24 Now Saul committed a very rash act on that day. He had laid an oath on the troops, saying, Cursed be anyone who eats food before it is evening and I have been avenged on my enemies. So none of the troops tasted food. 25All the troops came upon a honeycomb; and there was honey on the ground. 26When the troops came upon the honeycomb, the honey was dripping out; but they did not put their hands to their mouths, for they feared the oath. 27But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the troops with the oath; so he extended the staff that was in his hand, and dipped the tip of it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes brightened. 28Then one of the soldiers said, Your father strictly charged the troops with an oath, saying, Cursed be anyone who eats food this day. And so the troops are faint. 29Then Jonathan said, My father has troubled the land; see how my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. 30How much better if today the troops had eaten freely of the spoil taken from their enemies; for now the slaughter among the Philistines has not been great.
31 After they had struck down the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon, the troops were very faint; 32so the troops flew upon the spoil, and took sheep and oxen and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground; and the troops ate them with the blood. 33Then it was reported to Saul, Look, the troops are sinning against the Lord by eating with the blood. And he said, You have dealt treacherously; roll a large stone before me here.34Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the troops, and say to them, Let all bring their oxen or their sheep, and slaughter them here, and eat; and do not sin against the Lord by eating with the blood. So all of the troops brought their oxen with them that night, and slaughtered them there. 35And Saul built an altar to the Lord; it was the first altar that he built to the Lord.
36 Then Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night and despoil them until the morning light; let us not leave one of them. They said, Do whatever seems good to you. But the priest said, Let us draw near to God here. 37So Saul inquired of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into the hand of Israel? But he did not answer him that day. 38Saul said, Come here, all you leaders of the people; and let us find out how this sin has arisen today. 39For as the Lord lives who saves Israel, even if it is in my son Jonathan, he shall surely die! But there was no one among all the people who answered him. 40He said to all Israel, You shall be on one side, and I and my son Jonathan will be on the other side. The people said to Saul, Do what seems good to you. 41Then Saul said, O Lord God of Israel, why have you not answered your servant today? If this guilt is in me or in my son Jonathan, O Lord God of Israel, give Urim; but if this guilt is in your people Israel, give Thummim. And Jonathan and Saul were indicated by the lot, but the people were cleared. 42Then Saul said, Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan. And Jonathan was taken.
43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what you have done. Jonathan told him, I tasted a little honey with the tip of the staff that was in my hand; here I am, I will die. 44Saul said, God do so to me and more also; you shall surely die, Jonathan! 45Then the people said to Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who has accomplished this great victory in Israel? Perish the thought! As the Lord lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground; for he has worked with God today. So the people ransomed Jonathan, and he did not die. 46Then Saul withdrew from pursuing the Philistines; and the Philistines went to their own place.