Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 14

Jonathan is guilty

1 Samuel 14:38-42

As we read the account of the battle in 1 Samuel chapter 14, our attention turns constantly to Jonathan, Saulís son. It was Jonathan who, with Godís help, brought success to Israel in that battle. Jonathan trusted God when nobody else in Israel was trusting God. By his brave actions, Jonathan rescued his nation.

The reports of what Jonathan had done brought courage and hope to Israelís soldiers in the battle. For them, as for us, he was the hero of that battle.

However, there were also other reports about Jonathanís behaviour during that battle. He alone had not obeyed his fatherís command for the men not to eat (14:24-27). He did it without knowledge of that command; but then he spoke with full knowledge. Godís law says that a son must give honour to his father (Deuteronomy 5:16). However Jonathan spoke, in public, words that brought shame upon his father, the king (14:29-30). All the people knew that they must respect their king (1 Samuel 24:6; Ecclesiastes 10:20). God himself had appointed Israelís king (10:1).

Israelís men admired Jonathan; they did not want to cause trouble for him. So they had not told Saul about this matter. However, now they wished that they had told Saul! Without knowledge of the facts, Saul had already declared a terrible judgement against his own son (14:39). Nobody dared to stop him.

Next, Saul prayed to the God of Israel, who knows the secrets in every personís heart (Psalm 139:1-6). He asked God to show who was guilty. Godís answer was: ĎJonathaní.

Next part: Israelís men save Jonathan (1 Samuel 14:43-45)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.