The Philistines moved their camp to the pass at Michmash, and Saul was in Gibeah with his 600 men. Saul’s own tent was set up under a pomegranate tree by the threshing place at the edge of town and since this was a Set-Apart War, Achiyah was serving Saul as his High-Priest, wearing Yahusha's Ephod ...
... and giving answers from Yahusha with the Urim and Thummim stones. Achiyah was the G-Grandson of Eli (the High-Priest in Shiloh who raised Sam), and his Father was Ahitub, Uncle was Ichabod and Grandfather was Phinehas.
REMEMBER THE PRIESTWARS? ELI’S LINE WASN’T OF THE PROPER (FIRSTBORN AARONIC LINEAGE) AND KING SAUL HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO WHAT'S RIGHT, AND PUT THE PROPER HIGH PRIEST BACK INTO POWER ACCORDING TO THE TURAH, BUT HE DOESN’T.
SAUL INSTEAD DECIDES THAT ACHIYAH WAS TO CONTINUE ON AS HIS ADMINISTRATION’S HIGH PRIEST BECAUSE HE (AND ELI’S FAMILY) WERE ALIGNED WITH THE 8 NORTHERN TRIBES AND SINCE SAUL’S TRIBE (BENJAMIN) WAS PART OF THAT SAME COALITION, NATURALLY THEY RECOGNISED ACHIYAH AS THEIR OWN HIGH PRIEST AND IGNORED THE OTHER ONE, AND SAUL WASN’T ABOUT TO ROCK THE BOAT AS HE WAS MOSTLY CONCERNED WITH GAINING LOYALTY.
One day, Jonathon (King Saul’s son) told the soldier who carried his weapons that he wanted to attack the Philistine camp on the other side of the valley, so they slipped out of the Yisharalite camp without anyone knowing (infact Jon didn’t even tell his father Saul that he was leaving).
Jon decided to get to the Philistine camp by going through the pass that led between Shiny Cliff and Michmash to the North and Thornbush Cliff and Geba to the South. And Jon talked with his armour-bearer as they went toward the Philistine camp, “It’s just the two of us against all those uncircumcised savages, but Yahuah our Alahim can easily help a few lone soldiers win a battle the same way He can a whole Army, so maybe He’ll give us victory today.”
JON AND HIS ARMOUR-BEARER ATTACK THE PHILISTINES
So Jon turned to his soldier, “Follow me mate! Yahuah’s gunna smash-em!”
Then Jon crawled up the hillside with his soldier right behind him, and when they got to the top, he killed the Philistines who attacked from the front, and his soldier killed those who attacked from behind. And before they’d even gone 100 feet, they’d already killed about 20 Philistines. And the whole Philistine Army panicked, those in camp, those on guard duty, those in the fields, and those on raiding patrols. All of them were afraid and confused. Then Yahusha sent an earthquake, and the whole ground began to shake.
JON HAD NO IDEA THAT THE TERRAIN WOULD BE SO BENEFICIAL THAT THEY COULD FIGHT OFF THESE ENEMY SOLDIERS. HE MOVED IN BELIEF AND (AS WITH US) ONE SUCCESSFUL STEP OF BELIEF LEADS TO THE NEXT - LISTEN AND DO, LISTEN AND DO !!
“I’ve got your back mate, no matter what! We go wherever you think!”The soldier answered. “OK, this is what we’ll do then, let’s go across and let the enemy see us. If they agree to come down the hill and fight where we are, then we won’t bother climbing up to their camp. But if they provoke us and tell us to come up and fight, we bloody will, and that’ll be the sign that Yahuah’s going to fight with us and let us win.”
So Jon and his armour-bearer stood at the bottom of the hill where the Philistines could see them, and the Philistines said, “Hey Bruce, check this out! Look at those worthless Yisharalites who’ve crawled out of their holes from hiding.” And they yelled down to Jon and his soldier, “Oy Come up here, and we’ll teach you both a thing or two!”
Meanwhile Saul’s lookouts at Geba saw that the Philistine Army was running like ants in every direction and Saul told his officers, “Call the roll will you, and find out who left our camp.” And they realised that Jon and his armour-bearer were missing. And Saul said to Achiyah his High Priest, “Bring the Ark of Yahuah here and let’s ask Yahuah what we should do.”LAST WE HEARD THE ARK WAS AT KIRYATH-YEARIM IN THE HOME OF A PRIEST, BUT IT WAS USUALLY CARRIED TO THE SITE OF THE BATTLE.
But just as Saul finished saying this, he could see that the Philistine Army camp was getting more and more chaotic and confused, and he said, “Don’t worry Achiyah, put ya'hands down mate!” And Achiyah took his hands out of the pocket in his Ephod (where he'd began tinkering with the Urim and Thummim to get a `yes' or `no' answer from Yahusha). Then Saul (more confident in his own decisions) quickly called his Army together and led them to the Philistine Camp, and by this time the enemy was so disoriented and freaked-out, they were killing each other.
There were also some hired soldiers in the Philistine camp, who’d now switched to Yisharal’s side and fought for Saul and Jonathan. Many Yisharalites had been hiding in the hill country of Ephraim and when they heard that the Philistines were running away terrified, they came out of hiding and joined in fighting the Philistines. So Yahusha helped Yisharal fight against the Philistines that day.
Saul had earlier told his soldiers, “It’s payback time for those bastard Philistines and I want it done by sunset. We don’t relent, we don’t break, we don’t rest, we don’t even stop to scratch our arse, until I've got vengeance on MY enemies! Do you hear me? We’ve got one chance here, so if any of you stop to eat before we’re done, you’ll be under a curse!” So he made them swear not to eat.
DESPITE IT'S IRRATIONAL AND UNWARRANTED NATURE, THIS OATH MADE BY SAUL WAS A VERY SERIOUS MATTER AND ABSOLUTELY VALID IN YAHUSHA’S EYES. HE MADE IT CLEAR IN EX, LEV AND JUDGES THAT HE'S NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF SEEKING VOWS AND OATHS FROM HIS PEOPLE AS A SIGN OF THEIR OBEDIENCE AND RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. INFACT LATER IN THE GOSPELS WE SEE HIM ADVISING AGAINST VOWS (NOT BECAUSE THEY WERE TRADITION, SUPERSTITION OR NO LONGER IN OPERATION) BUT BECAUSE THEY REMAINED JUST AS POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE AS THEY DID IN THE ANCIENT DAYS. SO IF SOMEONE CHOSE TO GET INVOLVED WITH ONE, THEY WERE OBLIGATED TO FOLLOW THROUGH OTHERWISE THE ATTACHED CURSES WILL BE ON THEIR HEAD.
And by the time the fighting moved past Beth-Aven, the Yisharalite troops were completely exhausted and weak from hunger. The Army and the people who lived nearby had gone into a forest, and they came to a place where honey was dripping on the ground. But no one stopped to eat any of it, because they were afraid of being put under a curse because of Saul's Oath. But Jonathan didn't know about Saul’s warning to the soldiers, so he dipped the end of his walking stick into the honeycomb and ate some with his fingers. Then he felt stronger and more alert.
And a soldier told him, “What are you doing?Your father swore that anyone who ate food today would be put under a curse, and we agreed not to eat, that’s why we’re all so weak.”
“What a ridiculous thing to say. My father is causing you all so much trouble today. Look at me! I only had a bit from this honeycomb and I feel great already. I wish you'd eaten some of the food the Philistines left behind, then you’d be stronger and we would've been able to kill a lot more of them.”
WHILE THE OTHER SOLDIERS WERE DUTY-BOUND TO THIS OATH AND WOULD HAVE SUFFERED AT YAHUSHA’S HAND HAD THEY DISOBEYED, JON WASN'T THERE NOR AGREED TO IT, SO YAHUSHA HAD KEPT HIM BUSY ELSEWHERE SO THAT HE WASN'T EFFECTED BY SAUL'S STUPID OATH, WHICH HAD WEAKENED HIS OWN ARMY !!
By evening the Yisharalite Army was so exhausted from killing Philistines all the way from Michmash to Aijalon, that they grabbed the food they'd captured from the Philistines and started eating. They even killed sheep and cows and calves right on the ground and ate the meat without draining the blood!
Then someone told Saul, “Look! The Army is disobeying Yahuah by eating meat before the blood drains out.”
“You’re right,” Saul answered, “They are being disgusting and disobedient to Yahuah! Hurry! Roll a big rock over here and tell everyone in camp to bring their cattle and lambs to me. Then they can kill the animals on this rock, let the blood drain and then eat the meat. That way no one will disobey Yahuah by eating meat with the blood still in it.” So that night the soldiers brought their cattle over to the big rock and killed them there. It was the first proper altar Saul had built for offering sacrifices to Yahusha.
Then Saul said, “Let’s attack the Philistines again while it’s still dark. We can fight them all night. Let’s kill them and take everything they own!”
“We’ll do whatever you want.” The people said
“Wait! Let’s ask Yahuah what we should do.” Achiyah the High Priest said. So Saul asked Yahusha, “Should I attack the Philistines? Will You help us win?” But this time Yahusha didn’t answer, so Saul called his Army officers together and said, “We have to find out what we’ve done to stop Yahuah from speaking to us. I swear by His living Name that whoever caused this must die, even if it’s my own son Jonathan.”
And No one said a word, so Saul told his Army, “You stand on that side of the priest, then Jon and I will stand on the other side.” And everyone agreed. Then Saul spoke to Yahusha, “Our Yahuah, Alahim of Yisharal, why haven’t you answered me today? Please show us who’s disobeyed You. Was it my son Jon and I, or was it your people Yisharal?” And the answer came back that Jonathan or Saul had behaved disobediently, not the Army.
So Saul told Achiyah, “Ask Yahuah to decide between Jonathan and I.” And the answer came back that it was Jon. “Jonathan,” Saul scolded, “Tell me what you did!”
“I dipped the end of my walking stick into a honeycomb and ate some, and now you're saying I have to die for that?”
“Yes Jon. I swore to Yahuah and you broke it.”
“That's bull-crap!” the soldiers shouted, “Yahuah helped Jonathan win the battle for us, so we won’t let you kill him. We swear to Yahuah that we won’t let you kill him or even lay a hand on him!” So the Army kept Saul from killing Jonathan. Then Saul stopped hunting down the Philistines, and they all went home.
At the time Saul became King, the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Kings of Zobah, Philistines, and Amalekites had all been robbing and terrorising the Yisharalites. So Saul fought back against these enemies and stopped them from infringing on Yisharal and oppressing them. He was a brave commander and always won his battles.
Saul’s wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz and they had three sons: Jonathan, Ishvi and Malchishua. They also had two daughters, Merab, and the younger, Michal. Abner, Saul’s cousin, was the commander of the Army. Saul’s father Kish and Abner’s father Ner were sons of Abiel.
And Saul was at war with the Philistines for as long as he lived and whenever he found a good warrior or a brave man, Saul made him join his Army and fight.
While Saul was busy `talking smack' with the priests and fart-arsing around with his `war-council' deciding what play would make him look the most impressive in everyone's eyes, making stupid superstitious vows at the cost of his own men's lives ... his son Jon trusted Yahusha and forged on in belief, listening, proving and doing, and had a huge victory against the Philistines, despite being guilty of his Dad's `bad juju oath' !! ... I mean pleeeaaasse !!
SAUL MADE WAR WITH ALL THE SURROUNDING NATIONS
HEBREW: shaking to pieces, a dripping (like honey from the comb), to make overflow, or swim, quivering (i.e. vibrate up and down, or rock to and fro), sprinkling, rubbing, sawing, lifting up, waving (a sacrificial offering), move, offer, perfume, send, shake, sift, strike, elevating a situation.
SCRIPTURE:"The fear of Yahusha is clean, standing forever, and His Instructions totally upright, more desirable than fine gold and sweeter than honey from the honeycomb, and if we guard them there's great reward".PS 19 BRS
"A wise person chooses their words very carefully so as to not offend and is continually learning how to behave. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, SWEET to the spirit and healing to the body. There's a way that seems right to your self (to your mind) but it always ends in death".PROV 16 BRS
Saul’s army entered a forest region where apparently many large colonies of bees lived, and there was abundant honeycomb all over the place. Honey was a rare, prized item, not only for its wonderful taste but for its ability to revive a person who was in a famished or weakened condition, by rapidly raising their blood sugar levels (like the way chocolate was used by the military in WWII). But it means more than just the sweet product we borrow from bees. In antiquity it meant the sweet juice of almost any fruit (its nectar).
The Promised Land of Yisharal is described as being a land "flowing with milk and honey" a poetic sign of the abundance, ease, and prosperity to be found on the uncultivated land, where milk-giving goats and sheep were herded and wildflowers blossomed freely. The association of honey with the divine also made it a symbol of immortality, as the healing properties of honey act as a natural preservative, possessing strong antiseptic qualities, full of antioxidants, helping digestion and soothing a sore throat.
Honeycomb speaks very much to our behaviour; is it elevating, lifting, generous, offering, sweet (produced by incredible shaking, vibration and cracking open)? Is this us? YOU SWEET?
Both Ezekiel and John were told to eat a scroll containing a message that would be `sweet as honey to their mouth, but bitter to the stomach'. Even Jeremiah said, "Your words were found, I ate them, and they became such a joy to me, and the delight of my heart".As we've gone on from the first principles of elated joy, like honey in our mouth (where Yahusha fills us with great joy and lets us get away with our bad behaviours and ignorance for a time), we discover that Yahusha's Words begin leaving an aftertaste, a bitter realisation that makes us sick to our stomach. The metamorphosis has taken hold and we start comparing ourselves to His living words (like looking in a mirror) and ...
ALL THE POISONOUS WORMWOOD BILE STARTS BURNING OUT OF US. If we dig our heals in and stubbornly want our own way and our life to ourself then the shaking comes, the vibrating and the cracking open of our honeycombs ... so that the sweet honey can pour forth like lucious nectar and the healing oil of joy overflows, ALLOWING THE GOSPEL MESSAGE OF DELIVERANCE (ONLY EFFECTIVE WHEN BURNING IN US AS A PROOF AND EXAMPLE) TO SHINE BRIGHT THROUGH A TRANSFORMED BEHAVIOUR. It's time to shine!
Life is much more pleasant if you let Yahusha's sweetness flow voluntarily, rather than having to be constantly cracked in the head with His rod before you're willing to be pleasant and give over !
ARE THE WORDS FROM YOUR MOUTH SWEET AND SOOTHING TO THOSE AROUND YOU?