1 Samuel 14:27
But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: why he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.
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(27) He put forth the end of the rod.—Most likely, with the point of his staff took up a piece of the honeycomb. Jonathan in that hurried battle and pursuit had heard nothing of his father’s rash oath, and was, no doubt, owing to his exertions in the earlier part of that eventful day, worn out with fatigue and hunger.

And his eyes were enlightened.—This simply means that the natural dimness caused by extreme exhaustion passed away when his long fast was broken; literally, his eyes became bright. Hence the Talmud comments: “Whoever suffers from the effects of intense hunger, let him eat honey and other sweet things, for such eatables are efficacious in restoring the light of one’s eyes . . . Thus we read of Jonathan, “See, I pray you, how my eyes have been enlightened because I tasted a little of this honey” (1Samuel 14:27).—Treatise Yoma, fol. 83, Colossians 2.

1 Samuel 14:27-28. His eyes were enlightened — He was refreshed, and recovered his lost spirits. This cleared his sight, which was grown dim by hunger and faintness. Then answered one of the people — One of them that came with Saul, whose forces were now united with Jonathan’s.14:24-35 Saul's severe order was very unwise; if it gained time, it lost strength for the pursuit. Such is the nature of our bodies, that daily work cannot be done without daily bread, which therefore our Father in heaven graciously gives. Saul was turning aside from God, and now he begins to build altars, being then most zealous, as many are, for the form of godliness when he was denying the power of it.Were enlightened - i. e., he was refreshed, when he was faint. 25. all they of the land came to a wood; and there was honey—The honey is described as "upon the ground," "dropping" from the trees, and in honeycombs—indicating it to be bees' honey. "Bees in the East are not, as in England, kept in hives; they are all in a wild state. The forests literally flow with honey; large combs may be seen hanging on the trees as you pass along, full of honey" [Roberts]. Jonathan heard not, being then absent, and in pursuit of the Philistines, divers of the Israelites having joined themselves with him, 1 Samuel 14:21.

His eyes were enlightened; he was refreshed, and recovered his lost spirits, whereof part went into his optic nerves, and so cleared his sight, which was much darkened by famine, as is usual. But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath,.... Which charge was given, either before he came from Gibeah, before he came to Jonathan, or while pursuing, when Jonathan was with another party either fighting or pursuing:

wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand: the staff with which he walked, or rather the spear which he carried in his hand, and fought his enemies with:

and dipped it in an honeycomb; or sugar cane, as Jarchi; or in wood honey, as the margin of our Bibles; but best, in the honeycomb, as the word is rendered, Sol 5:1 and so the Targum, into the nest of honey (x):

and he put his hand to his mouth; first he took the honey off of the top of his rod, and then put it to his mouth and ate it:

and his eyes were enlightened: which before were dim and dull through want of food, which is a common case; but became brisk and lively on eating the honey, nourishment being presently communicated, and he refreshed with it, and his spirits revived; and which quickly appeared in the briskness and sparkling of his eyes: honey being of a subtle nature, gives immediate refreshment and rigour; hence this phrase is frequently used by Jewish writers (y) for refreshment, after hunger, fatigue, and weariness; and which virtue is ascribed by them to fine bread, wine, oil, and particularly to honey.

(x) "Progeniem nidosque fovent----", Virgil. Georgic. l. 4. ver. 56. (y) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 42. 1, 2. Yoma, fol. 18, 2. & 83. 1. Maimon. Hilch. Maacolot Asurot, c. 14. sect. 16.

But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his {n} eyes were enlightened.

(n) Which were dim before from weariness and hunger.

27. his eyes were enlightened] Cp. Psalm 13:3. His bodily powers were refreshed. The opposite idea is conveyed by the Heb. words for fainting, which are derived from roots meaning ‘to be shrouded in darkness.’Verse 27. - Jonathan, who had not been present when his father charged the people with the oath, - literally, "made the people swear," - dipped the end of his staff hastily, so as not to hinder the pursuit, in an honeycomb - Hebrew, "into the honey wood," i.e. into the hollow branch or trunk out of which the honey was flowing (but see Song of Solomon 5:1). His eyes were enlightened. I.e. made bright and clear, the dimness caused by excessive weariness having passed away. But this is a correction made by the Jews (kri), and the written text (c'tib) has "his eyes saw," which is more forcible and poetic. When the A.V. was made the kri was supposed to be authoritative, but most modern commentators have come to the opposite conclusion. "And the Hebrews were with the Philistines as before (yesterday and the day before yesterday), who had come along with them in the camp round about; they also came over to Israel, which was with Saul and Jonathan." סביב means distributed round about among the Philistines. Those Israelites whom the Philistines had incorporated into their army are called Hebrews, according to the name which was current among foreigners, whilst those who were with Saul are called Israel, according to the sacred name of the nation. The difficulty which many expositors have found in the word להיות has been very correctly solved, so far as the sense is concerned, by the earlier translators, by the interpolation of "they returned:" תבוּ (Chald.), ἐπεστράφησαν (lxx), reversi sunt (Vulg.), and similarly the Syriac and Arabic. We are not at liberty, however, to amend the Hebrew text in this manner, as nothing more is omitted than the finite verb היוּ before the infinitive להיות (for this construction, see Gesenius, Gramm. 132, 3, Anm. 1), and this might easily be left out here, since it stands at the beginning of the verse in the main clause. The literal rendering would be, they were to be with Israel, i.e., they came over to Israel. The fact that the Hebrews who were serving in the army of the Philistines came over to Saul and his host, and turned their weapons against their oppressors, naturally heightened the confusion in the camp of the Philistines, and accelerated their defeat; and this was still further increased by the fact that the Israelites who had concealed themselves on the mountains of Ephraim also joined the Israelitish army, as soon as they heard of the flight of the Philistines (1 Samuel 14:22).
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