Daily Tanach Sunday: Shmuel 1 Chapter 14-Part 3 The battle against the Philistines

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

1.     Shaul asks the Urim Vetumum whether they should continue to battle the Philistines:

  • The priest said that they should bring the matter to G-d. So, Shaul asked G-d [through the Urim Vetumim] as to whether he should continue giving chase after the Philistines, and whether they would be handed to the hands of Israel if they were to do so.
  • Hashem does not answer Shaul’s question: However, Hashem did not answer him on that day.

2.     Shaul looks to discover who sinned amongst Israel and to put him to death:

  • Shaul asked for all the leaders of the nation to come forward so they can discover as due to what sin it is that Hashem refuses to answer them on that day. Shaul said “The living G-d has been for us a salvation on this day. [I swear that even[1]] if the sin is by my son Yonason, he will be put to death.” No one from amongst the nation replied to Shaul. Shaul then asked for all the people of Israel to be placed on one side, while he and his son Yonason will be placed on the other side [in order to make a lottery between them[2]]. The nation replied to Shaul that he should do as he sees fit.
  • The lottery falls on Yonason as the sinner: Shaul said to Hashem, the G-d of Israel: Bring us a pure and true lottery.[3] And so it was that the lottery fell on the side of Yonason and his son, and the remainder of the nation left [clean from being chosen by the lottery[4]]. Shaul then requested for the lottery to be done between him and his son Yonason, and so it was that the lottery fell on Yonason. Shaul turned to his son Yonason and asked him: Tell me, what [sin] did you do. So Yonason told his father that he had tasted from a small amount of honey from the tip of his staff, and that he is ready to die [for his sin].[5] So Shaul replied that so did G-d and so He should add[6], and that his son Yonason will be put to death.
  • The nation saves Yonason from death: The nation said to Shaul: How can Yonason, through whom the great salvation of Israel took place, be put to death. Heaven Forefend by the life of G-d, if even one hair may fall from his head, as [he has done a great favor[7]] with G-d on this day [by putting his life in jeopardy to help save the Jewish people[8]]. The nation had redeemed Yonason [by revoking his vow using Hataras Nedarim[9]], and so he did not die.

3.     Shaul continues the battle against the Philistines and other nations:

  • Shaul chased after the Philistines, and so the Philistines returned to their land. Shaul had established his monarchy over the Jewish people. He battled against all of his enemies, including Moav, Amon, Edom, Tzova and the Philistines. All the nations that he fought against, he won. He was successful in his battles and smote Amaleik and saved the Jewish people from all their instigators.

4.     Shaul’s family and general:

  • Sons: The sons of Shaul were Yonason, Yishvi [i.e. Avinadav[10]], Malki and Shua.
  • Daughters: He had two daughters named Meirav and Michal.
  • Wife: The name of the wife of Shaul was Achinoam the daughter of Achimatz.
  • General: The name of his general was Aviner [i.e. Avneir[11]] Ben Ner, who [i.e. Ner[12]] was the uncle of Shaul. His father’s name was Ner, the son of Aviel.
  • Father: Kish was the father of Shaul.

5.     The battle against the Philistines:

  • The battle against the Philistines was strong throughout all the reign of Shaul. Shaul gathered all the warriors and fighters to his army.


[1] Metzudos Dovid 14:39

[2] Rashi 14:40

[3] See Rashi 14:41; Radak 14:41

[4] Rashi 14:41Mahariy Karo 14:41

[5] See Metzudos Dovid 14:43; However, see Mahariy Karo ibid that this is Lashon Timyah

[6] See Metzudos Dovid 14:44

[7] Metzudos Dovid 14:45; Radak ibid

[8] Metzudos Dovid 14:45; Radak ibid

[9] Rashi 14:45

[10] Radak 14:48

[11] Mahariy Karo 14:50

[12] Rashi 14:50

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