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Bible Highlights: 1 Samuel 14-15 > Theocratic Ministry School

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Bible reading: 1 Samuel 14-15 (8 min.)


1 SAMUEL 14:2


“Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibʹe•ah under the pomegranate tree in Migʹron, and there were about 600 men with him.”

*** it-2 p. 395 Michmas(h) ***
Doubtless preparing to free Israel from Philistine control, King Saul selected a force of 3,000 men. Of these, 2,000 encamped with him at Michmash and in the mountainous region of Bethel, and the others took their position with his son Jonathan at Gibeah. Later, at nearby Geba (“Gibeah,” Vg), Jonathan struck down the Philistine “garrison.” In retaliation the Philistines rallied a great army, including chariots and horsemen, and apparently forced Saul to retreat from Michmash to Gilgal. Hard pressed by the Philistines, many Israelites hid themselves in caves and hollows; others sought refuge E of the Jordan. This dispersal of the Israelite warriors in the face of the Philistine threat was later presented by Saul as his reason for failing to wait obediently for Samuel to offer sacrifice. Reproved by Samuel for his presumptuous act, Saul, with a reduced force of about 600 men, thereafter came to Jonathan at Geba. (1Sa 13:1-16) According to 1 Samuel 14:2, Saul evidently transferred his camp to Migron near Gibeah.

1 SAMUEL 14:4


“Now between the passages that Jonʹa•than was trying to cross over to reach the outpost of the Phi•lisʹtines, there was a toothlike crag on one side and a toothlike crag on the other side; the name of the one was Boʹzez, and the name of the other was Seʹneh.”

*** it-1 p. 361 Bozez ***
BOZEZ
(Boʹzez).
One of two rocks, or toothlike crags, associated with Jonathan’s victory over the Philistines, recorded at 1 Samuel 14:4-14. Jonathan, looking for a passage to cross over to attack the Philistine outpost, saw the two crags, one on the N facing Michmash (where the Philistines were encamped), the other on the S facing Geba. (1Sa 13:16; 14:5) Between these two cities the Wadi Suweinit (Nahal Mikhmas) descends toward the Jordan and becomes a deep gorge with nearly vertical cliffs somewhat to the E of the cities. The location of the two crags is considered to have been at the point where the wadi makes a sharp bend, though the precise identification of the crags is conjectural.

*** it-1 p. 902 Geba ***
The ancient city is usually identified with the village of Jabaʽ, almost 9 km (5.5 mi) NNE of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. A steep valley separates this site from the suggested location of ancient Michmash. In the valley there are two hills with steep rocky sides. These perhaps correspond to the ‘toothlike crags’ Bozez and Seneh, one “facing Michmash,” the other “facing Geba.”—1Sa 14:4, 5.

*** it-2 p. 395 Michmas(h) ***
Jonathan Initiates Rout of Philistines. Because three bands of Philistine pillagers would go out from their camp at Michmash and an outpost of the Philistines would sally forth to “the ravine pass of Michmash,” Jonathan decided to end this menace. (1Sa 13:16-23) To do this, he crossed the ravine pass, which (if Wadi Suweinit) forms a deep gorge with nearly vertical cliffs to the E of Geba (Jabaʽ). Two prominent hills with steep rocky sides rise at a point where the Wadi Suweinit makes a sharp bend. These may be the ‘toothlike crags’ Bozez and Seneh, their toothlike edges having perhaps been rounded by the erosive forces of some 30 centuries. (1Sa 14:1-7) For a stranger to have made his way through the maze of mounds, knolls, and sharp rocks in the wadi would have been next to impossible. But Jonathan, reared in Benjamite territory, apparently knew it well. While his father’s camp was at Michmash and his own at Geba, Jonathan doubtless had repeated opportunities for getting better acquainted with the terrain.

1 SAMUEL 14:5


“The one crag was a pillar on the north facing Michʹmash, and the other was on the south facing Geʹba.”

*** it-1 p. 902 Geba ***
The ancient city is usually identified with the village of Jabaʽ, almost 9 km (5.5 mi) NNE of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. A steep valley separates this site from the suggested location of ancient Michmash. In the valley there are two hills with steep rocky sides. These perhaps correspond to the ‘toothlike crags’ Bozez and Seneh, one “facing Michmash,” the other “facing Geba.”—1Sa 14:4, 5.

*** it-2 p. 395 Michmas(h) ***
Jonathan Initiates Rout of Philistines. Because three bands of Philistine pillagers would go out from their camp at Michmash and an outpost of the Philistines would sally forth to “the ravine pass of Michmash,” Jonathan decided to end this menace. (1Sa 13:16-23) To do this, he crossed the ravine pass, which (if Wadi Suweinit) forms a deep gorge with nearly vertical cliffs to the E of Geba (Jabaʽ). Two prominent hills with steep rocky sides rise at a point where the Wadi Suweinit makes a sharp bend. These may be the ‘toothlike crags’ Bozez and Seneh, their toothlike edges having perhaps been rounded by the erosive forces of some 30 centuries. (1Sa 14:1-7) For a stranger to have made his way through the maze of mounds, knolls, and sharp rocks in the wadi would have been next to impossible. But Jonathan, reared in Benjamite territory, apparently knew it well. While his father’s camp was at Michmash and his own at Geba, Jonathan doubtless had repeated opportunities for getting better acquainted with the terrain.

1 SAMUEL 14:6


“So Jonʹa•than said to his armor-bearer: “Come and let us cross over to the outpost of these uncircumcised men. Perhaps Jehovah will act in our behalf, for nothing can hinder Jehovah from saving by many or by few.””

*** w89 1/1 p. 24 par. 5 United Under a Banner of Love ***
5 Jonathan himself was also a fighter for righteousness. He had declared that “there is no hindrance to Jehovah to save by many or by few.” Why? Because Jonathan recognized that there is always a need to seek divine guidance for victory in theocratic warfare.

1 SAMUEL 14:14


“In the first attack that Jonʹa•than and his armor-bearer made, they struck down about 20 men within about half the plowing line in an acre of field.”

*** it-1 p. 42 Acre ***
ACRE
As used in the Scriptures, “acre” is understood to denote the measure of land that a span of bulls can plow in a day. The Hebrew word thus rendered (tseʹmedh) literally means “span” (1Sa 14:14, ftn; 1Ki 19:19) and is also rendered “couple” (Jg 19:3), “pair” (1Sa 11:7), and ‘team’ (2Ki 9:25). Likely the measure of land referred to was somewhat less than 0.4 ha (1 acre). The word iugerum, found in the Latin Vulgate, refers to an area of 0.25 ha (0.62 acre).

1 SAMUEL 14:15


“Then terror spread in the field camp and among all the people of the outpost, and even the raiding parties were terrified. The earth began quaking, and a terror from God ensued.”

*** w07 9/15 pp. 18-19 Jonathan—“It Was With God That He Worked” ***
Perhaps the Philistines imagined that many Israelite warriors were following the first two. Thereafter, “a trembling occurred . . . among all the people of the outpost,” says the account, “and the earth began quaking, and it developed into a trembling from God.” Because of the divinely sent earthquake, turmoil spread among the Philistines, so that “the sword of each one [came] to be against his fellowman.”

*** it-1 p. 669 Earthquake ***
Earthquakes have been a miraculous aid to Jehovah’s people, as when Jonathan and his armor-bearer courageously attacked a Philistine outpost. Jehovah backed up their faith in him by bringing about an earthquake that threw the entire camp of the Philistines into confusion, so that these killed off one another and were thoroughly routed.—1Sa 14:6, 10, 12, 15, 16, 20, 23.

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