1 Samuel 14:6 Commentary: Jonathan’s Defiant Stand

1 Samuel 14:6 commentary

Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.”

1 Samuel 14:6, ESV

1 Samuel 14:6 Commentary

In 1 Samuel 14:6, we find a pivotal moment in the life of Jonathan, the son of King Saul. As the Israelites face the Philistine army, Jonathan, accompanied only by his armor-bearer, expresses a profound faith in God’s ability to save, saying, “Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.” This declaration is set against a backdrop of Israelite fear and uncertainty as they face a formidable foe. The historical and cultural setting is one of conflict and divine testing, showcasing the struggles and faith of God’s chosen people.

The narrative context of this verse is critical; it’s a part of the larger story of Israel’s battles with the Philistines and Saul’s kingship. Theologically, it highlights God’s sovereignty and the importance of faith in His power to deliver and save (Psalm 33:16-17).

Jonathan’s act is not just a military endeavor but a statement affirming that victory comes from God, not numbers or strength.

The verse’s language emphasizes the omnipotence and faithfulness of God. Jonathan’s words are a testament to his deep trust in God’s providential care, reflecting a theology that reverberates throughout the scriptures. The ethical and moral implications are exemplary; encouraging individuals to act in faith and courage, trusting in God’s ultimate power and plan, even when human odds are against them.

For the contemporary Christian, this verse challenges believers to consider where they place their trust, especially in times of fear and uncertainty, calling for a faith that believes in God’s power to work beyond human limitations and for a courage that stands against overwhelming odds.

The verse’s narrative is echoed in other parts of the Bible, such as David’s faith in facing Goliath (1 Samuel 17:45-47) and Paul’s teachings on God’s strength in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10), providing a broader biblical context to the theme of divine power and human trust.

1 Samuel 14:6 is a powerful testament to the kind of faith that trusts in God’s ability to save and challenges readers to reflect on their trust in God’s power, encouraging a faith that is courageous and unwavering in the face of daunting circumstances. This verse is stark a reminder that the true battle is won not by numbers or might, but by faith in the One who holds all victory in His hands.

Read 1 Samuel 14:6 in Additional Translations

And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.

1 Samuel 14:6, KJV

Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”

1 Samuel 14:6, NIV

“Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”

1 Samuel 14:6, NLT

Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.”

1 Samuel 14:6, NKJV

Jonathan said to the attendant who carried his weapons, “Come on, let’s cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will help us. Nothing can keep the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”

1 Samuel 14:6, CSB