Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 14

A son who was not like his father

1 Samuel 14:1

People often say that a son is like his father. However, that was certainly not true about Jonathan and his father, who was King Saul.

Saul was often bitter and angry; Jonathan was kind and loyal. Saul cared very much about his own power and authority; Jonathan did not consider those things important.

So it does not surprise us that Jonathan often acted in a different way from his father. Saul had brought Israelís army onto the land above the cliff at Migron. On the opposite cliff was a camp of his enemies, the army of Philistia (called the Philistines).

We do not know what Saulís plan was. Perhaps he was acting in a bold and impressive manner in order to frighten his enemies. Saul knew that his own army was much weaker than the Philistinesí army. However, Saulís enemies could not be sure about that. If they felt afraid, they might go back to Philistia.

Or perhaps Saul intended to attack by night. He did that successfully against Ammonís army (11:11).

However, Jonathan had his own plan, and he did not tell his father about it. Jonathan was fighting this battle because he trusted God to rescue Israel. Jonathan trusted God as few people ever do.

Saul had 600 men under his command; the Philistines had many thousands. Jonathan asked only one young man to join him. Together they would show that God rescues Israel - not its king or a vast army.

They would not even carry out their attack secretly by night. God did not need such methods to save his people. So, they went during the day.

Next part: Saulís camp at Migron (1 Samuel 14:2-5)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.