1 Samuel 14:6 MEANING

1 Samuel 14:6
(6) And Jonathan said.--This companion in arms answered to the esquire of the knight of the middle ages. Gideon, Joab, David, and others of the famous Israelite warriors, were constantly accompanied in a similar manner by an armour-bearer.

Come, and let us go over.--Although in this history of the great deed of Jonathan there is no mention of the "Spirit of the Lord" having come upon him, as in the case of Gideon (Judges 6:34), Othniel (Judges 3:10), Samson, and others--who, in order to enable them to accomplish a particular act, were temporarily endowed with superhuman strength and courage and wisdom--there is no shadow of doubt but that in this case the "Spirit of the Lord" descended on the heroic son of Saul. All the circumstances connected with this event, which had so marked an influence on the fortunes of Israel, are evidently supernatural. The brave though desperate thought which suggested the attack, the courage and strength needful to carry it out, the strange panic which seized the Philistine garrison, the utter dismay which spread over the whole of the Philistine forces, and which caused them to fly in utter confusion before the small bands of Israelites, all belong to the same class of incidents so common in the earlier Hebrew story, when it is clear that the Glorious Arm of the Eternal helped them in a way it helped no other peoples.

The term "uncircumcised" is commonly applied to the Philistines, and to other of the enemies of Israel. It is used as a special term of reproach. The enmity between Philistia and Israel lasted over a long period, and was very bitter.

It may be that the Lord will work for us.--These words explain the apparent recklessness of Jonathan's attempt. It was Another who would fight the armed garrison on those tall peaks opposite, and bring him safely back to his people again.

For there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.--"O Divine power of faith, which makes a man more than men. The question is not what Jonathan can do, but what God can do, whose power is not in the means, but in Himself. There is no restraint in the Lord to save by many or by few. O admirable faith in Jonathan, whom neither the steepness of the rocks nor multitude of enemies can dissuade from such an assault."--Bishop Hall.

Verse 6. - Uncircumcised. An epithet of dislike almost confined to the Philistines. But underneath the whole speech of Jonathan lies the conviction of the covenant relation of Israel to Jehovah, of which circumcision was the outward sign. Notice also Jonathan's humble reliance upon God. It may be that Jehovah will work for us, etc.

14:1-15 Saul seems to have been quite at a loss, and unable to help himself. Those can never think themselves safe who see themselves out of God's protection. Now he sent for a priest and the ark. He hopes to make up matters with the Almighty by a partial reformation, as many do whose hearts are unhumbled and unchanged. Many love to have ministers who prophesy smooth things to them. Jonathan felt a Divine impulse and impression, putting him upon this bold adventure. God will direct the steps of those that acknowledge him in all their ways, and seek to him for direction, with full purpose of heart to follow his guidance. Sometimes we find most comfort in that which is least our own doing, and into which we have been led by the unexpected but well-observed turns of Divine providence. There was trembling in the host. It is called a trembling of God, signifying, not only a great trembling they could not resist, nor reason themselves out of, but that it came at once from the hand of God. He that made the heart, knows how to make it tremble.And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour,.... A second time, as Abarbinel thinks; the young man giving no answer to him the first time, perhaps through fear, he repeats it, and enlarges upon it for his encouragement:

come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised; as these Philistines were, whereas several of the other nations, though Heathen, were circumcised; as the Edomites, Arabians, and others; and this Jonathan observes to the young man, in hope that they being such the Lord would deliver them into their hand:

it may be that the Lord will work for us; a sign, as the Targum, a miracle, as indeed he did; and of which Jonathan was persuaded in his own mind, though he did not choose to express himself in a confident way; not knowing in what manner, and whether at this time the Lord would appear, and work salvation and deliverance; and yet had a strong impulse upon his mind it would be wrought, and therefore was encouraged to try this expedient:

for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few; he is not limited to numbers, and can easily work salvation by a few as by many. It is no difficult thing to him to save by few, nor can anything hinder him, let the difficulties be what they will, when he has determined to deliver his people.

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