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Jonathan was the son of Saul, prince of Israel and close companion with David. Jonathan's friendship with David, lead to great tension with his father, who hated David. Jonathan served a prominent role in the Israelite military under the direction of his father, especially against the Philistines.
Nothing is mentioned in the biblical record about Jonathan's early life. It can be inferred that Jonathan was born to Saul the Benjamite and a woman named Ahinoam. For some part of his life he lived in the city of Gibeah. Jonathan would have been around the age of eighteen to twenty when he fought his first battle.
Warring Against the Philistines
In the second year of Saul's reign, Saul conscripted men to fight against Philistia. Jonathan was assigned a one-thousand man garrison stationed in Gibeah. With his thousand-men, Jonathan attacked and successfully defeated the Philistine garrison at Geba.
After this, Saul summoned the entire army to Gibeah and then to Geba were Jonathan was at. Once the Israelite military mobilized, the Philistine army split into three raiding camps to attack Ophrah, Beth-horon and the border of the Zeboim valley