Saul's Oath (1 Samuel 14:24-52; 1 Chronicles 5:10, 18-22) October 28
Once again Saul's rash behavior becomes an issue. He has made his troops swear that they will not eat anything until the battle is over. This weakens the troops, Jonathan inadvertently breaks the oath, and eventually, in their hunger, the troops ravenously devour the spoil without properly bleeding the animals. When Saul finally attempts to seek God's counsel again, at Ahijah's suggestion (verse 36), God does not answer. Saul concludes that somebody must have sinned in the previous battle (as at Jericho/Ai) and asks God to reveal the culprit by lot. He is surprised to learn it was his own sonwhom he then immediately condemns to death.
We can see here the "new Saul," an arrogant, defiant, heartless and self-willed manquite a long way from the man who hid rather than be proclaimed king. Saul's actions illustrate how bizarre and corrupt his thinking had become. He himself had disobeyed God and yet when his own son disobeys one of his own foolish commands, he decides that his son should die. Saul is prohibited from carrying out his intent because the people insist that this is going too far, and they refuse to let Jonathan be killed. After all, Jonathan had not even heard Saul's oath.
Saul continues to expand the kingdom against the nations around them. The accompanying passage from Chronicles highlights some of the additional wars being fought, during this time of Israelite strength and expansion, by the tribes east of the Jordan.