Now the men of Israel were hard-pressed on that day, for Saul had put the people under oath, saying, "Cursed be the man who eats food before evening, and until I have avenged myself on my enemies." So none of the people tasted food.
All [the people of] the land entered the forest, and there was honey on the ground.
When the people entered the forest, behold, [there was] a flow of honey; but no man put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath.
But Jonathan had not heard when his father put the people under oath; therefore, he put out the end of the staff that [was] in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened.
Then one of the people said, "Your father strictly put the people under oath, saying, 'Cursed be the man who eats food today.'" And the people were weary.
Then Saul said, "Let us go down after the Philistines by night and take spoil among them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them." And they said, "Do whatever seems good to you." So the priest said, "Let us draw near to God here."
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 on that day.
Saul said, "Draw near here, all you chiefs of the people, and investigate and see how this sin has happened today.
"For as the LORD lives, who delivers Israel, though it is in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die." But not one of all the people answered him.
Then he said to all Israel, "You shall be on one side and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side." And the people said to Saul, "Do what seems good to you."
Therefore, Saul said to the LORD, the God of Israel, "Give a perfect [lot]." And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped.
Saul said, "Cast [lots] between me and Jonathan my son." And Jonathan was taken.
Then Saul said to Jonathan, "Tell me what you have done." So Jonathan told him and said, "I indeed tasted a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am, I must die!"
Saul said, "May God do this [to me] and more also, for you shall surely die, Jonathan."
But the people said to Saul, "Must Jonathan die, who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Far from it! As the LORD lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day." So the people rescued Jonathan and he did not die.