proof are passages written long after the fact. This would account for all the priests being in Nob in 1Sam. 22 and it would account for the fact that we have no unequivocal High Priest of Israel. If Shiloh was burned to the ground and if the priests barely escaped with the Tent of God and the artifacts, then their priesthood is likely in some sort of chaos.

Eli

(High Priest and judge)

┌─────────────────────────────────────────────┐

Hophni Phinehas

                                                  ┌──────────────────────────┴─────┐

                                                                       Ahitub Ichabod

                                                       ┌─────────┴────────┐

                                                     Ahijah Ahimelech

3. A third alternative is that Ahijah is the father of Ahimelech. However, given the recent mention of Ahijah in this passage, we would expect Ahimelech to be named as his son in 1Sam. 21–22. Therefore, this is the least likely scenario.

Eli

(High Priest and judge)

┌─────────────────────────────────────────────┐

Hophni Phinehas

                                                  ┌──────────────────────────┴─────┐

                                                                       Ahitub Ichabod

                                                                           │

                                                                       Ahijah

                                                                           │

                                                                    Ahimelech

Now, of course I realize to many of you, these are just names and the relationship of Bob to Biff is not really of any interest to you. I, on the other hand, tend to get very anal-retentive about some of these things, and I like them all to fall neatly into place. The way these things most neatly fall into place is if Ahijah = Ahimelech.


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Now that we have gone through the messy part of interpreting who is who in the first half of this verse, we should discuss in more detail who is who. Eli was the High Priest to God who raised Samuel as his own son in Shiloh (1Sam. 2:18–3:21). Eli was a rotund man and his sons, Phinehas Footnote and Hophni, did not believe in God, but liked the sacrifices, as it meant that it was barbeque-time for them. Therefore, when he became old, they acted as priests to God, primarily for the meat (1Sam. 2:12–17). Because his sons were degenerate, God gave Samuel to Israel to act as the High Priest (his authority over Israel is clear in 1Sam. 8–12). Because of the degeneracy of Eli’s sons, and because Eli did not bar them from priestly activity, God cut off the priestly line of Eli (1Sam. 2:27–33). The sign to Eli that this man of God was telling him the truth was that his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas would both die on the same day (1Sam. 3:34). Israel was at war against the Philistines in 1Sam. 4 and they needed something to turn the tide of battle, so they got the Ark of God as a good luck charm to take with them into battle against the Philistines. Along with this Ark came Hophni and Phinehas. The ark was captured by the Philistines and Hophni and Phinehas were killed in this battle. When Eli heard that they had died, he fell over backwards on his chair in grief, and died in this fall. At this time, all that remained of this line was the pregnant wife of Phinehas (as far as we know). She is extremely grieved at the death of her husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law and goes into labor at hearing the news. She dies in childbirth, but after giving birth to a son, Ichabod, whose name means the glory of God has departed. This is all in 1Sam. 4.


There are several men named Ahitub in the Levite priestly line. His actual relationship might seem murky here, but let’s just simply go with the easiest explanation. Ahitub is the older brother of Ichabod and the son of Phinehas. The Hebrew allows for both Ahitub and Ichabod to be sons of Phinehas; it also allows for either one to be the son of Phinehas. Simplest understanding is what we will assume. Being the older brother, Ahitub would assume the priesthood responsibilities rather than Ichabod. The more convoluted explanation is that Ahitub is somehow differently related to Ichabod. The problem with this explanation is that it would be easier to state their relationship exactly, unless they were barely related, in which case it would be easier to just give his lineage. Again, we will assume that the simplest explanation is the correct explanation, and there is no Scripture which would contradict this. However, we need to deal with age next. Eli was old when he died and old when Samuel came along. It is reasonable to assume that Samuel was much younger than Eli’s sons. He would be closer in age to Eli’s grandsons, one of whom was definitely Ichabod and the other we are postulating to be Ahitub. Samuel was old at this time, meaning that Ichabod and Ahitub would also be old. Therefore, the likely candidate age-wise and lineage-wise for a priest would be a son of Ahitub. So, the simplest explanation also results in a reasonable age for the priest (he’s probably 20 years older than Saul, as a rough guess). However, if this battle against the Philistines is not at the beginning of Saul’s career but midway through (which we will discuss in v. 50), then he and the priest would have probably been within 20 years of each other in age.


Now, it is interesting that Ahijah has assumed the priesthood, as Samuel is still around. Samuel is old, he is an icon, but he is well-known and respected by the people of Israel. His sons have not followed in his footsteps, so the priestly line does not continue through Samuel. Since Samuel is old enough to require his sons to function as judges, it is reasonable to assume that someone has to also function as a priest when Samuel is unavailable; and that is where Ahijah comes in. Again, we may go with the simplest explanation that Ahijah was the High Priest, as he did have access to the Ephod (which is implied but not outright stated in 1Sam. 14:3, 10, Footnote 18–19, 37). And if not the High Priest, per se, then the priest of the camp of Saul; the highest ranking Aaronite.


Another thing which should be mentioned is the overall time-frame. Given that Ichabod was born the day that the Ark was taken from Israel and that Ahijah is probably his nephew (this would have to be by an older brother, Ahitub), and given that Samuel is an old man by this time, and if we are 20 years into the reign of Saul, then perhaps 50–60 years have passed since the Ark was taken and returned.


Sometimes, the easiest way to see this is in a chart.

The Ages of the Priests and their Descendants

Priest/Descendant

Relationship

Age and information

Eli

High Priest and judge

98 years old at his death, as per Keil and Delitzsch. Footnote Given that he was such a fat man, I might put his age at death between 60 and 70.

Phinehas

One of the two sons of Eli

Died on the same day as Eli; he would have been 60–65 as per Keil and Delitzsch; closer to 40–50 by my accounting.

Samuel

Eli’s replacement; raised by Eli

Eli was already old when Samuel came on the scene; and Eli’s sons were already acting as priests (but not doing a very good job). I see Eli as being about 50 (maybe slightly less) when Samuel was brought to him; his sons would have been about 30. So Samuel would have been about the age of the sons of Phinehas. This would make him about 70 (or younger) when Saul is warring with the Philistines in our chapter.

Ahitub

Son of Phinehas, older brother of Ichabod

Ahitub was probably about 10 years old (or younger) when Phinehas died. Ahitub would have been too young to participate in the war. Footnote We have about 20 years of peace, another attack by the Philistines, and possibly another 20 years of peace which go by (1Sam. 7). At this time, Samuel is the spiritual leader and judge over Israel. We have another 20 years or so of Saul’s reign (this will be discussed later), making Ahitub about 70 during the time that Saul is at war with the Philistines.

Ahijah

Son of Ahitub

Ahijah will be about 40–50 and living in the war camp while Saul is at war with the Philistines. Saul might be about 10 years younger than Ahijah. About 10–15 years from this war, Saul will kill Ahijah (also known as Ahimelech) Footnote in 1Sam. 22 at Nob. At his death, Ahijah will be somewhere between 50 and 65.

Abiathar

The son of Ahijah and the priest during David’s reign

When his father, Ahijah, is slain at Nob by Saul, Abiathar escapes. He must be 10–30 years old, as he will be the High Priest throughout the entire 40 year reign of David.

Being a former math teacher, I have to be comfortable with the ages and generations of these men. Those things must make sense to me in order for me to go on. I submit that, in most of these instances, the age I state could vary by as much as 10 years either way, without causing any problems with the text.


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The last thing that we need to examine is the Ephod of God. We will spend no little time justifying that the ephod of God is what Saul will call for in 1Sam. 14:18 (the Hebrew reads Ark), so we need to have some idea as to what the Ephod is. We find a description of the High Priest’s clothing, including the Ephod, in Ex. 28 and 39. What appears to be the case is that the Ephod was similar to shoulder pads or an armless outer vest (which may have extended down as far as the wearer’s hips) and that there were two stones mounted on the shoulders. Attached to the ephod was a breastplate, and mounted on the breastplate were 12 stones, one for each tribe of the Israelites. When God’s will was desired, the High Priest would be called forward and apparently these stones would light up in answer to simple questions put forth of the priest. This might be seen as a very mystical approach; however, the more natural explanation is that the combination of the sun and clouds overhead to cause one stone to shine whereas the others did not. When one tribe was chosen over another tribe, the breastplate was used. If one desired simple yes or no questions to be answered by God, the Ephod was used. The Ephod is mentioned in our context (1) to indicate that there was a man who handled the priestly duties under Saul, and that man was Ahijah; and (2) to prepare us for Saul calling for the Ephod later on in this chapter for guidance (1Sam. 14:18). Sadly, Saul will have this same man murdered in cold blood right before Saul’s own eyes (1Sam. 22).


There are at least two instances where the word ephod is used, but it is not a reference to the Ephod of God. In Judges 17:5, we have the itinerant priest Micah. The priesthood went down through the line of Aaron (it is a mistake to equate the Levites with the priesthood). It didn’t take long before there were way more people in his line than would ever be needed to serve God at the Tent of God. Some priests went out and established private ministries elsewhere. Let’s say you are a rich guy or there is a reasonably wealthy town, and they want to hire a man to be their personal priest,—well, this could be done. It was certainly not Biblical, but many Old Testament events do not line up with the will of God. Micah became a privately-employed priest and he built several religious artifacts (which no doubt gave great credence to his priestly office). Young Samuel also wore a linen ephod, which tells us that not every ephod had to be made to the specifications of Ex. 28. Samuel’s mother made him clothing and it was very likely similar to the priestly clothing worn by Eli, but a 100 sizes smaller. In contrast to the Micah of Judges, this was not a blasphemous act on the part of Samuel’s mother. Samuel was given over to God, and he was given a similar priestly uniform every year by his mother (1Sam. 2:18–19).


A reasonable question would be, is this the real Ephod in this passage? My first inclination would be to answer with a guarded yes. Recall that it is likely that Shiloh has been razed sometime during the previous 30–40 years, probably by the Philistines. We do not know exactly where the priests or the Tent of God are (although it did survive the attack). We would reasonably suppose they are in Nob (1Sam. 21). Whereas it is clear in Judges 17 and 1Sam. 2 that the ephods mentioned are not the ephod of God, it is unclear in this passage. Since nothing is stated which clearly defines this as Ahijah’s homemade ephod, we will assume that we are speaking of the real deal here.


There is a connection between Urim and Thummim and the Ephod and breastplate, although we do not know exactly what it is. The Ephod of God and breastplate were both associated with determining God’s will, as were the mysterious Urim and Thummim. I will theorize that perhaps Urim referred to the two stones of the ephod and that Thummim referred to the 12 stones of the breastplate. Another possibility is the Urim referred to one stone of the ephod and that Thummim referred to the other stone. Another possibility is that, whatever the Urim and Thummim were, they were placed inside the breastplate (see Ex. 28:30). A fourth possibility is the Urim and Thummim mean lights and dark nesses and refer to these stones lighting up or shining when questions are asked.


We also hear about the lots which Israel would throw to determine God’s will, which may or may not be related to Urim and Thummim or to what is kept in the breast pocket of the Ephod. We have gone into great detail on this topic in Deut. 33:8 where we examined the Doctrine of Urim and Thummim.


Just in case you choose not to examine that doctrine, let me give you a brief summary:

A Brief Summary of the Doctrine of Urim and Thummim

Although Urim and Thummim were used to determine God’s will, we do not know the exact nature of Urim and Thummim. Some translate these words to mean Lights and Dark nesses as well as the more common Lights and Perfections. However, what Urim and Thummim were is unknown to us at this time. Some believe them to be the 14 stones affixed to the Ephod of God, which would light up in order to determine God’s will. Some believe these to be lots which are kept in the pouch of the Ephod (this is only a theory, as we are never told this in Scripture) and others believe them to be two stones kept in the pouch of the Ephod (again, there is no evidence of this in Scripture either). These words are only found 7 times in Scripture (Ex. 28:30 Lev. 8:8 Num. 27:21 Deut. 33:8 1Sam. 28:6 Ezra 2:63 Neh. 7:65), and they are never directly associated with a specific incident where God’s will is sought and revealed. However, we may reasonably assume that the three instances associated with seeking God’s will from the Ephod of God involved Urim and Thummim (1Sam. 14 24:9–12 30:6–8). There are other incidents where the Ephod is not specifically named where Urim and Thummim may have been used (Joshua 7:6–19 15:1 16:1 Judges 1:1–2 20:18–28).


God purposely denied us specific details about Urim and Thummim so that there is no way that they would be duplicated and looked to for guidance. At this point in time, we have the Word of God to guide us.

The actual doctrine is about 10 pages long with much more than you wanted to know about Urim and Thummim.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


This next portion of the verse is rather difficult to grasp; not because the Hebrew is difficult, but because it seems to have been inserted without reason. We have Jonathan and his armor bearing heading over to take a look at the Philistines and the people don’t realize that he has gone (next portion of this verse). However, suddenly, in the middle of this, those descended from the former High Priest Eli are named. What appears to be the situation is that it is Ahijah who is wearing the Ephod, which is used to determine the will of God; and, despite that, no one knows that Jonathan has gone.


1Samuel 14:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people

masculine singular collective noun (with a definite article)

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

generally negates the word immediately following; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

yâda׳ (ע ַדָי) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to know

3rd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

when, that, for, because, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

Yôwnâthân (ןָטָני) [pronounced yoh-naw-THAWN]

transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3129 (& #3083) BDB #220


Translation: And the people did not know that Jonathan had departed. This is a rather weird thing, to suddenly stop and mention Eli’s line; and now we are back to the main action. Jonathan and his armor bearer have gone to spy on the Philistines, and those in GIbeah are not aware that they have left. Obviously, this would have all held together better if v. 3b were a part of v. 4. Or, even better, we could have left out Ahijah’s linage, and this would have all fit together perfectly.


It is this verse (and v. 17), which clearly tell us that Jonathan and Saul were originally together in Gilgal and then they moved as a group to Gibeah. Had Jonathan remained in Geba, (1) the fact that he left to investigate the Philistine camp and that the people in Gibeah did not know he was gone would make little sense. Why mention that Jonathan is gone from Gibeah if he was not in Gibeah in the first place? (2) When Saul realizes that something is up in the Philistine camp, then he quickly inventories the troops and finds that Jonathan is not there (1Sam. 14:17). There would be no reason to number the troops and determine that Jonathan was gone, if Jonathan was stationed in another city. Footnote


And between the passes which sought Jonathan to pass through above the garrison of the Philistines, a tooth of the rock from the side from this and from a tooth of the rock from the side from this. And a name of the one, Bozez; and a name of the one, Seneh.

1Samuel

14:4

And between the passes through which Jonathan desired to pass through overlooking the Philistines’s outpost, [there was] a sharp [steep?] crag on this side and a sharp [steep?] crag on that side. And the name of the one [was] Bozez; and the name of the other [was] Seneh.

There was a sharp high crag on both sides of the passes through which Jonathan desired to cross through to get to the Philistine’s outpost. One side was named Bozez and the other was named Seneh.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And between the passes which sought Jonathan to pass through above the garrison of the Philistines, a tooth of the rock from the side from this and from a tooth of the rock from the side from this. And a name of the one, Bozez; and a name of the one, Seneh.

Septuagint                             And in the midst of the passage whereby Jonathan sought to pass over to the encampment of the Philistines, there was both a sharp rock [lit., tooth off a rock] on this side, and a sharp rock on the other side; the name of the one was Bases, and the name of the other Senna.

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences; it is difficult to determine where Jonathan is in relation to the Philistines, even with the extensiveness of this text.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Jonathan decided to get to the Philistine camp by going through the pass that led between Shiny Cliff [Bozez Cliff] and Michmash to the north and Thornbush Cliff [Seneh Cliff] and Geba to the south. [vv. 4–5]

The Message                         The pass that Jonathan was planning to cross over to the Philistine garrison was flanked on either side by sharp rock outcroppings, cliffs named Bozez and Seneh.

NLT                                To reach the Philistine outpost, Jonathan had to go down between two rocky cliffs that were called Bozez and Seneh.



Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         There was a cliff on each side of the mountain pass where Jonathan searched for a way to cross over to attack the Philistine military post. The name of the one [cliff] was Bozez, and the name of the other was Seneh.

JPS (Tanakh)                        At the crossing by which Jonathan sought to reach the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on one side, and another rocky crag on the other, the one called Bozez and the other Seneh.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     And between the passes by which Jonathan sought to cross over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp crag on the other side, and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.

Young's Literal Translation    And between the passages where Jonathan sought to pass over unto the station of the Philistines is the edge of a rock on the other side, and the name of the one is Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.


What is the gist of this verse? Jonathan has climbed to a spot where he can overlook the Philistine camp. He is at a particular passage way between two small rocky crags, each of which is named.


1Samuel 14:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bêyn (ןי ֵ) [pronounced bane]

in the midst of, between, among; when found twice, it means between

preposition

Strong's #996 BDB #107

ma׳ebârâh (ה ָר ָ  ׃ע ַמ) [pronounced mahģ-baw-RAW]

ford, pass, crossing pass, passage

feminine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4569 BDB #721

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

bâqash (ש ַק ָ) [pronounced baw-KAHSH]

to seek, to search, to desire, to strive after, to attempt to get, to require, to demand, to ask, to seek with desire and diligence

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect

Strong’s #1245 BDB #134

Yôwnâthân (ןָטָני) [pronounced yoh-naw-THAWN]

transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3129 (& #3083) BDB #220

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳âbar (ר ַב ָע) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to pass over, to pass through, to pass on, to pass, to go over

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

matstsâb (ב ָ ַמ) [pronounced matz-TZABV]

standing-place, station, garrison, post

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4673 BDB #662

Pelishetîy (י. ש ̣ל) [pronounced pe-lish-TEE]

transliterated Philistines

gentilic adjective (acts like a proper noun), masculine plural

Strong’s #6430 BDB #814

shên (ן̤ש) [pronounced shayn]

tooth, a sharp rock

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #8127 BDB #1042

çela׳ (ע ַל ס) [pronounced SEH-lahģ]

rock, cliff, jagged cliff, split, cleft, crag, stone

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5553 BDB #700

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

׳êber (ר ב ֵע) [pronounced ĢAYB-ver]

region across, beyond, side

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #5676 BDB #719

min...min... (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

on this side, on that side; on one side, on the other side

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

This is the second occurrence of min; it does not occur twice without intervening words.

zeh (ה ז) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, thus

demonstrative adjective with a definite article

Strong’s #2063, 2088, 2090 BDB #260

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shên (ן̤ש) [pronounced shayn]

tooth, a sharp rock

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #8127 BDB #1042

çela׳ (ע ַל ס) [pronounced SEH-lahģ]

rock, cliff, jagged cliff, split, cleft, crag, stone

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5553 BDB #700

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

׳êber (ר ב ֵע) [pronounced ĢAYB-ver]

region across, beyond, side

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #5676 BDB #719

min...min... (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

on this side, on that side; on one side, on the other side

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

This is the second occurrence of a pairing of min’s with intervening words.

zeh (ה ז) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, thus

demonstrative adjective with a definite article

Strong’s #2063, 2088, 2090 BDB #260


Translation: And between the passes which Jonathon desired to pass through, above the outpost of the Philistines, [there was] a sharp crag on this side and a sharp crag on that side. You will notice that there is an exact repetition of a fairly long phrase with a conjunction between the repetition. With the prepositions, it is difficult to ascertain for certain what is being said; however, it appears that Jonathan was getting a vantage point from which he could look down upon the encampment of the Philistines. They had just moved to the pass of Michmash (1Sam. 13:23). Jonathan needed to find a place where he could look down upon the Philistine camp. Where he and his armor bearer went to, there were sharp crags or rocks on both sides of this passageway which looked down upon the Philistines. What could be the geography is that on both sides of this passageway was more than simply two sharp sets of rocks, but actual rock mountains or rock hills, neither of which could be easily scaled (hence the description as a tooth of the crag). The reason that I say this is that they are named, which would be something which would more reasonably applied to something larger than just two sets of sharp rocks. That is, you would name a mountains or a hill rather than name a single rock (which we will see in v. 1b).


1Samuel 14:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

This and is missing in the Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate and in 2 early printed editions of the MT. Footnote

shêm (ם ֵש) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027

echâd (ד ָח א) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; but it can also mean a composite unity

numeral with the definite article

Strong's #259 BDB #25

bôwtsêts (ץ̤צ) [pronounced boh-TZAYTZ]

transliterated Bozez

proper noun locale

Strong’s #949 BDB #130

The meaning of Bozez is difficult to ascertain; it could be related to the verb to cut off, to break off, to gain by violence. It could simply be a foreign name whose meaning could not be determined from the Hebrew. It is also very similar to the words for swamp and mire. According to Barnes and the REB (and others), it means shining, shiny.

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shêm (ם ֵש) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027

echâd (ד ָח א) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; but it can also mean a composite unity

numeral with the definite article

Strong's #259 BDB #25

Çeneh (ה∵נ∵ס) [pronounced seh-NEH]

transliterated Seneh; it means acacia, thorny bush, bramble bush, blackberry bush

proper noun locale

Strong’s #5573 BDB #702


Translation: And the name of the one, Bozez; and the name of the other, Seneh. I quite frankly do not completely understand the reason for this; why Jonathan would record the names. However, where he was, was probably well known to those of his era. Let me make a guess—one cliff would have the sun on it most of the time, meaning that it would be to the north (so the sun would strike it from the south); the other side would be covered with thorns or brambles. So, even though Jonathan is generally approaching from the south, the entrance to the camp of the Philistines are these two cliffs with a north-south bearing, which is confirmed in the next verse.

 

In any case, the name Seneh, according to Barnes, means Acacia, a name which is given to the modern valley in that area, as it is filled with Acacia trees. Concerning Bozez, Barnes tells us that the valley runs nearly due east and its northern cliff is of a ruddy and tawny tint, crowned with gleaming white chalk, and in the full glare of the sun almost all the day. Footnote Edersheim also gives us a good feel for the geography: Passing from Geba northwards and westwards we come to a steep descent, leading into what now is called the Wady-es-Suweinit. This, no doubt, represents the ancient “passage of Michmash” (1Sam. 13:23). On the opposite steep brow, right over against Geba, lies Michmash, at a distance of barely three miles in a north-westerly direction. This Wady-es-Suweinit is also otherwise interesting. Running up in a north-westerly direction towards Bethel, the ridge on either side the wady juts out into two very steep rock-covered eminences—one south-west, towards Geba, the other north-west, towards Michmash. Side wadys, trending from north to south behind these two eminences, render them quite abrupt and isolated. These two peaks, or “teeth,” were respectively called Bozez, “the shining,” and Seneh, either “the tooth-like,” the pointed,” or perhaps “the thorn,” afterwards the scene of Jonathan’s daring feat of arms (1Sam. 14:1–13). Bethel itself lies on the ridge, which runs in a north-westerly direction from Michmash. Footnote


What appears to be the case is that this is a common pass from Michmash to Geba. The Philistines were camped north or northwest of this pass, ready to move out against Israel. Jonathan and his armor bearer approach this pass from the southwest and come through the well-known pass to observe the Philistines. However, even though the Philistines are north and the Jews are south, the actual pass that Jonathan will go through has a north-south bearing itself, as will be apparent below.


The tooth the one from north opposite Michmash and the one from south opposite Geba.

1Samuel

14:5

The one crag to the north [is] opposite Michmash and the other [crag is] to the south opposite Geba.

The crag to the north is opposite Michmash and the crag to the south is opposite Geba.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       The tooth the one from north opposite Michmash and the one from south opposite Geba.

Septuagint                             The one way [was] northward to one coming to Machmas, and the other way [was] southward to one coming to Gabae.

 

Significant differences:          None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

The Message                         The cliff to the north faced Micmash; the cliff to the south faced Geba (Gibeah).

NLT                                The cliff on the north was in front of Micmash, and the one on the south was in front of Geba.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         One cliff stood like a pillar on the north facing Michmash, the other stood south facing Geba.

JPS (Tanakh)                        One crag was located on the north, near Michmas, and the other on the south, near Geba.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     The one crag rose on the north opposite Michmash, and the other on the south opposite Geba.

Young's Literal Translation    The one edge is fixed on the north over-against Michmas and the one on the south over-against Gibeah.


What is the gist of this verse? In this verse, we are given yet more information about where Jonathan and his armor bearer are standing, as well as information which helps us with the overall geography. The jutting high rock to the north of them is opposite Michmash and the jutting high rock to the south of them is facing Geba. They are in between, closer to Michmash, looking down at the Philistine encampment, which is on the outskirts of Michmash.


1Samuel 14:5

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

shên (ן̤ש) [pronounced shayn]

tooth, a sharp rock

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8127 BDB #1042

According to both BDB and Owen, the noun is masculine here but feminine in v. 4; I don’t see a dime’s worth of difference between them. They are spelled exactly the same.

echâd (ד ָח א) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; but it can also mean a composite unity

numeral with the definite article

Strong's #259 BDB #25

mâtsûwq (קצָמ) [pronounced maw-TZOOK]

molten support, pillar, peak

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4690 BDB #848

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

tsâphôwn (ןפ ָצ) [pronounced tsaw-FOHN]

north

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #6828 BDB #860

mûwl (למ) [pronounced mool]

in front of, opposite

preposition

Strong's #4136 BDB #557

Mikemas (-מכ̣מ) [pronounced mike-MAHS]

transliterated Michmash

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #4363 BDB #485

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

echâd (ד ָח א) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; but it can also mean a composite unity

numeral with the definite article

Strong's #259 BDB #25

Often, when echâd is found twice in the same context, it means ...the one...and the other

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

negeb (ב ג נ) [pronounced ne-GHEBV]

south, south-country; often transliterated Negev or Negeb

masculine singular noun

Strong's #5045 BDB #616

mûwl (למ) [pronounced mool]

in front of, opposite

preposition

Strong's #4136 BDB #557

Geba׳ (ע-ב∵) [pronounced GEHb-vahģ]

transliterated Geba

proper noun

Strong’s #1387 BDB #148


Translation: The one crag, is a sharp rock from the north opposite Michmash and the other is from the south opposite Geba. Jonathan and his armor bearer are on a mountain passageway overlooking the Philistine camp. The rocky crag on one side is to the north near Michmash; the rocky crag on the other side is opposite Geba, which is to the south. The Philistines are camped below them, adjacent to Michmash or just outside the city limits of Michmash.


This verse helps us with several things. We find the preposition min which is used in the phrase from the north and from the south. The location of the cities tells us that this prepositional phrase means to the north and to the south. There will be other places in Scripture when knowing this will be helpful. As has been mentioned before, Michmash is north of Geba, and the Philistines would travel south to get to Geba, and then Gibeah. According to the Macmillian Bible Atlas, Geba is southwest of Michmash. The route that the Philistines chose (and the route that Jonathan chose) involves going through a mountain pass with a north-south bearing as well. So the Philistines are coming south, but will have to veer west to go through this particular pass. Jonathan and his armor bearer will be moving northward, but they will veer to the east to go through this mountain pass.


And so says Jonathan unto the young man bearing his armor, “Come and let us go over unto a garrison of the uncircumcised ones. Perhaps will work Yehowah for us because nothing to Yehowah [is] a hindrance to deliver, in many or in a few.

1Samuel

14:6

Then Jonathan said to the young man, [the one who] carried his armor, “Come and let us go over to the camp of the uncircumcised. Possibly, Yehowah will work for us because [there is] nothing to Yehowah [which is] a hindrance to deliver, [whether] by many or by a few.”

Then Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come, and we will go down into the camp of these uncircumcised Philistines and it is possible that God will work on our behalf, as He is not hindered by numbers or lack of.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so says Jonathan unto the young man bearing his armor, “Come and let us go over unto a garrison of the uncircumcised ones. Perhaps will work Yehowah for us because nothing to Yehowah [is] a hindrance to deliver, in many or in a few.

Septuagint                             And Jonathan said to the young man that bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to Messab of these uncircumcised, if the Lord may do something for us; for the Lord is not straightened to save by many or by a few.”

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences. You can probably guess that the LXX transliterated one word instead of translating it.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Jonathan and the soldier who carried his weapons talked as they went toward the Philistine camp. “It’s just the two of us against all those godless men,” Jonathan said. “But the Lord can help a few soldiers win a battle just as easily as he can help a whole army. Maybe the Lord will help us win this battle.”

NLT                                “Let’s go across to see those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Jonathan said to his armorbearer, “Let’s go to the military post of these uncircumcised people. Maybe the Lord will act on our behalf. The Lord can win a victory with a few men as well as with many.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        Jonathan said to the attendant who carried his arms, “Come, let us cross over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf, for nothing prevents the Lord from winning a victory by many or by few.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the Lord will work for us, for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few.”

Young's Updated LT              And Jonathan says unto the young man bearing his weapons, “Come, and we pass over unto the station of these uncircumcised; it may be Jehovah does work for us, for there is no restraint to Jehovah to save by many or by few.”


What is the gist of this verse? Jonathan goes to his armor bearer, his young man, his personal assistant, and suggests that they go over to the garrison of the Philistines. He will further suggest that God will work in their behalf, as God is not constrained by working through many men or through a few. The implication is that Jonathan is considering attacking the Philistine army with two men.


1Samuel 14:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Yehôwnâthân (ןָטָנהי) [pronounced ye-hoh-naw-THAWN]

alternate spelling; transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3083 (& #3129) BDB #220

There are two primary ways of spelling Jonathan: Yehôwnâthân (ןָטָנהי) [pronounced ye-hoh-naw-THAWN], which is found 71 times, and Yôwnâthân (ןָטָני) [pronounced yoh-naw-THAWN], which is found 41 times.

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

na׳ar (ר-ע-נ) [pronounced NAH-ģahr]

boy, youth, young man, personal attendant

masculine singular noun (with a definite article)

Strong’s #5288 & #5289 BDB #654

nâsâ (א ָ ָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

kelîy (י.ל) [pronounced kelee]

manufactured good, artifact, article, utensil, vessel, weapon, armor, furniture, receptacle; baggage, valuables

masculine plural noun with a masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3627 BDB #479

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative (with a voluntative hê)

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳âbar (ר ַב ָע) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to pass over, to pass through, to pass on, to pass, to go over

1st person plural, Qal imperfect (with a voluntative hê)

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

matstsâb (ב ָ ַמ) [pronounced matz-TZABV]

standing-place, station, garrison, post

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4673 BDB #662

׳ârêl (ל̤רָע) [pronounced ģaw-RAY]

having foreskins, foreskinned ones; generally rendered uncircumcised

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6189 BDB #790

êlleh (ה  ֵא) [pronounced EEHL-leh]

these, these things

demonstrative adjective with the definite article

Strong's #428 BDB #41


Translation: The Jonathan said to his young armor bearer, “Come and let us pass over toward the outpost of these uncircumcised men.” Uncircumcised is a term of derision that the Jews applied to the heathen. Interestingly enough, this term was used primarily for Philistines (see, for example Judges 14:3 15:18 1Sam. 17:26, 36 31:4 2Sam. 1:20 1Chron. 10:4). God uses the same term to differentiate between believers and unbelievers—the believers are circumcised and the unbelievers are not (Jer. 9:25–26 Ezek. 28:10).


We don’t know what sort of facial expression the armor bearer had at this time that Jonathan said this. He apparently had been Jonathan’s armor bearer for awhile, and therefore was trusted enough to accompany Jonathan in scaling this mountainous area to observe the Philistine camp. Very likely, this is the armor bearer who served Jonathan when Jonathan attacked and defeated the Philistine garrison in Geba, the action which set all of these events into motion. So, the armor bearer was used to Jonathan’s impetuous, but spiritually reasonable actions. However, this must have been a bit of a shock. Here is this huge Philistine encampment, which they can see from where they are; and now Jonathan says, “Let’s get a bit closer.” However, that is not the most shocking thing that he says.


1Samuel 14:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ûwlay (יָלא) [pronounced oo-LAHY]

perhaps, peradventure

adverb/conjunction

Strong’s #194 BDB #19

׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to

preposition (with the 1st person plural suffix)

No Strong’s # BDB #510

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

when, that, for, because, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

ayin (ן̣י-א) [pronounced AH-yin]

naught, nothing; it can be a particle of negation: no, not

negative/negative substantive

Strong’s #369 BDB #34

This is in the construct form; however, the construct form differs from the regular form by a vowel point, which was not a part of Scripture originally. Furthermore, a construct should be followed by a noun; this is followed by a preposition, meaning that it is probably not a construct.

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to

preposition (with the 1st person plural suffix)

No Strong’s # BDB #510

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ma׳etsôwr (רצע-מ) [pronounced mahģe-TZOHR]

restraint, hindrance

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4622 BDB #784

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

yâsha׳ (ע ַש ָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHĢ]

to deliver, to save

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong’s #3467 BDB #446

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

rab (ב ַר) [pronounced rahv]

many, much, great (in the sense of large or significant, not acclaimed)

feminine singular adjective

Strong's #7227 BDB #912

ô (א) [pronounced oh]

or, or rather, otherwise, also, and

conjunction

Strong's #176 BDB #14

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

me׳aţ (ט ַע  ׃מ) [pronounced me-ĢAHT]

a little, fewness, few

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4592 BDB #589


Translation: “Perhaps Yehowah will work for us because nothing to Yehowah [is] a hindrance to save, [whether] by many or by a few.” Here is where it appears that Jonathan drops the bomb on his armor bearer. He suggests that God will work on their behalf, as He is not constrained by numbers. That is, God can deliver whether there are many or just a few to work with. The statement that Jonathan is making is that he and his armor bearer are about to take on the entire Philistine army—the army which has all of Israel quaking. Jonathan shows incredible courage and faith here. So observe—Jonathan and his armor bearer are on a cliff overlooking the camp of the Philistines; and now Jonathan suggests that they invade this camp.


Jonathan may have been looking back to the time when Gideon was going to attack the Midianites. Gideon first put God through a series of tests to make certain that God was God (Judges 6:36–40). Then God put Gideon through a bit of a test. The Midianites were like locusts in Israel, there were so many of them (Judges 6:5). To overthrow the Midianites, God required that Gideon pare down his fighting force to a very small number—from 22,000 down to 300 (Judges 7:3–7). Just as David told the mighty Goliath, “Jehovah does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is Jehovah’s and He will give you into our hands.” (1Sam. 17:47b). Similarly, the psalmist writes, The king is not delivered by a mighty army; a warrior is not delivered by great strength; a horse is a false hope for victory; nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength (Psalm 33:16–17). Or as Paul told the Romans, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31b). And as another psalmist tells us: Whatever Jehovah pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all the deeps (Psalm 135:6). And as per the famous quote from Zechariah 4:6b: “Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit,” says Jehovah of the armies. It is not unreasonable to suppose that as Jonathan and his armor bearer looked down upon the Philistine camp, with intents of attacking them, Jonathan thought to himself, “With men, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26b). It is clear that these Philistines threaten the armies of the Living God, and that they threaten the life of Israel in the land. To Jonathan, it is clear that such a thing will not be tolerated by God.


Throughout the Old Testament, we have instances of man believing in God over human viewpoint, and acting by faith, even in the face of certain doom. No doubt the writer of Hebrews was therefore inspired to write: By faith [great men of the Old Testament] conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, [and] put foreign armies to flight (Heb. 11:33–34).


Application: People improperly apply this principle all of the time. Some people with illnesses, which legitimately require a physician, will not see a doctor, as they think this is lacking in faith. This does not preclude strategy and tactics in war either. There is a fine line between faith and laziness. There is a fine line between faith and craziness. What was occurring here was, God had given Israel the land, and the uncircumcised were there to test Israel. There was no confusion about these things. The influx of Philistines into the center of Israel was certainly a cause for great alarm; and their raiding parties are evil. Therefore, Jonathan has to step up, as his father appears to be paralyzed.


Now, as I originally pictured this, Jonathan and his armorbearer pass between these two steep cliffs to the outpost of the Philistines. They could see the camp through the passes, but still had to go down into a ravine and then up from there to get into the camp (v. 13). However, Edersheim pictures this as Jonathan and his armorbearer being up on one cliff, and they will have to descend between the cliffs and then come up on the other one to reach the Philistine camp. Footnote


And so says to him bearer of manufactured goods, “Do all which [is] in your mind; Stretch out [or, incline] to you; behold, I [am] with you as your mind.”

1Samuel

14:7

Then his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that your heart leans toward; listen, I [am] with you; my heart is as your heart.”

Then his weapons-bearer said to him, “Do whatever you believe that you should do. I will remain with you and I am in complete agreement with you in all respects.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         And his armorbearer said to him: “Do all that pleases your mind: go where you will, and I will be with you wherever you have a mind [to go].”

Masoretic Text                       And so says to him bearer of manufactured goods, “Do all which [is] in your mind; Stretch out [or, incline] to you; behold, I [am] with you as your mind.”

Peshitta                                 And his armorbearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart; turn aside, and go; behold, I am with you; do whatever is in your heart.”

Septuagint                             And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that your heart inclines toward; behold, I [am] with you, my heart [is] as your heart.”

 

Significant differences:          In the Hebrew, there are two imperatives; in the Greek, the second verb in the armor-bearer’s encouragement is affixed to Jonathan’s heart. The armor-bearer tells Jonathan, in the Greek, that they are of the same mind (my heart is as your heart]; in the Hebrew, the meaning seems to be about the same, but he simply says, “I am with you as your heart.” When all is said and done, the idea is, Jonathan’s servant strongly supports Jonathan, whether viewing this from the Hebrew or the Greek.

 

It is both possible and reasonable that the Peshitta simply tried to give sense to the gist of the Hebrew, and came up with what they did. It is possible that they even inserted a word or two to give this verse greater sense. I suspect that Jerome did the same with the Latin. On the other hand, it is also possible that the translators of the Peshitta and Jerome had access to better manuscripts, which made a bit more sense here.

 

I want you to notice that, in this verse, the Hebrew differs more from the Greek than any previous verse in this chapter. Nevertheless, the general meaning appears to be essentially the same. Although I will give the Greek exegesis, because it appears to be fairly simple, bear in mind that this may end up being much more information than you really are interested in.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       “Do whatever you want,” the soldier answered. “I’ll be right there with you.”

NLT                                “Do what you think is best,” the youth replied. “I’m with you completely, whatever you decide.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         His armorbearer answered him, “Do whatever you have in mind. Go ahead! I agree with you.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        His arms-bearer answered him, “Do whatever you like. You go first, I am with you, whatever you decide.” Literally: His arms-bearer answered him, “Do whatever is in your heart. Incline yourself; I am with you, according to your heart.” As per Septuagint: His arms-bearer answered him, “Do whatever your heart inclines to for I am with you; my heart is like your heart.” [it was difficult to determine how to present these two footnotes].


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     And his armor bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart; turn yourself, and here I am with you according to your desire [lit., heart].”

NRSV                                    His armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that your mind inclines to. I am with you; as your mind is, so is mine.” [the footnotes for this verse indicate that the NRSV follows the Septuagint more than the MT here, which is common in the NRSV].

Young's Updated LT              And the bearer of his weapons says to him, “Do all that is in your heart; turn for you; lo, I am with you, as your own heart.”


What is the gist of this verse? The young man who carries Jonathan’s weapons is in complete agreement with Jonathan as to what they are to do. He doesn’t ask for the day off; he doesn’t tell Jonathan, “This is really stupid. We’re both going to die!” He recognizes that what Jonathan says is true and is in full agreement with his plan.


1Samuel 14:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to

preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâsâ (א ָ ָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

kelîy (י.ל) [pronounced kelee]

manufactured good, artifact, article, utensil, vessel, weapon, armor, furniture, receptacle; baggage, valuables

masculine plural noun with a masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3627 BDB #479

׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

kâl (לָ) [pronounced kawl],

the whole, all, the entirety, every

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

bvabv (ב ַב ֵל) [pronounced layb-VBAHV]

mind, inner man, inner being, heart

masculine singular noun with a 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #3824 BDB #523


Translation: His armor bearer answered, “Do all that is in your heart...” Even more surprising than what Jonathan says is what his armor bearer says. He says to Jonathan, “Whatever, dude” with the implication that he will go along with him. It is amazing that God brought two men of such great faith together like this.


1Samuel 14:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

nâţâh (ה ָט ָנ) [pronounced naw-TAWH]

to stretch out, to spread out, to bow, to extend, to incline, to turn

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong’s #5186 BDB #639

In the Greek, this is a 3rd person masculine singular verb, making the subject your heart from v. 7a (which gives us a very stilted reading; however, it does make some sense). See the comments on the Septuagint which follow this table.

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to

preposition (with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix)

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: Incline yourself [or, spread out];... The meaning of this phrase is quite confusing. His armor-bearer appears to be telling Jonathan to advance as he sees fit. The Greek is somewhat different here.


1Samuel 14:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle with a 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

׳îm (ם ̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity (with 2nd person masculine singular suffix)

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

In the Greek, we have the additional words my heart. Again, this fills out the verse and causes it to make more sense.

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

bvabv (ב ַב ֵל) [pronounced layb-VBAHV]

mind, inner man, inner being, heart

masculine singular noun with a 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #3824 BDB #523


Translation: ...listen, I [am] with you as your heart.” The armor bearer pledges his loyalty to Jonathan. I am guessing, since they are approaching the Philistine camp, that they are splitting up or spreading out (although I would have expected the 1st person plural for that). The very last phrase, although a bit abstruse, just indicates to Jonathan that his armor bearer will act in accordance with his (Jonathan’s) volition. It will be as though he is in complete accordance with Jonathan’s heart. Although the Hebrew more or less makes sense (it is a little awkward), the Greek smooths this out. Whether a Greek translator added this in order to smooth out the verse or whether it came from a better Hebrew manuscript, we do not know. However, the Greek reads: And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that your heart inclines toward; listen, I [am] with you, my heart [is] as your heart.” The last phrase means that they believe the same thing and that the armor-bearer is in complete agreement with Jonathan’s plan. The armor bearer is somewhat of an extension of Jonathan’s fighting arsenal; here he tells Jonathan that he is an extension of Jonathan’s volition as well.


1Samuel 14:7a-b Text from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

I will just include the text of the armor-bearer’s statement to Jonathan.

poieô (ποιέω) [pronounced poi-EH-oh]

to do, to make, to construct, to produce; to carry out, to execute [a plan, an intention]

2nd person singular, present active imperative

Strong’s #4160

pás (πάς) [pronounced pahs]

each, every, any; all, entire; anyone, all things, everything; some [of all types]

accusative singular neuter adjective

Strong’s #3956

ho (ὁ) [pronounced hoh]

the; this, that, these

definite article for a nominative masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3588

eán (ἐάν) [pronounced eh-AHN]

if, in case, suppose, let’s suppose [for the sake of an argument]

conjunction affixed to a subjunctive verb

Strong’s #1437

hê (ἡ) [pronounced hey]

the; this, that; these

feminine singular definite article; nominative and vocative cases

Strong’s #3588

kardia (καρδία) [pronounced kahr-DEE-uh]

heart, mind, soul; will, character; center [or middle, or essence] [of something]

nominative, feminine singular noun

Strong’s #2588

sou (σου) [pronounced sue]

of you, your; from you

2nd person singular pronoun, genitive/ablative case

Strong’s #4771 (genitive is given Strong’s #4675)

ekklinô (ἐκκλίνω) [pronounced ehk-KLEE-noh]

to turn aside, deviate (from the right way and course); to turn (one’s self) away, to turn away from, keep aloof from one’s society; to shun one; to avoid; to go out of the way

3rd person singular, present active subjunctive verb

Strong’s #1578


Translation: “Do all that if your heart turns aside [or, avoids, deviates from];... Even in the Greek, this part is not easy to deal with. I believe that the idea is, “Suppose you heart deviates from [Saul’s orders to simply stay put]—[still] do all that [is in your heart]... Obviously, I am reading a lot into this passage. Jonathan’s armor bearer is supposing that Jonathan’s thinking might be turning away from something. Probably, the idea is, his heart is turning him away from just staying put, which would be Saul’s orders. His armor bearer might not speak all of this, as he does not want to make it sound as if Jonathan would be disobeying his father Saul’s orders.


Brenton renders this “Do all that your heart inclines toward...” He appears to be ignoring both the conjunction if, suppose and the actual meaning of the second verb.


1Samuel 14:7c Text from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

idoú (ἰδού) [pronounced ih-DOO]

behold, lo; listen, listen up, focus on this, get this, look, look here

demonstrative singular particle; interjection

Strong’s #2400

egô (ἐγώ) [pronounced ehg-OH]

I

1st person singular pronoun, nominative case

Strong’s #1473

meta (μετά) [pronounced meht-AH]

with, among, in the company of, in the midst of

preposition with the genitive

Strong’s #3326

sou (σου) [pronounced sue]

of you, your; from you

2nd person singular pronoun, genitive/ablative case

Strong’s #4771 (genitive is given Strong’s #4675)

hôs (ὡς) [pronounced hohç]

like, as, even as

comparative particle

Strong’s #5613

hê (ἡ) [pronounced hey]

the; this, that; these

feminine singular definite article; nominative and vocative cases

Strong’s #3588

kardia (καρδία) [pronounced kahr-DEE-uh]

heart, mind, soul; will, character; center [or middle, or essence] [of something]

nominative, feminine singular noun

Strong’s #2588

sou (σου) [pronounced sue]

of you, your; from you

2nd person singular pronoun, genitive/ablative case

Strong’s #4771 (genitive is given Strong’s #4675)

kardia (καρδία) [pronounced kahr-DEE-uh]

heart, mind, soul; will, character; center [or middle, or essence] [of something]

nominative, feminine singular noun

Strong’s #2588

emou (ἐμο) [pronounced eh-MOO]; mou (μου) [pronounced moo]

me; of me; from me

1st person singular pronoun, genitive/ablative case

Strong’s #1473 (also, this is known as Strong’s #3450; the simpler form of Strong’s #1700)


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Translation: Listen, I [am] with you as your heart [is with] my heart.” Or, as Brenton renders it: “Behold, I am with you, my heart is as your heart.” (by the way, I always update his text to modern English). The idea here is, “Listen, whatever you decide to do, David, I am with you 100%.” Obviously, even though the text of the Greek and Hebrew vary, the idea of this verse is essentially the same: the armor bearer is telling David, “Whatever you plan to do, I am with you completely.”


And so says Jonathan, “Behold, we are crossing over unto the men and we have revealed ourselves unto them.

1Samuel

14:8

Then Jonathan said, “Listen, we will cross over to these men and then reveal ourselves to them.

Then Jonathan said, “Listen, we’ll cross over this pass toward those men and reveal ourselves to them.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so says Jonathan, “Behold, we are crossing over unto the men and we have revealed ourselves unto them.

Septuagint                             And Jonathan said, “Behold, we will go over to the men, and will come down suddenly upon them.

 

Significant differences:          In the Hebrew (Syriac and Latin), Jonathan and his armor bearer are going to go far enough to be seen by the Philistines. Again, the agreement of the Hebrew, Latin and Syriac is less significant than you would think, as they come from the same family of manuscripts.

 

In the Greek, they will suddenly strike them. Even though the Greek sounds like the most reasonable plan, the context seems to support the Hebrew. The final Greek verb is difficult and perhaps means do go over; will be rolled down suddenly. The problem is, the Greek verb is related to a verb which means to roll, to wallow (it is even used of a pig). This verb is affixed to the preposition katá (κατά) [pronounced kaw-TAW], which means down, down from, down upon, according to, after, according to a norm or standard. Strong’s #2596. This is combined with pros (πρός) [pronounced pross], which means face to face with; to the advantage of; at, near, by; to, towards, with, with regard to. Strong’s #4314. Finally, we have the pronoun them. So, perhaps this could be taken to mean we will roll down near them or we will roll down face to face with them. Recall that the LXX is not the inspired text; however, I have included it and its details to help explain the English translation from the Greek.

 

A Greek translator may be stuck here, looking at the Hebrew, and not grasping why Jonathan would suggest that they simply go there and show themselves to the Philistines. Therefore, a Greek translator might try to give this verse a different spin.

 

I should add that, anytime we have a difficult text to deal with, and I leave out the translation from the Dead Sea Scrolls, you may assume that we simply do not have a readable text of this passage.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       “This is what we will do,” Jonathan said. “We will go across and let them see us.

NLT                                “All right then,” Jonathan told him, “We will cross over and let them see us.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Jonathan continued, “Listen, we’ll cross over to the Philistines and show ourselves to them.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Jonathan said, “We’ll cross over to those men and let them see us.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men and reveal ourselves to them.

Young's Updated LT              And Jonathan says, “Lo, we are passing over unto the men, and are revealed unto them;...”


What is the gist of this verse? Jonathan continues (from v. 6) with the explanation of his plan. They will move forward and reveal themselves to the Philistines. In the Greek, it appears as though this will be more sudden and more surreptitious.


1Samuel 14:8

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Yehôwnâthân (ןָטָנהי) [pronounced ye-hoh-naw-THAWN]

alternate spelling; transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3083 (& #3129) BDB #220

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

ănachenûw (נח-נֲא) [pronounced uh-NAHKH-noo]

we

1st person plural pronoun

Strong’s #587 BDB #59

׳âbar (ר ַב ָע) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to pass over, to pass through, to pass on, to pass, to go over

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

man, each, each one, everyone

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #376 BDB #35

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

gâlâh (ה ָלָ) [pronounced gaw-LAWH]

to depart, to uncover, to remove, to reveal in the Qal; to reveal, to publish

1st person plural, Niphal perfect

Strong's #1540 BDB #162

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); (with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: Then Jonathan said, “Listen, we are crossing over unto the men and we will reveal ourselves to them.” The plan is not for the two men to move quietly about the perimeter of the camp, killing a guard here and there. Jonathan tells his aide that they will reveal themselves to them Philistines.


Again, the Greek text implies that the movement of Jonathan and his servant would be more sudden and surreptitious.


This may seem like crazy behavior to you. That is, we look at this and have a difficult time understand why Jonathan would even consider going right up to these Philistines and showing himself. However, I just saw a special on 20-20 last night (December 9, 2005), Footnote and one of the segments dealt with “T-type” individuals—teenagers who are great risk takers. The T stands for thrill seekers. They have little or no fear for themselves and they repeatedly engage in life-threatening behavior. Their brain requires this sort of stimulation. It is not abnormal for this sort of behavior to escalate, which is what we are seeing with Jonathan (first he takes his men and attacks a Philistine outpost; and now, he is going to a Philistine encampment with only his armor bearer). We’ve discussed ages before (the age of Saul and Jonathan), and one possible scenario has Jonathan as a teenager. His actions here are typical of a T-type personality. His actions are also in line with one who is a believer in Jesus Christ and the son of a king whose country has been invaded. God uses all personality types; I am simply pointing out Jonathan’s personality type.


If thus they say unto us, ‘Be still until our coming unto you’ and we have taken a stand underneath us and we will not go up unto them.

1Samuel

14:9

If they say this to us: ‘Be still unto we come to you’ then we will stand in our place and not go up to them.

If they tell us to stay here until they come up to us, we will take a stand right here and not go up to them.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       If thus they say unto us, ‘Be still until our coming unto you’ and we have taken a stand underneath us and we will not go up unto them.

Septuagint                             If they should say thus to us, ‘Stand aloof there until we shall send you word,’ then we will stand still by ourselves, and will not go up against them.

 

Significant differences:          Essentially the meaning is the same; however, in the Hebrew, the Philistines tell them to stay there and they would come to them; and in the Greek, they Philistines tell them to stay there until they tell them to move. In the previous verse, we looked at the Greek and Hebrew, and the Hebrew indicated that Jonathan and his servant would simply reveal themselves to the uncircumcised Philistines. This verse seems to go along with that notion, both in the Greek and Hebrew.

 

As we would expect, the Syriac and Latin agree with the Hebrew text.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       If they agree to come down the hill and fight where we are, then we won’t climb up to their camp.

NLT                                If they say to us, ‘Stay where you are or we’ll kill you,’ then we will stop and not go up to them.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         If they say to us, ‘Stay where you are until we come to you,’ then we’ll stay where we are and not go up to them.

JPS (Tanakh)                        If they say to us, ’Wait until we get to you,’ then we’ll stay where we are, and not go up to them.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     “If they say [lit., say thus] to us, ‘Wait until we come to you’; then we will stand in our place and not go up to them.

Young's Updated LT              ...if thus they say unto us, ‘Stand still till we have come unto you,’ then we have stood in our place, and do not go up unto them;...


What is the gist of this verse? Jonathan is going to outline two possible scenarios—one in this verse and one in the next. In this verse, he says “If the Philistines tell us to stay here, we will stay right here.”


1Samuel 14:9

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

îm (ם ̣א) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

kôh (הֹ) [pronounced koh]

so, thus, here, hence

adverb

Strong’s #3541 BDB #462

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) (with 1st person plural suffix)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

dâmam (ם ַמ ָ) [pronounced daw-MAHM

be still, be silent, cease, be cut off

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperative

Strong's #1826 BDB #198

׳ad (דַע) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

nâga׳ (ע ַג ָנ) [pronounced naw-GAHĢ]

to cause to touch, to cause to touch [the ground—i.e., to destroy], to touch, to reach [to anything—when followed by a lâmed], to come to [when followed by el], to attain to [when followed by a lâmed]

Hiphil infinitive construct with a 1st person plural suffix

Strong's #5060 BDB #619

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) (with 2nd person masculine plural suffix)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳âmad (ד ַמ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-MAHD]

to take a stand, to stand, to remain, to endure, to withstand

1st person plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #5975 BDB #763

tachath (ת ַח ַ) [pronounced TAH-khahth]

underneath, below, under, beneath, in the place [in which one stands] [when found in accusative position]

preposition (with 1st person plural suffix)

Strong’s #8478 BDB #1065

Examples of the latter usage: Ex. 16:29 Judges 7:21 1Sam. 14:9 2Sam. 2:23 7:10 1Chron. 17:9 Job 36:16 (given that this preposition has such a specific meaning and that I give it an entirely different spin here, I believe that it would be better to include passages which are in agreement with this other rendering).

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

generally negates the word immediately following; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to go up, to ascend, to rise, to climb

1st person plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) (with 3rd person masculine plural suffix)

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: If thus they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place and not go up too them... Jonathan is going to present two possible scenarios. They are going to be a distance from the Philistine camp, but they will make certain that they are seen. What they will do next will depend upon what the Philistine perimeter tells them to do. This strikes me as interesting, as I would think if they did what the Philistines told them to do, then this would give the Philistines a psychological edge. However, Jonathan is functioning apart from any sound military tactics here. He knows that the Philistines have violated God’s gift of the land to the Jews, and that God will deliver these Philistines into their hands.


It is difficult to look into the mind of Jonathan, but he seems to be setting up a situation where he will act according to what the Philistines say and do. The idea is, he is making this known to his servant, to God, and to the angels and demons which encompass him. Jonathan did not have the full revelation of Scripture, and as a result, the way he functioned with regards to guidance is going to be considerably different than what we do in our day-to-day lives.


Application: You cannot simply go to a passage and imitate the people in this passage, as that is not necessarily God’s plan for our life. Bear in mind we have the completed canon of Scripture and the filling of God the Holy Spirit, two things which Jonathan lacks (although, I would assume that he has some association with the Holy Spirit, and I would assume that he can go in and out of fellowship just as we do). It is even reasonable to suppose that God the Holy Spirit is guiding him here in his decisions and subsequent actions. However, in most cases, if you are a soldier fighting terrorists in Iraq or Afghanistan, I would be disinclined to suggest that, if you have a certain feeling that you simply disobey orders to stay put and to move forward against the enemy. These are different times and different circumstances. On the other hand, this does not mean that you, as a military person, cannot improvise under pressure, if there is no clear cut, well-defined approach to the problem that you are facing. What I am saying is, there is no reason for you to do that which is tactically or strategically contraindicated, based upon this passage. Jonathan is improvising, and he is improvising in a hopeless situation. The Philistines are attacking Israel at will, Saul’s men are deserting him (and Jonathan’s, ostensibly); and an attack by the Philistines appears to be inevitable. Jonathan is simply making the first move in this hopeless situation.


And if thus they say, ‘Come up upon us’ and we have gone up for has given them Yehowah into our [two] hands and this to us the sign.”

1Samuel

14:10

But if they say this: ‘Come up to us’ then we will go because Yehowah has given them into our hands and this [what they have said] [is] the sign [to us].”

On the other hand, if they say, ‘Come on over to us,’ then we will go to up them because Jehovah has therefore given them into our hands; this particular phrase will be the sign to us.

 

Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And if thus they say, ‘Come up upon us’ and we have gone up for has given them Yehowah into our [two] hands and this to us the sign.”

Septuagint                             [If] they should say thus to us, ‘Come up to us;’ then will we go up, for the Lord has delivered them into our hands; this [shall be] a sign to us.”

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       But we will go if they tell us to come up the hill and fight. That will mean the Lord is going to help us win.”

NLT                                But if they say, ‘Come on up and fight,’ then we will go up. That will be the Lord’s sign that he will help us defeat them.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         But if they say to us, ‘Come up here,’ then we’ll go up, because that will be our sign that the Lord has handed them over to us.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     “But if they say [lit., say thus] ‘Come up to us.’ then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hands; and this shall be the sign to us.”

Young’s Literal Translation  And if thus they say, ‘Come up against us,’ then we have gone up, for Jehovah has given them into our hand, and this to us is the sign.”


What is the gist of this verse? It is a tad bit confusing here. In the previous verses, it sounded as though Jonathan and his personal servant were looking down upon the Philistine camp. However, as they move closer, there is apparently a valley between them, so that, from where they stand at this time, the Philistines are above them. In any case, this is the second possible scenario—if the Philistines tell Jonathan and his servant to come up to them, then they will go up to the Philistines, because God has given them [the Philistines] into their [Jonathan and his servant’s ] hands. And, according to Jonathan, this particular command would be a sign to them.


1Samuel 14:10

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

îm (ם ̣א) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong’s #518 BDB #49

kôh (הֹ) [pronounced koh]

so, thus, here, hence

adverb

Strong’s #3541 BDB #462

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to go up, to ascend, to rise, to climb

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperative

Strong’s #5927 BDB #748

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity (with a 1st person plural suffix)

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to go up, to ascend, to rise, to climb

1st person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #5927 BDB #748

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

when, that, for, because, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong’s #3588 BDB #471

nâthan (ןַתָנ) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5414 BDB #678

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

hand

dual feminine noun (with 1st person plural suffix)

Strong’s #3027 BDB #388

I”m a little confused here: Rotherham tells us that this is in the plural in the Septuagint, Vulgate and in 2 early printed editions of the MT. However, my MT has this in the dual, according to Owen. Footnote

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

zeh (ה ז) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, thus

demonstrative adjective with a definite areicle

Strong’s #2063, 2088, 2090 BDB #260

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to

preposition (with 1st person plural suffix)

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ôth (תא) [pronounced oath]

sign, token, pledge, assurance

masculine singular noun with the definite areicle

Strong’s #226 BDB #16


Translation: “But if they say thus: ‘Come to us’ then we will go up for Yehowah has given them into our hands and this [what they say] will be the sign to us.” At this point, Jonathan says if the Philistines tell them to come up, then he and his servant will go up to them, and this would be a sign to them that God has delivered the Philistines into their hands. What appears to be the case is that Jonathan and his servant began at a point above the Philistine camp and looked down upon them. As they move forward to reveal themselves to the Philistines, they go down to a valley where they are below the level of the Philistines when this will transpire.


What Jonathan says here has occurred on several occasions. When Abraham’s servant was sent out to get a bride for Isaac, the servant prayed to God that if he asked a girl at the well for a drink, that, if she offered a drink to his camels as well, that this would be the future wife of Isaac (Gen. 24:12–15). We’ve already mentioned Gideon and the things that he asked of God to prove that He was God (Judges 6:36–40). However, it is important to note that this sort of thing was not a common Old Testament occurrence.


Now, were Jonathan’s alternatives merely arbitrary? Not necessarily. If the Philistines wanted to come to them, the indication was that they were ready to do battle and did not fear Jonathan and his armorbearer. However, if the Philistines held back, asked Jonathan to stay there, that means that they were uncertain as to what to do, and the time that Jonathan spend moving toward them would be used by the Philistine guard to try to figure out what they should do.


There are many differences between the time in which we live and the Old Testament times. The correct doctrine of dispensations distinguishes between these time periods. Interestingly enough, even people who portend to not believe in dispensationalism actually do believe in dispensationalism. That is, if you believe that animal sacrifices and Temple worship ceremonies are no longer a part of our religious lives, then you believe in dispensations. That things are done differently now and that things are different now, in any way, that is the essence of dispensational doctrine. There are many things which the Israelites engaged in to determine the will of God. They consulted Urim and Thummim, they cast lots (which may have been the same thing?), and they did what Jonathan did here: if this particular thing occurs, then we will know we are within God’s will. God was very careful to preserve the concept of Urim and Thummim and the concept of lots, but God did not allow any of those things used to survive until our time, nor did He ever give enough information to us in His Word to duplicate these objects. This is because these things do not belong to this dispensation. Many of the more mystical occurrences of the Old Testament—miracles, prophecy, determining God’s will by throwing lots—we don”t find these things in our dispensation (miracles, by the way, were quite rare—even in the Old Testament). This is because we have the entire Word of God at our disposal.


Application: My point is, we are not going to go through the same sort of scenarios as Jonathan presents here. For instance, you do not follow a particular stock, and say, “If it goes up 1 point and then drops 2 points, then it is God’s will that I purchase 100 shares of this stock.” We don’t say, “Okay, if I walk by a redhead in the next 5 minutes, then I will enter into the nearest store and buy a lottery ticket.” Today, we ascertain God’s will by our knowledge of Scripture.


One thing which is not stated in this passage, but which is surely the case: the Holy Spirit had come upon Jonathan and his armor bearer. Whereas we can, at any point in time, choose to be filled with the Holy Spirit by naming our sins to God, in the Old Testament, only a very small percentage of believers were empowered by (or, possibly filled with) the Holy Spirit and this empowerment (or, filling) could be removed by God. God gave this filling to those who did His work. The most common occurrence, which is rarely mentioned, is a writer of Old Testament Scripture. When they wrote, they were filled with or empowered by with God the Holy Spirit. In times like these, when Jonathan and his servant are to face thousands of Philistines unafraid, trusting God for the outcome, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Bear in mind, what Jonathan is about to do is very rare, even for the Old Testament. He is going to face an entire encampment of Philistines with only his armor bearer. However, do not lose sight of the fact that there is certainly guidance by God the Holy Spirit, different from what we experience today.


And so reveal themselves both of them unto a garrison of Philistines. And so say Philistines, “Behold Hebrews coming out from the holes where they have hidden themselves there.”

1Samuel

14:11

Then both of them showed themselves to the garrison of Philistines. And the Philistines said, “Look, the Hebrews are coming out of the hiding places where they had hidden themselves.”

So they revealed themselves to the camp of Philistines, causing the Philistines to say, “Look there, the Hebrews are beginning to come out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so reveal themselves both of them unto a garrison of Philistines. And so say Philistines, “Behold Hebrews coming out from the holes where they have hidden themselves there.”

Septuagint                             And they both went in to Messab of the Philistines; and the Philistines said, “Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of their caves where they had hidden themselves.”

 

Significant differences:          Two minor differences—Jonathan and his armorbearer reveal themselves to the Philistines in the Hebrew; they simply go into the Philistines in the Greek. The Latin and Syriac, as usual, are in agreement with the Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Jonathan and the soldier stood at the bottom of the hill where the Philistines could see them. The Philistines said, “Look! Those worthless Israelites have crawled out of the holes where they”ve been hiding.” Then they yelled down to Jonathan and the soldier, “Come up here, and we will teach you a thing or two!” [vv. 11–12]

Moffatt                                   So the pair of them showed themselves to the Philistine garrison, and the Philistines said, “Look at the mice creeping out of their hiding-holes!”

NLT                                When the Philistines saw them coming, they shouted, “Look! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                        So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine troops. The Philistines said, “Look, some Hebrews are coming out of the holes they were hiding in.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        They both showed themselves to the Philistine outpost and the Philistines said, “Look, some Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have been hiding.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     And when both of them revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines, the Philistines said, “Behold, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.”

Young’s Updated LT             And revealed are both of them unto the station of the Philistines, and the Philistines say, “Lo, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hid themselves.”


What is the gist of this verse? Now, we know exactly what is going on: Jonathan and his servant have approached the Philistine encampment alone to possibly attack the Philistines. The Philistines do not know this. The Philistines know that they have not found any Hebrews anywhere, apart from their raiding parties. Now, even though there is an army of Hebrews, the Philistines had not seen them anywhere around (although their spies were probably well aware of Saul’s location). Furthermore, many of these Hebrews have hidden in holes and caves and in the thick jungle. So, what the Philistines see here is some of the Hebrews revealing themselves from where they were hidden. This is key: they do not know that there is only Jonathan and his servant. For all they know, they may be surrounded by the entire Hebrew army. In their minds, they believe that the Hebrews who appeared to desert (1Sam. 13:6) have actually surrounded them.


1Samuel 14:11

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

gâlâh (ה ָלָ) [pronounced gaw-LAWH]

to depart, to uncover, to remove, to reveal in the Qal; to reveal, to publish

3rd person masculine plural, Niphal perfect

Strong’s #1540 BDB #162

The Niphal is not used strictly as a passive voice; it also is used when the subject acts upon itself. More precisely, in plural forms, it emphasizes the individual’s effect on each member of the group. Here we are dealing with a small group (Jonathan and his servant). However, Jonathan’s revealing himself and his servant will have a profound effect upon the Philistines.

shenayim (ם̣י-נש) [pronounced sheNAH-yim]

two of, a pair of, a duo of

masculine plural numeral; with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #8147 BDB #1040

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong’s #413 BDB #39

matstsâb (ב ָ ַמ) [pronounced matz-TZABV]

standing-place, station, garrison, post

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4673 BDB #662

Pelishetîy (י. ש ̣ל) [pronounced pe-lish-TEE]

transliterated Philistines

gentilic adjective (acts like a proper noun), masculine plural

Strong’s #6430 BDB #814

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Pelishetîy (י. ש ̣ל) [pronounced pe-lish-TEE]

transliterated Philistines

gentilic adjective (acts like a proper noun), masculine plural

Strong’s #6430 BDB #814

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

׳Iberîym (םי .רב̣ע) [pronounced ģibe-VREEM]

those from beyond; transliterated Hebrews, Eberites

proper masculine plural gentis/noun

Strong’s #5680 BDB #720

To explain Moffatt’s rendering of “Look at the mice”, the addition of an extra consonant (kaph) before the Hebrew word for Hebrews, results in the word mice. However, there is no reason to stray from the Masoretic text here.

yâtsâ (א ָצ ָי) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go out, to come out, to come forth

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong’s #3318 BDB #422

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong’s #4480 BDB #577

chûwr (רח) [pronounced khoor]

hole

masculine plural noun with the definite areicle

Strong’s #2356 BDB #359

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong’s #834 BDB #81

châbâ (אָבָח) [pronounced khawb-VAW]

to withdraw, to hide; to hide themselves (in the plural Hithpael)

3rd person plural, Hithpael imperfect

Strong’s #2244 BDB #285

shâm (ם ָש) [pronounced shawm]

there, thither, whither

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027


Translation: So both of them revealed themselves to the garrison of Philistines and the Philistines said, “Look, the Hebrews are coming out from the hiding places where they have hidden themselves.” The Philistines look out over the great forested area around them (v. 26) and they spot two men—Jonathan and his armor bearer. They noise this to the others. However, they don’t think of it as just two men—they have assumed that all of the Hebrews are beginning to come out of hiding. Obviously, they think, Israel was not going to attack with just two men. Back in 1Sam. 13:6, when all appeared bleak to the Israelites, most of the Israeli army deserted, choosing to hide throughout the hills, caves and cellars of the land. We know this to be a result of fear and lack of trust in God. The Philistines assumed the same thing, until now. However, they also considered that this might have been a deployment of men as well. They are able through spies to observe troop movement, but they don”t always know the reason for the troop movement. Now they see two Israelites approaching them without fear, and suddenly, the Philistines mentally seize upon the same notion—those soldiers who originally appeared to desert actually went into hiding and now surround the Philistine encampment. Ironically, these soldiers who deserted will come out of hiding a bit later (1Sam. 14:11).


The term Hebrews was actually a term of derision generally used by non-Jews to refer to Jews. It is very likely that this is a term related to Habiru (also, Apiru), which refers to a class of immigrants or itinerants without property and who are dependent upon others for their own sustenance Footnote (a semi-modern equivalent term might be Gypsies). Interestingly enough, the term lost its sense of derision over the years.


And so answer men of the watch Jonathan and bearer of his manufactured goods and so they say, “Come up unto us and we will cause to know you a word.” And so says Jonathan unto his bearer of manufactured goods, “Come up after me for has given them Yehowah into a hand of Israel.”

1Samuel

14:12

Then the men of the watch answered Jonathan and his armor bearer, saying, “Come on up to us and we will show you a thing.” So Jonathan says to his armor bearer, “Come up behind me for Yehowah has given them into the hand of Israel.”

The men on guard called to Jonathan and his armor bearer, “Come on up; we have something to teach you.” Then Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Follow me up to them, for we know that Jehovah has given them into the hand of Israel.”


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so answer men of the watch Jonathan and bearer of his manufactured goods and so they say, “Come up unto us and we will cause to know you a word.” And so says Jonathan unto his bearer of manufactured goods, “Come up after me for has given them Yehowah into a hand of Israel.”

Septuagint                             And the men of Messab answered Jonathan and his armor-bearer, and said, “Come up to us and we will show you a thing.” And Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has delivered them into the hands of Israel.”

 

Significant differences:          No real significant differences here; we have a transliterated word in the LXX; and the second difference is more one of interpretation.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

NLT                                Then they shouted to Jonathan, “Com eon up here, and we”ll teach you a lesson!”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                        “Come up here,” the men of the military post said to Jonathan and his armorbearer. “We have something to show you.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his arms-bearer, “Come up to us, and we’ll teach you a lesson.” Then Jonathan said to his arms-bearer, “Follow me, for the Lord will deliver them into the hands of Israel.”


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     So the men of the garrison hailed Jonathan and his armor bearer and said, “Come up to us and we will tell you something.” And Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has given them into the hands of Israel.”

Young’s Updated LT             And the men of the station answer Jonathan and the bearer of his weapons, and say, “Come up unto us, and we cause you to know something.” And Jonathan says unto the bearer of his weapons, “Come up after me, for Jehovah has given them into the hand of Israel.”


What is the gist of this verse? The Philistines instruct the two Israelites to come on up to them. It is unclear as to what exactly they say to the Israelites beyond that; that is, we don”t know if they are going to show the Israelites a thing or two; or whether they are simply calling them up with their limited knowledge of Hebrew. Obviously, Jonathan and his armor bearer had been overlooking the Philistine camp, and then they had to walk down into a valley below the camp, which is where they are here. The Philistines call on Jonathan and his servant to come up to them . This is the sign from God to Jonathan that God has given the Philistines into their hand; however, he recognizes that God has given the Philistines into the hand of the Israelites, and not simply into their hands.


1Samuel 14:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳ânâh (ה ָנ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-NAWH]

to answer, to respond

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6030 BDB #772

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

man, each, each one, everyone

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #376 BDB #35

matstsâbâh (הָבָ -מ) [pronounced matz-tzaw-VAW]

guard, watch

feminine singular noun (which appears to be almost equivalent to the masculine noun Strong’s #4673)

Strong’s #4675 BDB #663

There are several words which all have the same root. In fact, I got them mixed up at first. Therefore, we need to take a look at the Doctrine of Matstsâbâh, Mûtstsâb, Matstsêbâh, Matstsebeh, Mitstsâbâh, Matstsâb, Netsîyb, and Nâtsab. See below for the summary of this doctrine.

Yôwnâthân (ןָטָני) [pronounced yoh-naw-THAWN]

transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3129 (& #3083) BDB #220

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong’s #853 BDB #84

nâsâ (א ָ ָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

kelîy (י.ל) [pronounced kelee]

manufactured good, areifact, areicle, utensil, vessel, weapon, armor, furniture, receptacle; baggage, valuables

masculine plural noun with a masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3627 BDB #479

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to go up, to ascend, to rise, to climb

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperative

Strong’s #5927 BDB #748

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) (with a 1st person plural suffix)

Strong’s #413 BDB #39

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yâda׳ (ע ַדָי) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to cause to know, to make one know, to instruct, to teach

1st person plural, Hiphil imperfect (with a voluntative hê)

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object (with a 2nd person masculine plural suffix)

Strong’s #853 BDB #84

bvâr (ר ָב ָ) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

word, saying, doctrine, thing, matter

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #1697 BDB #182


Translation: Then the men on watch answered Jonathan and his weapons bearer, and they said, “Come up to us and let us make known to you a thing.” As you will recall from v. 10, if the Philistines call them up, then Jonathan takes this as a sign that God has delivered these men into their hands. It is unclear as to what the Philistines give as their reason—some translations interpret this as, “Come up here and we will show you a thing or two.” Another reasonable option is that the Philistines speak a rather weak Hebrew, and they are simply calling on the two Jews to come up to them and they will discuss matters.


And in case you did not want to look all of this up...

A Summary of the Doctrine of Matstsâbâh, Mûtstsâb, Matstsêbâh, Matstsebeh, Mitstsâbâh, Matstsâb, Netsîyb, and Nâtsab

1.    The root verb for all of these words is nâtsab (ב ַצ ָנ) [pronounced naw-TSAHBV], which means to station oneself, to take one’s stand, to stand up, to set something upright, to erect. This appears to be the root for a great many words, including those in our study. Strong’s #5324 BDB #662.

2.    Masculine noun: netsîyb (בי.צנ) [pronounced neTZEEBV]. Strong’s #5333 BDB #662.

       a.    It means pillar, post; prefect, deputy, someone [or something] placed over [someone/something else]; garrison, outpost, military base [station]; statue, idol.

       b.    Occurrences in Scripture: Gen. 19:26 1Sam. 10:5 13:3, 4 2Sam. 8:6, 14 1Kings 4:19 1Chron. 11:16 18:13 2Chron. 8:10 17:2

               i.      When Lot’s wife looked back toward Sodom and Gomorrah, she became a pillar or statue of salt. Gen. 19:26

               ii.     Netsîyb means garrison in 1Sam. 10:5 and in 1Sam. 13:3–4, where Jonathan is said to have struck down the garrison of Philistines.

               iii.    David killed 22,000 Syrians and then set up garrisons in Syria, making them his servants who brought him tribute. He also established garrisons in Edom. 2Sam. 8:6, 14 1Chron. 18:13

               iv.    1Kings 4:19 is one of the very few places where netsîyb clearly refers to a prefect or deputy. There is a reference to Geber, who is called the only prefect in the land of Gilead. We have a similar use in 2Chron. 8:10, which makes a reference to 250 men of Solomon who were the chiefs of deputies (or, garrisons).

3.    Masculine noun: matstsâb (ב ָ ַמ) [pronounced matz-TZABV]. Strong’s #4673 BDB #662.

       a.    It means Standing place; station, office; garrison, post, outpost.

       b.    Obviously, there does not appear to be a great deal of differentiation between these two words, which have the same root.

       c.     Scripture: Joshua 4:3, 9 1Sam. 13:23 14:1, 4, 6, 11, 15 2Sam. 23:14 Isa. 22:19

               i.      We find this word used to speak of the place where the priests feet are standing firm in Joshua 4:3, 9. Obviously, this word has nothing to do with a military station in this passage; however, it is where the priests had a sure foothold.

               ii.     In 1Sam. 13:23, the garrison of Philistines go out to the pass of Michmash. This would indicate that this word could be used of a moving force of men. See also 1Sam. 14:1, 4, 6, 11, 15 2Sam. 23:14.

               iii.    An oracle of Isaiah tells Israel that God would pull them down from their station (as well as depose them from their office) in Isa. 22:19.

4.    Masculine noun: mûtstsâb (בָֻמ) [pronounced moots-TSAWBV]. This is the same word as Strong’s #4673 above, except with different vowel points. Strong’s #4674 BDB #663.

       a.    It means garrison, a station (of soldiers).

       b.    Scripture: In Isa. 29:3, God tells Jerusalem, “I will camp against you, encircling you; I will lay siege against you with a mound; I will raise up battle towers against you.”

       c.     There is probably no reason to treat this word any differently than matstsâb.

5.    Feminine noun: matstsâbâh (הָבָ -מ) [pronounced matz-tzaw-VAH], which means guard, watch. This is the feminine form of the Strong’s #4673. In Zech. 9:8, this is spelled with an mi– rather than an ma–; mitstsâbâh (הָבָ̣מ) [pronounced mitz-tzaw-VAH]. Strong’s #4675 BDB #663.

       a.    This word means guard, watch; garrison, station [of soldiers]. Gesenius sees these two forms as equivalent to the masculine noun mûtstsâb (Strong’s #4674).

       b.    We do not have enough Scripture to differentiate between the masculine and feminine noun.

       c.     Scripture: In 1Sam. 14:12 Zech. 9:8:

               i.      In 1Sam. 14:12, the men of the garrison call out to Jonathan and his armor-bearer to draw them closer.

               ii.     In Zech. 9:8, God tells Hadrach (which includes Damascus) that He would camp around His house like a garrison (or, guard).

6.    Feminine noun: matstsêbâh (הָב ̤ -מ) [pronounced mahtz-tzayb-VAWH] and we find it when a pillar or monument is left to commemorate personal contact with God (Gen. 26:18, 22 35:14); or it can be a pillar commemorating a relationship with idols, which are Satan's demons, as in Ex. 23:24 Deut. 7:5 2Kings 3:2; these pillars can have specific shapes (usually when used of demon images as in Hos. 10:1 Micah 5:13) or not (Gen. 31:13, 45, 51–52). My impression here is that these are generally larger than the sculpted images and they are not always sculpted. Mostly found in the Torah, Kings and the prophets. The two Strong’s numbers are slightly different spellings; however, they are both feminine and probably the exact same word. Strong's #4676 & #4678 BDB #663.

       a.    Proper definitions: statue, pillar, monument, personal memorial; stone (set up and anointed as memorial of divine appearance), stones and pillars in connection with altars; trunk, stock of a tree

       b.    Scripture: Gen. 28:18, 22 31:13, 45, 51, 52 35:14, 20 Ex. 23:24 24:4 34:13 Lev. 26:1 Deut. 7:5 12:3 16:22 2Sam. 18:18 1Kings 14:23 2Kings 3:2 10:26–27 17:10 18:4 23:14 2Chron. 14:2 31:1 Isa. 6:13 19:19 Jer. 43:13 Ezek. 26:11 Hosea 3:4 10:1–2 Micah 5:13

       c.     Because this definition is somewhat different than what we are examining, we will simply accept the meanings given by BDB and Gesenius and move on. However, you may want to note that this pair of words are spelled almost exactly as matstsâbâh (הָבָ -מ) [pronounced matz-tzaw-VAH] (Strong’s #4675 BDB #663) above. The only difference is one vowel point. This would suggest to me that these are actually the same words, with slightly different meanings.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


We do not know how many men are involved here—how many are on watch—and we do not know their motivations, although I suspect that they have evil intentions toward Jonathan and his armor bearer. This will be clearly borne out by the next verse.


1Samuel 14:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Yôwnâthân (ןָטָני) [pronounced yoh-naw-THAWN]

transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3129 (& #3083) BDB #220

el (לא) [pronounced el]

in, into, toward, unto, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) (with a 1st person plural suffix)

Strong’s #413 BDB #39

nâsâ (א ָ ָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

kelîy (י.ל) [pronounced kelee]

manufactured good, artifact, areicle, utensil, vessel, weapon, armor, furniture, receptacle; baggage, valuables

masculine plural noun with a masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3627 BDB #479

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to go up, to ascend, to rise, to climb

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong’s #5927 BDB #748

achar (ר ַח ַא) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind

preposition (with the 1st person singular suffix)

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

when, that, for, because, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong’s #3588 BDB #471

nâthan (ןַתָנ) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect (with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix)

Strong’s #5414 BDB #678

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

hand

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #3027 BDB #388

Yiserâêl (ל ֵא ָר  ׃  ̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation: Then Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up after me for Yehowah has given them into the hand of Israel.” Jonathan reiterates what he had already said to his armor bearer—if the Philistines call them up, then God has given the Philistines into the hands of the Israelites (v. 10). At this point, Jonathan and his armor bearer are far enough away from these soldiers to speak quietly and not be heard.


And so goes up Jonathan upon his [two] hands and upon his [two] feet and a bearer of his manufactured goods after him. And so they fall to faces of Jonathan and his bearer of manufactured goods killing after him.

1Samuel

14:13

So Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, his armor bearer behind him. Then they [the Philistines] fell before Jonathan, his armor bearer killing [Philistines] behind him.

Jonathan and his armor bearer had to climb up to the Philistines on their hands and feet. However, as soon as they faced the Philistines, they began to slaughter them.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so goes up Jonathan upon his [two] hands and upon his [two] feet and a bearer of his manufactured goods after him. And so they fall to faces of Jonathan and his bearer of manufactured goods killing after him.

Septuagint                             And Jonathan went up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer with him; and they looked on the face of Jonathan, and he struck them, and his armor-bearer struck after him.

 

Significant differences:          The first difference is probably one of translation; the second difference is unclear as to its reason.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Jonathan crawled up the hillside with the soldier right behind him. When they got to the top, Jonathan killed the Philistines who attacked from the front, and the soldier killed those who attacked from behind.

NLT                                So they climbed up using both hands and feet, and the Philistines fell back as Jonathan and his armor bearer killed them right and left.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Jonathan climbed up [the cliff] and his armorbearer followed him. Jonathan struck down the Philistines. His armorbearer, who was behind him, finished killing them.

JPS (Tanakh)                        And Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, his arms-bearer behind him; [the Philistines] fell before Jonathan, and his arms-bearer finished them off behind him.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, with his armor bearer behind him; and they fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer put some to death after him.

Young’s Updated LT             And Jonathan goes up on his hands and on his feet and the bearer of his weapons after him; and they fall before Jonathan and the bearer of his weapons is putting to death after him.


What is the gist of this verse? Jonathan and his armor bearer obviously had to descend from between the cliffs to a point below the Philistine camp, and then go up from there, actually climbing up the side of a hill. The Philistines apparently allowed them to come up. Once Jonathan and his armor bearer had their feet on solid ground, they attacked the Philistine perimeter guard and killed them. Given the number of those killed in the next verse, we may assume that this is simply the perimeter guard and that they are some distance from the encampment of Philistines.


1Samuel 14:13a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to go up, to ascend, to rise, to climb

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5927 BDB #748

Yôwnâthân (ןָטָני) [pronounced yoh-naw-THAWN]

transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3129 (& #3083) BDB #220

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

hand

feminine dual noun (with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix)

Strong’s #3027 BDB #388

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

regel (ל ג ר) [pronounced REH-gel]

foot, feet

feminine dual noun (with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix)

Strong’s #7272 BDB #919

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâsâ (א ָ ָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

Owen designates that nâsâ is a Qal active participle construct here; Footnote however, this simply follows the form of the masculine singular, Qal active participle. Its proximity to kelîy certainly makes it act like a construct; however, there is nothing specific in its form which distinguishes nâsâ from its construct. Nâsâ is simply one of the many nouns which exhibits no difference between the construct and the absolute states.

kelîy (י.ל) [pronounced kelee]

manufactured good, artifact, article, utensil, vessel, weapon, armor, furniture, receptacle; baggage, valuables

masculine plural noun with a masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3627 BDB #479

achar (ר ַח ַא) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind

preposition (with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix)

Strong’s #310 BDB #29


Translation: So Jonathan went up on his hand and his feet, and his armor bearer followed him. Apparently, the Philistines were in a camp that Jonathan could look down on; however, to get to it, Jonathan and his armor bearer had to first go down into a valley and then climb up to get to.


They were originally close enough to yell to one anther; and far enough away to where Jonathan and the armor bearer could speak without being heard.


1Samuel 14:13b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâphal (ל ַפ ָנ) [pronounced naw-FAHL]

to fall, to lie, to die a violent death, to be brought down, to settle, to sleep deeply

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5307 BDB #656

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (םי̣נ ָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM

face, faces

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean before, before the face of, in the presence of, in the sight of, in front of.

Yôwnâthân (ןָטָני) [pronounced yoh-naw-THAWN]

transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3129 (& #3083) BDB #220

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâsâ (א ָ ָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

kelîy (י.ל) [pronounced kelee]

manufactured good, artifact, article, utensil, vessel, weapon, armor, furniture, receptacle; baggage, valuables

masculine plural noun with a masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3627 BDB #479

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to kill, to cause to die, to execute

Polel participle

Strong’s #4191 BDB #559

The Polel is equivalent to the Piel (intensive) stem (while neither Mansoor nor Zodhiates acknowledge it, both Owen and Seow do). Although there is an intensification of the verb, the Piel also carries with it a sense of causation.

achar (ר ַח ַא) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind

preposition (with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix)

Strong’s #310 BDB #29


Translation: And they fell before Jonathan and his armor bearer, who was] killing [others] behind him. Once Jonathan climbed up to the Philistines, he began to kill them, with his armor bearer killing those behind him, from whence comes the saying I’ve got your back. What Jonathan is doing is claiming a promise of God’s; in Lev. 26:7–8, we read: “But you will chase your enemies, and they will fall before you by the sword; five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword.” Or, as was promised in the blessings at Gerizim: “Jehovah will cause your enemies who rise up against you to b defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and they will flee from your presence in seven ways.” (Deut. 28:7). Or, as Joshua said in his farewell address: “One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for Jehovah your God is He Who fights for you, just as He promised you.” (Joshua 23:10).


The first thing that comes to my mind is, just how many of these Philistines did they kill? The next verse will tell us that.


And so was the slaughter the first which caused to be slaughtered Jonathan and his bearer of manufactured goods—about twenty a man as in half a furrow a pair of a field.

1Samuel

14:14

And the first of the slaughters which Jonathan and his armor bearer caused to slaughter was about twenty men in approximately half a furrow [by] two fields.

In the first massacre, Jonathan and his armor bearer killed about twenty men on a precipice which was about two feet wide and the length of two fields.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         And the first slaughter which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was of about twenty men, within half an acre of land, which a yoke of oxen is would plough in a day.

Masoretic Text                       And so was the slaughter the first which caused to be slaughtered Jonathan and his bearer of manufactured goods—about twenty a man as in half a furrow a pair of a field.

Peshitta                                 And the first slaughter which Jonathan and his armorbearer made was about 20 men; they cut them to pieces like stone-cutters and like men who plough a field.

Septuagint                             And the first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor-bearer effected was twenty men, with darts and slings, and pebbles of the field. [Despite the reasonableness of this rendering, I have not found any English translations which follow the Greek rather than the Hebrew]

 

Significant differences:          The first difference may be one of translation/interpretation. The second difference either indicates very different text or strong confusion for the translators. I feel that the Hebrew text is reasonable. Do you recall that we first ran into Saul when he was looking for his father’s donkeys? His father was probably a farmer/rancher and no doubt Saul and Jonathan learned much of this themselves. In the ancient world, it was common to live on a farm/ranch, just as that was very common among the people in the early states who moved westward. Therefore, for Jonathan to give an idea as to the size of the battleground and to relate it to a field which would be plowed is reasonable. He sees lengths and widths in this manner and those who would originally read this account would also see things in the same way. By the time of the Septuagint, we have fewer farmers/ranchers, more large cities, and what is being said here was possibly lost on the intellects who translated the Septuagint (or, at least this portion of it).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Before they had gone a hundred feet, they had killed about twenty Philistines.

NLT                                They killed about twenty men in all, and their bodies were scattered over about half an acre.

REB                                       In that first attack Jonathan and his armour-bearer killed about twenty of them, like men cutting a furrow across a half-acre field. [like men cutting is from the Syriac; Heb: as in half of...]


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         In their first slaughter Jonathan and his armorbearer killed about twenty men within about a hundred yards.

JPS (Tanakh)                        The initial attack that Jonathan and his arms-bearer made accounted for some twenty men, within a space of about half a furrow long [in] an acre of land. [The JPS translations footnotes that the meaning of the Hebrew of the final phrase is uncertain].


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

NASB                                     And that first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor bearer made was about twenty men within about half a furrow in an acre of land.

NKJV                                     That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armorbearer made was about twenty men within about half an acre of land [lit., half the area plowed by a yoke of oxen in a day].

NRSV                                    In that first slaughter Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed about twenty men within an area about half a furrow long in an acre of land.

Young’s Updated LT             And the first striking which Jonathan and the bearer of his weapons have stricken is of about twenty men, in about half a furrow of a yoke of a field,...


What is the gist of this verse? Jonathan and his armor bearer kill twenty men of the Philistine perimeter guard within a very short space. In the Septuagint, the distance is not mentioned, but the weapons which they employ are.


1Samuel 14:14a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1961 BDB #224

makkâh (ה ָ ַמ) [pronounced mahk-KAW]

a blow, a wounding, a wound, a slaughter, a beating, a scourging

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4347 BDB #646

rîshôwn (ןש  ̣ר) [pronounced ree-SHOWN]

first, chief, former, beginning

feminine singular adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #7223 BDB #911

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong’s #834 BDB #81

nâkâh (ה ָכ ָנ) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to strike, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

Yôwnâthân (ןָטָני) [pronounced yoh-naw-THAWN]

transliterated Jonathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3129 (& #3083) BDB #220

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâsâ (א ָ ָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

kelîy (י.ל) [pronounced kelee]

manufactured good, artifact, article, utensil, vessel, weapon, armor, furniture, receptacle; baggage, valuables

masculine plural noun with a masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3627 BDB #479

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

׳eserîym (םי.ר∵ע) [pronounced ģese-REEM]

twenty

plural numeral adjective

Strong’s #6242 BDB #797

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

man, each, each one, everyone

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #376 BDB #35


Translation: And the first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor bearer did was about twenty men. The implication of the word first was that there were several more skirmishes which would occur. However, we know initially that Jonathan and his armor bearer took out twenty men. This would indicate to us that they struck the perimeter guard. Obviously, these twenty men did not feel that they needed to contact anyone from the main camp, as it was twenty against two.


1Samuel 14:14b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

It is unclear from Gesenius and BDB what these two prepositions mean together. BDB says that this particular passage is apparently corrupt.

chătsîy (י ̣צ ֲח) [pronounced khuh-TSEE]

half

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2677 BDB #345

ma׳ănâh (הָ ֲע -מ) [pronounced mah-guh-NAW]

a place for a task, a field for plowing, a furrow

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4618 BDB #776

This noun is only found in 1Sam. 14:14 Psalm 129:3. A furrow is the trench made when one is preparing the land to be planted. If the text can be accepted as is, we are dealing with half the length of a furrow in a typical section of land. We would expect such an estimation to be made by someone who has plowed fields before. Although we have no record of Jonathan as having done so, his father did; we could surmise that Jonathan at least joined him on occasion in the field.

tsemed (ד∵מ∵צ) [pronounced TZEH-med]

a couple, a pair

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6776 BDB #855

sâdeh (ה∵דָ) [pronounced saw-DEH]

field, land, open field, open country

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7704 BDB #961


Translation: ...approximately within a half a furrow [in] a pair of fields. That we should have an approximate length given by the son of a farmer in the terms a farmer would use is not unusual. What I first read was we had the length covered, given by half of a furrow in two fields, which would be the length of one furrow, which made little sense to me. However, with Edersheim’s picture of what occurred, I realize that what the author is giving us here is the length and the width both. The width is half a furrow, and the length is about two fields. Quite obviously, a furrow is pretty narrow, so I suspect that we are referring to the space taken up by the bull or bulls pulling the plow, making the furrow. This precipice was probably about 18 inches to 2 feet wide (possibly as wide as 4 or 5 feet?) and it went on for the length of two fields. .


Furthermore, we would expect another bêyth preposition prior to the final two nouns, as we normally do not string four nouns together like that unless three of them are constructs. So, is the text corrupt? Possibly. Is it so corrupt that we should expect the rendering that we find in the Septuagint? I don’t know. I, a novice, can instantly determine where each of these words is found throughout the Hebrew Old Testament and can base several reasonable theories upon these findings. It is unlikely that a Hebrew concordance was available to the translators of the Septuagint. The weird combination of the two prepositions along with the word for furrow are rarely found in Scripture. Therefore, we should expect some confusion on the part of the ancient translators. However, the Septuagint version (And the first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor-bearer effected was twenty men, with darts and slings, and pebbles of the field.) Is significantly different from the Hebrew text which we possess, the final phrase agreeing in only one word. The fact that many of the more recent translations went with the Hebrew indicates to me that the Hebrew is probably correct. Barnes calls the Hebrew of the latter half of this verse extremely obscure, noting that some have interpreted this as in about half the time that a yoke of oxen draw a furrow in the field. Footnote


The width implied in this verse would indicate to us that it was not wide enough for everyone to engage in combat at the same time. It was more likely that it was two on two, as Jonathan and his armor bearer dispatched one pair of men after another.

 

As I have mentioned before, I originally saw these two cliffs as a pass through which Jonathan and his armorbearer went through. However, Edersheim paints a different picture, with Jonathan and the armorbearer standing on the opposite cliff from the Philistines. He describes what ensued: Choosing the steepest ascent, where their approach would least be looked for, Jonathan and his armour-bearer crept up the ledge of the rock on their hands and feet. Up on the top it was so narrow that only one could stand abreast. This we infer not only from the language of the text, but from the description of what ensued. As Jonathan reached the top, he threw down his foremost opponent, and the armour-bearer, coming up behind, killed him. There was not room for two to attack or defend in line. And so twenty men fell, as the text expresses it, within “half a furrow of a yoke of field,”—that is, as we understand it, within the length commonly ploughed by a yoke of oxen, and the width of about half a furrow, or more probably half the width that would be occupied in ploughing a furrow. All this time it would be impossible, from the nature of the terrain, to know how many assailants were supporting Jonathan and his armour-bearer. This difficulty would still be more felt in the camp and by those at a little farther distance, since it would be manifestly impossible for them to examine the steep sides of Bozez, or the neighbouring woods. The terror, probably communicated by fugitives, who would naturally magnify the danger, perhaps into a general assault, soon became a panic. Footnote Our fight, rather than appearing to be one of those we see in the movies, where 20 men pounce upon 2 men, and the 2 are victorious; what we have is a narrow precipice, its width being so narrow that only one man could stand upon it. So we have a line of two Israelis on one side, and a line of 20 Philistine soldiers on the other. Because of the way the Israelites came up, the Philistines could not see behind them to see how many Israelites were coming up with them. Other than that, we essentially have one man fighting one man, and Jonathan and his armorbearer advance over the dead bodies.


In any case, the idea here is that Jonathan and his armor bearer were very successful in their initial advance against the Philistines. They killed about twenty guards on the perimeter of the camp.

 

Interestingly enough, Major Vivian Gilbert, a British army officer, used this description to benefit his own troops during World War I: In the First World War a brigade major in Allenby’s army in Palestine was on one occasion searching his Bible with the light of a candle, looking for a certain name. His brigade had received orders to take a village that stood on a rocky prominence on the other side of a deep valley. It was called Michmash and the name seemed somehow familiar. Eventually he fond it in 1Sam. 13 and read there: “And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.” It then went on to tell how Jonathan and his armour-bearer crossed over during the night “to the Philistines” garrison” on the other side, and how they passed two sharp rocks: “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” (1Sam. 144). They clambered up the cliff and overpowered the garrison, “within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plough”. The main body of the enemy awakened by the mêlée thought they were surrounded by Saul’s troops and “melted away and they went on beating down one another” (1Sam. 1414–16).

 

Thereupon Saul attacked with his whole force and beat the enemy. “So the Lord saved Israel that day.”

 

The brigade major reflected that there must still be this narrow passage through the rocks, between the two spurs, and at the end of it the “half acre of land”. He woke the commander and they read the passage through together once more. Patrols were sent out. They found the pass, which was thinly held by the Turks, and which led past two jagged rocks—obviously Bozez and Seneh. Up on top, beside the michmash, they could see by the light of the moon a small flat field. The brigadier altered his plan of attack. Instead of deploying the whole brigade, he sent one company through the pass under the over of darkness. The few Turks whom they met were overpowered without a sound, the cliffs were scaled, and shortly before daybreak the company had taken up a position on “the half acre of land”.

 

The Turks woke up and took to their heels in disorder since they thought that they were being surrounded by Allenby’s army. They were all killed or taken prisoner.

 

“And so”, conclude Major Gilbert, “after thousands of years British troops successfully copied the tactics of Saul and Jonathan.”  Footnote


And was dread in the camp [and] in the field and all of the people [in] the garrison and the raiders trembled, even they [did not will to do anything]. And so quaking the earth and so [there] was a trembling of God.

1Samuel

14:15

And dread was in the camp and in the field; furthermore, all of the people in the garrison and the raiders were trembling, and they were unwilling to act. Furthermore, the earth was quaking and [there] was a great trembling from God.

Then there was dread throughout the camp and the field; in fact, all of the people in the garrison and all of those who were raiding perimeter cities were trembling with fear and unwilling to fight back. Simultaneously, there was a great earthquake and a trembling sent by God.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         And there was a miracle in the camp, in the fields: and all the people of their garrison, who had gone out to plunder, were amazed, and the earth trembled: and it happened as a miracle from God.

Masoretic Text                       And was dread in the camp [and] in the field and all of the people [in] the garrison and the raiders trembled, even they [did not will to do anything]. And so quaking the earth and so [there] was a trembling of God.

Peshitta                                 But there was trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people that stood by; and the raiders also trembled and the earth quaked; and the fear of the Lord fell upon them. .

Septuagint                             And there was dismay in the camp, and in the field; and all the people in Messab, and the spoilers were amazed; and they would not act, and the land was terror-struck, and there was dismay from the Lord.

 

Significant differences:          There are several differences between the Greek and the Hebrew; it is difficult to determine whether these are matters of translation or of the original text. Most appear to be translation differences. The Syriac and Latin are both closer in meaning to the Hebrew, but there are still some minor differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The Philistine army panicked—those in camp, those on guard duty, those in the fields, and those on raiding patrols. All of them were afraid and confused. Then God sent an earthquake, and the ground began to tremble. [or, Then the ground began to tremble, and everyone was in a terrible panic; or, Then the ground began to tremble and God made them all panic.]

NLT                                Suddenly, panic broke out in the Philistine army, including even the outposts and raiding parties. And just then an earthquake struck, and everyone was terrified.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         There was panic among the army in the field and all the troops in the military post. The raiding party also trembled [in fear]. the earth shook, and there was a panic sent from God.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Terror broke out among all the troops both in the camp [and] in the field; the outposts and the raiders were also terrified. The very earth quaked, and a terror from God ensued.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Emphasized Bible           And there came to be a trembling in the camp, in the field and among all the people, <the outposts and the spoilers> ║they too║ trembled, —and the earth quaked, so it became a preternatural trembling [more literally, a trembling of God].

NASB                                     And there was a trembling in the cap, in the field, and among all the people. Even the garrison and the raiders trembled, and the earth quaked so that it became a great trembling.

Young’s Updated LT             ...and there is a trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people, and the station and the destroyers have trembled—even they, and the earth shakes, and it becomes a trembling of God.


Now, I have made a concerted effort to keep most of the examination of the Hebrew within the Hebrew verse table. I realize that many see this as blah blah blah, now what does the verse actually say? Unfortunately, the Hebrew text is clearly corrupt, although it may not appear that way at first. The end result is that it is not clear when one sentence ends and when the next begins. On the plus side, the meaning of the verse will not be difficult to ascertain.


What is the gist of this verse? Despite serious concerns with the proper translation of this verse, it is reasonably clear that the Philistines were seized by a tremendous panic and dread, and this fear paralyzed them so that they could not respond to Jonathan’s attack. The earth was shaken by an earthquake as well, which further frightened them (or, this might have been one of the things which did initially frighten them). Another point which is unclear (from the Hebrew and Greek) is whether the trembling of the earth and of the people was all from God. It appears, and this would be consistent with Christian theology, that God sent the earthquake at that time and caused a trembling both among the people and on the earth. Jonathan, being a man of sound theology and great faith, was not disturbed by what happened, but expected it.


1Samuel 14:15a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1961 BDB #224

chărâdâh (הָדָר ֲח) [pronounced khuh-raw-DAW]

trembling, fear, anxiety

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #2731 BDB #353

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

machăneh (ה נ ֲח ַמ) [pronounced mah-khuh-NEH]

camp, encampment; the courts [of Jehovah]; the heavenly host

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4264 BDB #334

There is no conjunction here in the Hebrew, although we would expect a wâw conjunction, as it is typical of Hebrew sentence structure in a phrase like this. However, we do find is a conjunction here in the Greek (which means, possibly, that the Hebrew conjunction may have fallen out of the text).

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

sâdeh (ה∵דָ) [pronounced saw-DEH]

field, land, open field, open country

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7704 BDB #961

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

kâl (לָ) [pronounced kawl],

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people

masculine singular collective noun (with a definite article)

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766


Translation: And fear was in the camp, in the field and in all the people. Over half of the battle is psychological. Dread filled the camp and the field. I can certainly provide a logical explanation—the Philistines had observed the Jews disappearing into the forest, and suddenly, out of the thicket comes two men who kill twenty of their soldiers. They do not know how many more Jews are hidden in the thick forest. And if they exhibit a 1 to 10 kill ratio, then the Philistines are sunk. We will find that the Philistines took in a great many Hebrew soldiers as deserters, and they are standing side-by-side. All of a sudden, it is possible that the man standing next to them is their enemy. We will see fighting break out within the camp of the Philistines where they turn on one another. They Philistines are also very aware of the God of Israel and aware that there are times in their history where this God intercedes and battles on behalf of Israel. However, more likely, what we have his is plain and simple fear and dread which has gripped the souls of the Philistines. They are too paralyzed with fear to attack, despite their huge numbers.


For most undiscerning types, what we have previously seems fine, and what follows seems fine. However, in the Hebrew, we have some serious problems. In v. 15a, we lack a wâw conjunction, which this verse demands (we don’t notice that it is missing because the equivalent English translation does not require the wâw conjunction). Furthermore, the next portion of the verse also appears to be lacking something as well.


1Samuel 14:15b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

We would expect either a preposition here or we would expect the people to be in the construct without a preposition (that is, it would read all the people of...). In the Greek, we find their equivalent to the bêyth preposition here instead of prior to the people. This would change the apparent sentence structure.

matstsâb (ב ָ ַמ) [pronounced matz-TZABV]

standing-place, station, garrison, post

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4673 BDB #662

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâchas (ת ַח ָש) [pronounced shaw-KHAHTH]

to cause one to go to ruin, to spoil, to ruin, to corrupt, to destroy

Hiphil participle with the definite article

Strong’s #7843 BDB #1007

This appears to be a verb used as a noun, referring back to the Philistine raiders of 1Sam. 13:17–18, and should perhaps be rendered the raiders or the spoilers. The fact that we have a verb which follows this gives more credence that this should be taken as a noun.

chârad (ד ַר ָח) [pronounced chaw-rahd]

to tremble, to be terrified, to be frightened

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #2729 BDB #353

gam (ם ַ) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

hêmmâh (ה ָ ֵה) [pronounced haym-mawh]

they, these

3rd person masculine plural personal pronoun

Strong’s #1992 BDB #241


Translation: The garrison and the raiders were terrified, even these. What I have done in v. 15a and v. 15b is set up translations which are in agreement with the Hebrew. However, even though v. 15b makes a good English sentence, this is not typical of the Hebrew. Hebrew sentences generally begin with a wâw conjunction or a wâw consecutive, and this begins with neither. To interpret it differently, would place the word matstsâb with the previous sentence. The problem with that is that this would require people to be in the construct, which it is not because it has a definite article. Constructs are not preceded by definite articles.


Another possibility is that there is a missing bêyth; that is, the bêyth which precedes the people should also precede the camp. This would give us: And a dread was in the camp [and] in the field and with all the people [in] the garrison. This would make perfect Hebraic sense. The Greek gives us a slightly different twist; the Greek places the bêyth (actually, their equivalent preposition ἐν) in front of the garrison instead of before the people. There is also a conjunction between in the camp and in the field. This would yield us a sentence which would be in complete agreement with typical Hebraic sentence structure: And dread was in the camp and in the field, and all the people in the garrison and the raiders trembled.


Of course, we then have the problem of the additional two words even they. This is solved in the Greek, as there are some additional words which give us a full sentence. In the Greek, we have: And they would not will to do [anything]. This is the very nature of being paralyzed with fear. What we appear to have in the Greek is a very literal rendering of what we should find in the Hebrew, but do not. My very literal and literal renderings reflect the minor differences found in the Greek text.


Obviously, there are some problems with the text; I suspect that the Hebrew text is difficult to read here and some words are likely missing. However, the meaning of this passage is fairly easy to grasp. The Philistines, even though they have raided Israeli village after Israeli village with impunity, were also aware that there were a great many Israeli soldiers who were no longer stationed with Saul. Although it appeared as though they simply deserted Saul (which they did), it was clear that these soldiers were scattered throughout the land of Israel, perhaps surrounding them. A small portion of the camp sees that there are 20 dead guards and they are able to see a couple of Israeli soldiers (Jonathan and his armor bearer). Suddenly, the Philistines are seized with panic. They had assumed that they would be the aggressors and suddenly, out of nowhere, they are attacked. That this attack is merely two men never occurs to them. They may be aware that Saul’s small army has not moved (they certainly had military intelligence), and suddenly, they are under attack. We can only speculate as to what they were thinking. They may think that, the Israeli soldiers which apparently deserted did not actually desert, but had them surrounded and were going to attack. Perhaps Israel entered into a military alliance and they are waiting in the wings. The Philistines were very well aware of the power of the God of Israel (recall that the Ark of God remained in Philistia for less than a year because of the number of deaths it caused), and now they are under surprise attack. Now, either simultaneous with this fear, or perhaps part of the cause of this great fear, is the next portion of this verse, the earthquake which shook the Philistines to their very souls.


1Samuel 14:15c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

râgaz (ז ַ ָר) [pronounced rawg-GAHZ]

to be agitated, to quiver, to quake, to become excited, perturbed, disquieted

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7264 BDB #919

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land

feminine singular noun (with a definite article)

Strong’s #776 BDB #75

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1961 BDB #224

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

There is no preposition here in the Greek; there is, however, the preposition παρά (which means from) in the Greek prior to God.

chărâdâh (הָדָר ֲח) [pronounced khuh-raw-DAW]

trembling, fear, anxiety

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #2731 BDB #353

ělôhîym (מי ̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods or God; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #430 BDB #43


Translation: Then the earth quaked and [there] was great fear from God. Again, I followed the Greek rather than the Hebrew for the latter half of v. 15c. Παρά is probably inserted to indicate a relationship between the construct and the masculine plural noun God. This is more linguistic license than anything else. However, the Hebrew lâmed is ignored in the Greek, which I will do as well. Again, it made more sense from the standpoint of the Greek and Hebrew.


I think that both the Hebrew and Greek are unclear as to what was trembling—one could interpret this as applying to the earth as well as to the Philistines. I would think that this imprecision really tells us that both were trembling—both the earth upon which they stood and the people themselves. And the people trembled because they were in the middle of an earthquake and because their nerve was shaken as well. Essentially, they are terrifically unnerved, even though all that is before them from the standpoint of human thinking is a warrior and his armor bearer. From human viewpoint, an argument could certainly be made that the earthquake affected both the two Jews and the thousands of Philistines. However, Jonathan recognized that the earthquake was from the God of Israel and the Philistines recognized this as well. The result is in accordance with the promise of Bildad for the wicked: “All around terrors frighten him and move him to his feet.” (Job 18:11).


I was raised in California and most people react with little but giddiness at a small tremor; however, we are much more somber with regards to earthquakes of any real magnitude. As of this writing, I live in Texas, where we have several storms a year that often include tornados. And there is the occasional hurricane. Still, I have spoken to many people that reside in Texas who claim that they would never live in California because of all the earthquakes (I personally experienced 2 tremors over a period of 25 years). So, those who have never experienced an earthquake have an exaggerated dread of them. Therefore, in an area not known for earthquakes, an earthquake would have caused a great deal of panic. I have seen the ground move—even with a small tremor—and this knocked me off my feet. So I would guess that this was not a small tremor, but a terrific earthquake that made it clear, God was against the Philistines. Therefore, they certainly panicked.


The fears of the Philistines seemed to be rooted in 3 things: (1) the sudden earthquake, Footnote (2) the possibility that a larger force than anticipated was making a surprise attack (the assumption would be that Saul was overseeing a mock force in Gilgal); and (3) a simple fear which God instilled in the Philistines—which fear might be very rational, by the way.


Since there are significant differences between the Greek and the Hebrew text, and since the Hebrew text which we have is suspect, as it does not follow the typical rules of Hebrew, let’s look at this verse in the Greek. Although this is not exactly inspired Scripture, it is reasonably close.


1Samuel 14:15a Text from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

kaí (καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also; so, too, then, that; indeed, but

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

gínomai (vίνομαι) [pronounced GIN-oh-mī]

to become [something it was not before]; to be born; to arise, come about; to be made, to be created; to happen, to take place

3rd person singular, aorist passive indicative

Strong’s #1096

ekstasis (ἔκστασις, εως, ἡ) [pronounced EHKH-staw-siss]

any casting down of a thing from its proper place or state, displacement; a throwing of the mind out of its normal state, alienation of mind; amazement, bewilderment, confusion, astonishment; terror; trance, ecstasy

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #1611

en (ἐν) [pronounced en]

in, by means of, with; among

preposition with the locative, dative and instrumental cases

Strong’s #1722

tê (τ) [pronounced tay]

to the, for the; in the; by the, by means of the

feminine singular definite article; dative, locative and instrumental case

Strong’s #3588

parembolê (παρεμβολή) [pronounced pare-em-boh-LAY]

a camp, encampment; barracks; army in line of battle; a throwing in beside (literal translation)

feminine singular noun; dative, locative and instrumental case

Strong’s #3925

kaí (καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also; so, too, then, that; indeed, but

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

en (ἐν) [pronounced en]

in, by means of, with; among

preposition with the locative, dative and instrumental cases

Strong’s #1722

agros (ἀγρός) [pronounced ah-GROSS]

the field, the country; a piece of land, bit of tillage; the farms, country seats, neighbouring hamlets

masculine singular noun; in the locative, dative and instrumental case

Strong’s #68


Translation: And [there] was bewilderment [and confusion] in the camp and in the field;... These Philistine soldiers were suddenly bewildered and confused. We are not given much by way of detail here as to why or how it came about. We don’t know if this was divinely induced or, after seeing their honor guard wiped out by two men, they suddenly panicked. It would not occur to them that Jonathan and his armor bearer are the only two there.


1Samuel 14:15b Text from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

kaí (καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also; so, too, then, that; indeed, but

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

pás (πάς) [pronounced pahs]

each, every, any; all, entire; anyone, all things, everything; some [of all types]

nominative masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #3956

ho (ὁ) [pronounced hoh]

the; this, that, these

definite article for a nominative masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3588

laos (λαός) [pronounced lah-OSS]

people, people group, tribe, nation, all those who are of the same stock and language; of a great part of the population gathered together anywhere

masculine singular noun; nominative case

Strong's #2992

hoi (οἱ) [pronounced hoy]

the; this, that, these

plural definite article; masculine singular nominative plural

Strong’s #3588

en (ἐν) [pronounced en]

in, by means of, with; among

preposition with the locative, dative and instrumental cases

Strong’s #1722

Messab (Mεσσάβ) [pronounced mehs-SAHB]

transliterated Messab

indeclinable proper noun

Strong’s #none

This is a transliteration of the Hebrew noun: matstsâb (ב ָ ַמ) [pronounced matz-TZABV], which means standing-place, station, garrison, post. Strong’s #4673 BDB #662.

kaí (καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also; so, too, then, that; indeed, but

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

hoi (οἱ) [pronounced hoy]

the; this, that, these

plural definite article; masculine singular nominative plural

Strong’s #3588

diaphtheirô (διαφθείρω) [pronounced dee-ahf-THIGH-roh]

to change for the worse, to corrupt; to destroy, to ruin; to consume [bodily vigor and strength]; to kill; to perish

present active participle

Strong’s #1311

exístêmi (ἐξίστημι) [pronounced ex-ee-STAY-me]

lit., to stand outside [oneself]; to remove out of a place or state; to be astonished [amazed, astounded]

3rd person plural, aorist active indicative

Strong’s #1839


Translation: ...and all the people—these ones—in Messab [i.e., in the Philistine garrison] and those who ruined [consumed and killed] were astonished. The Philistines who were in the camp and those who routinely went out and attacked the nearby Jewish settlements were astonished, amazed and astounded.


1Samuel 14:15c Text from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

kaí (καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also; so, too, then, that; indeed, but

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

autoi (αὐτοί) [pronounced ow-TOY]

they

3rd person masculine plural pronoun; nominative case

Strong’s #846

ouk (οὐκ) [pronounced ook]

no, not, nothing, none, no one

negation; this form is used before a vowel

Strong’s #3756

thélô (θέλω) [pronounced THEH-loh]

to will, to have in mind, to wish, to desire, to purpose, to intend, to please; to take delight [pleasure] in

3rd person singular, imperfect active indicative

Strong’s #2309

poieô (ποιέω) [pronounced poi-EH-oh]

to do, to make, to construct, to produce; to carry out, to execute [a plan, an intention]; to act

present active infinitive

Strong’s #4160


Translation: And they were no willing to act [or, to execute (their plans)];... They saw Jonathan and his armor bearer, whom they would, at another time, simply attack and kill. However, they had no willingness to act in accordance with their standard operating procedures.


1Samuel 14:15d Text from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

kaí (καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also; so, too, then, that; indeed, but

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

thaubeô (θαυβέω) [pronounced thow-BEH-oh]

to be astonished; to astonish, terrify; to be amazed; to be frightened

3rd person singular, aorist active indicative

Strong’s #2284

hê (ἡ) [pronounced hey]

the; this, that; these

feminine singular definite article; nominative and vocative cases

Strong’s #3588

gê (γ, γς, ἡ) [pronounced gay]

earth; soil, ground; land; [inhabited] earth

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #1093

kaí (καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also; so, too, then, that; indeed, but

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

gínomai (vίνομαι) [pronounced GIN-oh-mī]

to become [something it was not before]; to be born; to arise, come about; to be made, to be created; to happen, to take place

3rd person singular, aorist passive indicative

Strong’s #1096

ekstasis (ἔκστασις, εως, ἡ) [pronounced EHKH-staw-siss]

any casting down of a thing from its proper place or state, displacement; a throwing of the mind out of its normal state, alienation of mind; amazement, bewilderment, confusion, astonishment; terror; trance, ecstasy

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #1611

para (παρά) [pronounced paw-RAW]

of, from [the side of, the person of]; by

preposition of origin, source; with the genitive

Strong’s #3844

kurios (κύριος) [pronounced KOO-ree-oss]

lord, master; Lord; he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; the possessor and disposer of a thing; the owner; one who has control of the person; prince, chief, sovereign

masculine singular noun in the genitive case

Strong's #2962


Translation: ...and the land was terrified... It is unclear whether the land here is a metonym standing in for the Philistine soldiers or whether the actual earth began to be displaced (i.e., there was possibly an earthquake which occurred at this point).


1Samuel 14:15e Text from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

kaí (καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also; so, too, then, that; indeed, but

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

gínomai (vίνομαι) [pronounced GIN-oh-mī]

to become [something it was not before]; to be born; to arise, come about; to be made, to be created; to happen, to take place

3rd person singular, aorist passive indicative

Strong’s #1096

ekstasis (ἔκστασις, εως, ἡ) [pronounced EHKH-staw-siss]

any casting down of a thing from its proper place or state, displacement; a throwing of the mind out of its normal state, alienation of mind; amazement, bewilderment, confusion, astonishment; terror; trance, ecstasy

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #1611

para (παρά) [pronounced paw-RAW]

of, from [the side of, the person of]; by

preposition of origin, source; with the genitive

Strong’s #3844

kurios (κύριος) [pronounced KOO-ree-oss]

lord, master; Lord; he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; the possessor and disposer of a thing; the owner; one who has control of the person; prince, chief, sovereign

masculine singular noun in the genitive case

Strong's #2962


Translation: ...and [there] was bewilderment [or, a displacement, astonishment, confusion] from [the] Lord. At this point we are told that this bewilderment, confusion or displacement was from the Lord. That is, the confusion of the soldiers was from Jesus Christ; or the earthquake, if one occurred, was from Jesus Christ.


The end result it, these Philistine soldiers are moving without a definite pattern, like ants whose hill has been stomped.


There are a couple of things that I want you to notice here: first off, even though there are some definite differences between the MT and the LXX, the end result—the meaning of this verse—is essentially the same. Despite the textual difficulties (particularly in the Hebrew), there is no problem with choosing one text over the other—that is, you could hold onto the Septuagint text as God’s Word, and you would not be far off from the meaning of the MT.


Now, there is a second thing I want you to notice: the text of the LXX is the smoothest and easiest to understand. This will be the case 90% of the time (maybe 98% of the time?). Why is this? The LXX is a literary work; it is a translation of the Holy Bible (the Old Testament). It is not the Word of God, per se, and, therefore, some liberties would be taken. That is, if Rex the translator is having a difficult time unraveling the Hebrew, he is more likely to put down Greek text which makes sense and is similar to the Hebrew rather than to simply string together a few words which do not make sense, even if it is a word for word rendering from the Hebrew. The mindset of the translator is much different than the mindset of the copyist. The scribe who copies the Hebrew text, century after century, is most concerned with copying this text accurately. There might be 4 words together which do not seem to make sense—they don’t care—they want each and every letter in their copy to match each an every letter of the original. There may appear to be a discrepancy in two adjacent verses—this is not the problem of the copyist. No matter how they feel about this—upset, concerned, nonplused, apathetic—their job is to reproduce the text that they have been given. It is not their job to fix, improve, make sense of, etc. It was never the responsibility of the copyist to try to do anything apart from copy the Sacred text, word for word and letter for letter. Other considerations could be dealt with by a priest, prophet or teacher. So, for these reasons, the text of the LXX will almost always make sense whether the MT does or not.


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Saul Observes the Commotion in the Philistine Camp and Pursues the Philistines


And so look the watchers to Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin and, behold, the multitude melted and so they went here and [there] [or, were thrown into confusion on every side].

1Samuel

14:16

And the spies of Saul [who is] in Gibeah of Benjamin looked [out over the Philistines camp] and, observe, the multitude [of Philistines] was melting away and there was confusion on every side.

When Saul’s watchmen looked out over the Philistine camp and they observed that the Philistine army was scattering and that there was great confusion in their retreat.


Here is how others have handled this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         And the watchmen of Saul, who were in Gabaa of Benjamin looked, and behold a multitude overthrown, and fleeing this way and that.

Masoretic Text                       And so look the watchers to Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin and, behold, the multitude melted and so they went here and [there] [or, were thrown into confusion on every side].

Peshitta                                 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold the Philistine army was in confusion, going away defeated.

Septuagint                             And the watchmen of Saul behold in Gabaa of Benjamin, and, behold, the army was thrown into confusion on every side.

 

Significant differences:          The second and third phrases are quite inconsistent in their exact translation. They are specifically named in the Peshitta as the Philistine army (possibly just to clearly identity them). They are identified as the army in the LXX, and simply as the multitude in the Latin and Hebrew. This is probably a result of simple interpretation.

 

The third phrase is not found in the LXX; the Latin and Hebrew are in agreement, and the Syriac has them going away defeated. Despite these differences, the texts essentially mean the same thing.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Saul’s lookouts at Geba saw that the Philistine army was running in every direction, like melted wax.

NLT                                Saul’s lookouts in Gibeah saw a strange sight—the vast army of Philistines began to melt away in every direction.

REB                                       Saul’s men on the watch in Gibeah of Benjamin saw the mob of Philistines surging to and fro in confusion. [To and fro is from the Greek; Heb: and he went thither]


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Saul’s watchmen at Gibeah in Benjamin could see the crowd [in the Philistine camp] dispersing in all directions.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Saul’s scouts in Gibeah of Benjamin saw that the multitude was scattering in all directions. [literally, shaken and going thither. Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain].



Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Emphasized Bible           And the scouts of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked and lo! ║the camp║ melted away, hither and thither. Twice, Rotherham footnotes this verse with so it should be; the camp is as per the LXX and the Syriac; hither and thither is in agreement with the LXX. Footnote My version of the LXX simply ends at the second statement (the army is thrown into confusion).

NASB                                     Now Saul’s watchmen in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude melted away; and they went here and there.

Young’s Updated LT             And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin see, and lo, the multitude has melted away, and it goes on, and is beaten down.


One point of confusion in this verse (which has caused some changes in the translation) is, it appears as though Saul’s watchmen (or, spies, scouts) are the ones in Gibeah of Benjamin in some English translations. That cannot be, as one could not see Michmash from Gibeah (Geba would be in the way). However, it is Saul who is in Gibeah of Benjamin (see v. 2). When you understand that, this verse makes more sense.


What is the gist of this verse? With this verse, we return to the camp of Saul. Saul still had a small force of men with him and some functioned as spies or scouts. They hid in the hills and mountain forests probably south of Michmash and they watched the camp of the Philistines for movement. Suddenly, although they probably did not see the skirmish begun by Jonathan, they did observe an inexplicable scattering of the Philistine forces (inexplicable to Saul’s lookout).


By comparing the NASB to the Septuagint, it is obvious that there is a problem with the last part of this verse.


1Samuel 14:16a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

rââh (ה ָא ָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7200 BDB #906

tsâphâh (הָפָצ) [pronounced tsaw-FAW]

look outs, spies, watchers, watchmen

masculine plural, Qal active participle with the definite article

Strong’s #6822 BDB #859

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

Gibe׳âh (ה ָע ׃ב ̣) [pronounced gibve-ĢAW]

transliterated Gibeah; this same word means hill

proper feminine singular noun; construct form

Strong’s #1390 BDB #149

Bineyâmîyn (ןי.מָינ̣) [pronounced bin-yaw-MEEN]

transliterated Benjamin, it means son of [my] right hand

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1144 BDB #122


Translation: Then the spies belonging to Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked out... Saul is the one in Gibeah of Benjamin. It is summer and he finds himself under the pomegranate tree, somewhat paralyzed with fear. However, he does have spies out there, observing what the Philistines are doing, and they apparently bring back an unexpected report.


1Samuel 14:16b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

hâmôwn (ןמָה) [pronounced haw-MOHN

multitude, crowd, throng

masculine singular noun (withthe definite article)

Strong’s #1995 BDB #242

mûg (גמ) [pronounced moog]

to melt, to flow, to flow down

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal perfect

Strong’s #4127 BDB #556


Translation: ...and, behold, the multitude [of Philistines] was melting away... Even in the Hebrew by itself, it is obvious that there is something wrong, as the literal rendering of the final phrase would be: and so they [the multitude] departed and here. At this time, it may be helpful the examine the Doctrine of Mûg.


And in case you did not look this up, I have summarized it below:

Summary of the Doctrine of Mûg

1.    The Hebrew verb mûg (גמ) [pronounced moog] essentially means to melt. It has no cognates. BDB gives these meanings: 1) to melt, cause to melt; 1a) (Qal); 1a1) to melt, faint; 1a2) to cause to melt; 1b) (Niphal) to melt away; 1c) (Polel) to soften, dissolve, dissipate; 1d) (Hithpolel) to melt, flow. Strong’s adds the figurative use to fear, to faint; and Gesenius gives the basic meaning to flow, to flow down: and adds to dissolve; to cause to pine and perish. Strong’s #4127 BDB #556. Mûg has not cognates.

2.    It is found in the following passages. Ex. 15:15 Joshua 2:9, 24 1Sam. 14:16 Job. 30:22 Psalm 46:6 65:10 75:3 107:26 Isa. 14:31 64:7 Jer. 49:22–23 Ezek. 21:15 Amos 9:5, 13 Nah. 1:5 2:6

3.    From these passages, we may conclude:

       a.    In all instances of this word, we could render it to melt without a loss of meaning, either to the verse or the context.

       b.    When something melts, it seems to disappear. That is, an ice cube on the ground which has melted, if on a porous surface, will be taken into that surface and seemingly disappear. The translations to soften, to dissolve, to disappear, to flow all are reasonable renderings of this word.

       c.     When a person melts, he becomes without form or substance.

       d.    When an army melts, as we have here, there are two probable meanings: their hearts have melted in fear; and they have seemingly melted into the ground—that is, they have scattered and hidden themselves and retreated. At one time they were very visible as any army; now they can barely be seen.

       e.    The earth melting can refer to a number of things: the most obvious is volcanic activity; however, I think the idea refers more to earthquakes, high winds, storms and whatever else which cause the landscape to collapse and to lose its height.

I certainly wish that I could have come up with something which was more of a revelation, but mûg turns out to mean, essentially, what the lexicons say it means (given the context and usage of this verb).


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1Samuel 14:16c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hinnêh (הֵ ̣ה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

hâmôwn (ןמָה) [pronounced haw-MOHN

multitude, crowd, throng

masculine singular noun (withthe definite article)

Strong’s #1995 BDB #242

mûg (גמ) [pronounced moog]

to melt, to flow, to flow down

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal perfect

Strong’s #4127 BDB #556

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253