Saul’s wife was named Ahinoam and with her he had three sons, Jonathan, Ishivi, and Malchi-shua and two daughters, Merab and Michal. His head general was his first cousin, Abner.
In the conflict with the Philistines, Saul set up camp with his 600 men in the pomegranate cave near Gibeah. Jonathan convinced his armor bearer/boy Friday to go with him to sneak into the nearby Philistine garrison. They had to navigate through a deep ravine or canyon, and the names of the two exits to this canyon were Pozez and Senech. Before exiting, Jonathan turned to his Boy Friday and was all, let’s practice some cledonomancy–if the Philistines tell us to stop and come down to us, we know we’re screwed, but if they holler for us to come up to them, we’ll know it’s a sign from God that It has given them into our hands.
When they emerged from the canyon, the Philistines were all, hey it looks like the Hebrew rats are finally crawling from their holes! Why don’t you crawl up here, little Hebrew rats, and we’ll show you a thing or two!
So Jonathan and Boy Friday climbed up the rocky cliff face and stood up, ready to fight. Jonathan’s first blow killed ten men, and Boy Friday was equally deadly. At that moment, the ground began to quake and the Philistines began panicking and fleeing, striking at anyone who stood in their way.
Back at camp, the watchmen brought word to Saul that the Philistine camp was in chaos, so Saul did a headcount and discovered that Jonathan was missing. He conferred with the Ark and the priest (Eli’s great-grandson), and God told him to go on the offensive. So out they marched.
Now when the traitor Hebrews who had sided with the Philistines saw the way the wind was blowing, they joined forces with Saul. Then all of the people hiding out in the mountains and caves joined Saul, and this mighty army pursued the Philistines all the way to Beth-aven.
During this war, on a day that the Hebrews were losing, Saul cursed any man who ate food before they had defeated the Philistines. Unfortunately, not everyone heard this oath, so when the troops were marching through a forest, when Jonathan spied a massive bee hive, he scooped out some honey to eat. It totally re-energized him and he encouraged others to snack. But everyone was all, oh no! Didn’t you hear that Saul cursed anyone who ate food before we defeated the Philistines? Jonathan was all, my dad’s dumb. I mean, look how energized I am. If you all were energized too, we’d totally defeat the Philistines in a jiff, but if you are all hangry and weak from low blood sugar, we’re in trouble.
Later, after the battle was over, the men were so hungry that they started devouring the sheep and oxen and things raw, without butchering them or draining the precious precious blood for God. Saul was horrified and was all, you fools! God hates it when Its meat isn’t treated properly! You’re going to bring Its wrath upon us! Stop! Roll that big stone over hear, and let’s get to sacrificing and then you can feast!
After the feast, Saul wanted to march on to ambush the Philistines, but when he asked Eli to consult with God, God didn’t answer. Saul was all, what did I do God? I kept them from eating the meat without sacrificing to you? Why are you angry with me? So the consulted the Umin and Thummin magic eight-ball and it was discovered that God was angry that Jonathan had broken Saul’s oath, yet had not been punished with death.
So Jonathan was brought before Saul, and Saul was all, Sorry, boy, but you ate that honey, and God will smite us if I don’t smite you.
The onlooking soldiers were all, What the fuck!? You’re going to kill Jonathan, our best warrior who has saved us all so many times? NO! So they pooled together and paid the ransom demanded by God.
Nevertheless, the opportunity to pursue the Philistines was lost.
Saul not only waged successful wars against the Philistinia, but also against Moab, Ammon, Edom, Zohah, and Amalek.