Saul’s Deliverance of Jabesh-gilead

11 Nahash[a](A) the Ammonite came up and laid siege to Jabesh-gilead.(B) All the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treaty(C) with us, and we will serve you.”

Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I’ll make one with you on this condition: that I gouge out everyone’s right eye(D) and humiliate all Israel.”(E)

“Don’t do anything to us for seven days,” the elders of Jabesh said to him, “and let us send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. If no one saves us, we will surrender to you.”

When the messengers came to Gibeah,(F) Saul’s hometown, and told the terms to[b] the people, all wept aloud.(G) Just then Saul was coming in from the field behind his oxen. “What’s the matter with the people? Why are they weeping?” Saul inquired, and they repeated to him the words of the men from Jabesh.

When Saul heard these words, the Spirit of God suddenly came powerfully on him,(H) and his anger burned furiously. He took a team of oxen, cut them in pieces,(I) and sent them throughout the territory of Israel by messengers who said, “This is what will be done to the ox of anyone who doesn’t march behind Saul and Samuel.”(J) As a result, the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they went out united.(K)

Saul counted them at Bezek.(L) There were three hundred thousand[c](M) Israelites and thirty thousand[d] men from Judah. He told the messengers who had come, “Tell this to the men of Jabesh-gilead: ‘Deliverance will be yours tomorrow by the time the sun is hot.’” So the messengers told the men of Jabesh, and they rejoiced.

10 Then the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Tomorrow we will come out, and you can do whatever you want[e] to us.”

11 The next day Saul organized the troops into three divisions.(N) During the morning watch, they invaded the Ammonite camp and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. There were survivors, but they were so scattered that no two of them were left together.

Saul’s Confirmation as King

12 Afterward, the people said to Samuel, “Who said that Saul should not[f] reign over us?(O) Give us those men so we can kill them!” (P)

13 But Saul ordered, “No one will be executed this day, for today the Lord has provided deliverance in Israel.”(Q)

14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let’s go to Gilgal, so we can renew the kingship there.” 15 So all the people went to Gilgal, and there in the Lord’s presence(R) they made Saul king. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings(S) in the Lord’s presence, and Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

Footnotes

  1. 11:1 DSS, LXX read About a month later, Nahash
  2. 11:4 Lit in the ears of
  3. 11:8 LXX reads 600,000
  4. 11:8 DSS, LXX read 70,000
  5. 11:10 Lit do what is good in your eyes
  6. 11:12 Some Hb mss, LXX; other Hb mss omit not

Saul Rescues the City of Jabesh

11 Nahash[a](A) the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead.(B) And all the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treaty(C) with us, and we will be subject to you.”

But Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I will make a treaty with you only on the condition(D) that I gouge(E) out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace(F) on all Israel.”

The elders(G) of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue(H) us, we will surrender(I) to you.”

When the messengers came to Gibeah(J) of Saul and reported these terms to the people, they all wept(K) aloud. Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen, and he asked, “What is wrong with everyone? Why are they weeping?” Then they repeated to him what the men of Jabesh had said.

When Saul heard their words, the Spirit(L) of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger. He took a pair of oxen,(M) cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel,(N) proclaiming, “This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone(O) who does not follow Saul and Samuel.” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out together as one.(P) When Saul mustered(Q) them at Bezek,(R) the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and those of Judah thirty thousand.

They told the messengers who had come, “Say to the men of Jabesh Gilead, ‘By the time the sun is hot tomorrow, you will be rescued.’” When the messengers went and reported this to the men of Jabesh, they were elated. 10 They said to the Ammonites, “Tomorrow we will surrender(S) to you, and you can do to us whatever you like.”

11 The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions;(T) during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites(U) and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

Saul Confirmed as King

12 The people then said to Samuel, “Who(V) was it that asked, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Turn these men over to us so that we may put them to death.”

13 But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today,(W) for this day the Lord has rescued(X) Israel.”

14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal(Y) and there renew the kingship.(Z) 15 So all the people went to Gilgal(AA) and made Saul king(AB) in the presence of the Lord. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 11:1 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls gifts. Now Nahash king of the Ammonites oppressed the Gadites and Reubenites severely. He gouged out all their right eyes and struck terror and dread in Israel. Not a man remained among the Israelites beyond the Jordan whose right eye was not gouged out by Nahash king of the Ammonites, except that seven thousand men fled from the Ammonites and entered Jabesh Gilead. About a month later, Nahash

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