Jonathan and the Honey
1 Samuel 14:24-48
The Israelites were tired of chasing after the Philistines. Earlier, Saul had made them swore that anyone who eats food before evening shall be put to death therefore no one eat anything.
While the army was in the forest, they saw a honey comb with lots of honey inside.
Jonathan who had not heard what Saul said put his hand into the honey comb and ate the honey.
One of the soldiers told him, “King Saul made us swore that no one should eat anything until evening otherwise he shall be put to death!”
Jonathan said, “I felt much better after having eaten the honey. If only the men had eaten some of the plunders, they will be strengthened and more Philistines will be killed.”
The Israelites listened to Jonathan. That day, they slaughtered the animals that they plundered on the ground and ate them even before they are cooked.
When Saul saw this, he said, “Each of you bring me your animal and slaughter them on this rock and eat them. Don’t eat meat with life blood in it.”
Everyone brought his ox to Saul and slaughtered them there.
Saul said, “Let us go and attack the Philistines from night till dawn. Let us kill every single one of them so that none of them stays alive.”
However, the priest said, “Let us ask God about it first.”
Saul asked God, “Lord, should I go after the Philistines?”
The Lord did not answer Saul.
Saul had Jonathan stood with him. After that, Saul prayed to the Lord, “Please give me an answer.”
It happened that the Israelites’ lot fell on Jonathan.
Saul asked Jonathan, “What sin had you committed against the Lord?”
Jonathan replied, “I broke the oath by eating some of the honey. Should I die because of that?”
Saul said, “Yes.”
Nevertheless, the men defended Jonathan and said, “Jonathan shall not die because he did us a great help by delivering us from the Philistines.”
After that, Saul stopped chasing after the Philistines and everyone returned home.