Sh’mu’el Alef (1 Samuel) Chapter 14

The corresponding letter to this chapter is Nun- faithfulness; soul; downfall and rising again.

Sh’mu’el Alef 14:1-5 Now the day came that Y’honatan, the son of Sha’ul, said to the young man who was carrying his armor, "Come and let us cross over to the P’lishtim' garrison that is on yonder side." But he did not tell his father. And Sha’ul was staying in the outskirts of Giv’ah under the pomegranate tree which is in Migron. And the people who were with him were about six hundred men, and Achiyah, the son of Achituv, I’Khavod's brother, the son of Pinchas, the son of Eli, the priest of the L-RD at Shiloh, was wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Y’honatan had gone. And between the passes by which Y’honatan sought to cross over to the P’lishtim' garrison, there was a sharp crag on the one side, and a sharp crag (cliff) on the other side, and the name of the one was Botzetz,(shining or white) and the name of the other Seneh.(thorn) The one crag rose on the north opposite Mikhmas, and the other on the south opposite Geva.

This may be a picture of Yeshua HaMashiach when He returns again and sets His foot on the Mount of Olives splitting it in half east to west causing a north and south crag. I will not be dogmatic about it though.

Zechariah 14:4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Yerushalayim on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.

Sh’mu’el Alef 14:6-15 Then Y’honatan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, "Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the L-RD will work for us, for the L-RD is not restrained to save by many or by few." 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." Then Y’honatan said, "Look, we will cross over to the men and reveal ourselves to them. If they say to us, 'Wait until we come to you'; then we will stand in our place and not go up to them. But if they say, 'Come up to us,' then we will go up, for the L-RD has given them into our hands; and this shall be the sign to us." And when both of them revealed themselves to the garrison of the P’lishtim, the P’lishtim said, "Look, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves." So the men of the garrison hailed Y’honatan and his armor bearer and said, "Come up to us and we will tell you something." And Y’honatan said to his armor bearer, "Come up after me, for the L-RD has given them into the hands of Israel." Then Y’honatan climbed up on his hands and feet, with his armor bearer behind him; and they fell before Y’honatan, and his armor bearer put some to death after him. And that first slaughter which Y’honatan and his armor bearer made was about twenty men within about half a furrow in an acre of land. And there was a trembling in the camp, 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.

Y’honatan has great faith in G-d and knows he is capable of delivering them even if they are greatly outnumbered.

Y’honatan is “throwing out a fleece” before G-d. He is trying to determine if it is G-d’s will that he and his men should attack the P’lishim or not and is using their response as an indication of what G-d would want them to do.

The earthquake was additional affirmation that G-d was helping Israel.

Sh’mu’el Alef 14:16-17 Now Sha’ul's watchmen in Giv’at of Binyamin looked, and looked, the multitude melted away; and they went here and there. And Sha’ul said to the people who were with him, "Number now and see who has gone from us." And when they had numbered, look, Y’honatan and his armor bearer were not there.

The same will happen to Israel in the future when Yeshua returns. They will rise and flee through the valley caused by the Messiah.

Zechariah 14:4-5 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Yerushalayim on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. And you will flee by the valley of My Mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uziyah king of Y’hudah. Then the L-RD, my G-d, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!

Sh’mu’el Alef 14:18-20 Then Sha’ul said to Achiyah, "Bring the ark of G-d here." For the ark of G-d was at that time with the sons of Israel. And it happened while Sha’ul talked to the priest, that the commotion in the camp of the P’lishtim continued and increased; so Sha’ul said to the priest, "Withdraw your hand." Then Sha’ul and all the people who were with him rallied and came to the battle; and look, every man's sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion.

Sh’mu’el Alef 14:21-30 Now the Hebrews who were with the P’lishtim previously, who went up with them all around in the camp, even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Sha’ul and Y’honatan. When all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the P’lishtim had fled, even they also pursued them closely in the battle. So the L-RD delivered Israel that day, and the battle spread beyond Beit-Aven. Now the men of Israel were hard-pressed on that day, for Sha’ul had put the people under oath, saying, "Cursed be the man who eats food before evening, and until I have avenged myself on my enemies." So none of the people tasted food. And all the people of the land entered the forest, and there was honey on the ground. When the people entered the forest, look, there was a flow of honey; but no man put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. But Y’honatan had not heard when his father put the people under oath; therefore, he put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened. Then one of the people answered and said, "Your father strictly put the people under oath, saying, 'Cursed be the man who eats food today.'" And the people were weary. Then Y’honatan said, "My father has troubled the land. See now, how my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. How much more, if only the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found! For now the slaughter among the P’lishtim has not been great."

Now the Hebrews who were with the P’lishtim – These men were deserters and when they saw that Israel was going to win the battle they rejoined the Israelite army.

We know the Messiah is sweet as honey. The honey gave Y’honatan the strength to rise again. Only the Messiah can accomplish this in us. In a higher level of understanding, we accomplish more for G-d when we do things in the strength of the Messiah than in our own strength. Here is example were Sha’ul was trying to prove something out of his pride and did not have much compassion for his people who could have used the honey to renew their strength. Beware of those that try to keep you from Yeshua HaMashiach who is our strength.

Sh’mu’el Alef 14:31-32 And they struck among the P’lishtim that day from Mikhmas to Ayalon. And the people were very weary. And the people rushed greedily upon the spoil, and took sheep and oxen and calves, and slew them on the ground; and the people ate them with the blood.

If it had not been forbidden to eat the honey they probably would not have been so hungry as to sin in this manner.

Vayikra (Leviticus) 17:10-14 'And any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.' "Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, 'No person among you may eat blood, nor may any alien who sojourns among you eat blood.' "So when any man from the sons of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, in hunting catches a beast or a bird which may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. "For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, 'You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.'

Sh’mu’el Alef 14:33-37 Then they told Sha’ul, saying, "Look, the people are sinning against the L-RD by eating with the blood." And he said, "You have acted treacherously; roll a great stone to me today." And Sha’ul said, "Disperse yourselves among the people and say to them, 'Each one of you bring me his ox or his sheep, and slaughter it here and eat; and do not sin against the L-RD by eating with the blood.'" So all the people that night brought each one his ox with him, and slaughtered it there. And Sha’ul built an altar to the L-RD; it was the first altar that he built to the L-RD. Then Sha’ul said, "Let us go down after the P’lishtim by night and take spoil among them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them." And they said, "Do whatever seems good to you." So the priest said, "Let us draw near to G-d here." And Sha’ul inquired of G-d, "Shall I go down after the P’lishtim? Will You give them into the hand of Israel?" But He did not answer him on that day.

The L-rd did not respond because of the sin in the camp. Also there doesn’t seem to be any genuine repentance.

Sh’mu’el Alef 14:38-45 And Sha’ul said, "Draw near here, all you chiefs of the people, and investigate and see how this sin has happened today. For as the L-RD lives, who delivers Israel, though it is in Y’honatan my son, he shall surely die." But not one of all the people answered him. Then he said to all Israel, "You shall be on one side and I and Y’honatan my son will be on the other side." And the people said to Sha’ul, "Do what seems good to you." Therefore, Sha’ul said to the L-RD, the G-d of Israel, "Give a perfect lot." And Y’honatan and Sha’ul were taken, but the people escaped. And Sha’ul said, "Cast lots between me and Y’honatan my son." And Y’honatan was taken. Then Sha’ul said to Y’honatan, "Tell me what you have done." So Y’honatan told him and said, "I indeed tasted a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am, I must die!" And Sha’ul said, "May G-d do this to me and more also, for you shall surely die, Y’honatan." But the people said to Sha’ul, "Must Y’honatan die, who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Far from it! As the L-RD lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has worked with G-d this day." So the people rescued Y’honatan and he did not die.

Y’honatan unlike his father had relied in the strength of the L-rd. Sha’ul was ready to kill his son because of his oath but the people won’t let him.

Sh’mu’el Alef 14:46-52 Then Sha’ul went up from pursuing the P’lishtim, and the P’lishtim went to their own place. Now when Sha’ul had taken the kingdom over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Mo’av, the sons of A’mon, Edom, the kings of Tzovah, and the P’lishtim; and wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment. And he acted valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, and delivered Israel from the hands of those who plundered them. Now the sons of Sha’ul were Y’honatan and Yishvi and Malkishua; and the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the first-born Merav and the name of the younger Mikhal. And the name of Sha’ul's wife was Achino’am the daughter of Achima’atz. And the name of the captain of his army was Avner the son of Ner, Sha’ul's uncle. And Kish was the father of Sha’ul, and Ner the father of Avner was the son of Avi’el. Now the war against the P’lishtim was severe all the days of Sha’ul; and when Sha’ul saw any mighty man or any valiant man, he attached him to his staff.

Mikhal would later become the wife of David and Y’honatan would be a close friend of Davids. We do not know much else about his wife of other children.