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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11 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee.

And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel.

And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, Give us seven days' respite, that we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel: and then, if there be no man to save us, we will come out to thee.

Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and told the tidings in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept.

And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh.

And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.

And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.

And when he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.

And they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall ye say unto the men of Jabeshgilead, To morrow, by that time the sun be hot, ye shall have help. And the messengers came and shewed it to the men of Jabesh; and they were glad.

10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, To morrow we will come out unto you, and ye shall do with us all that seemeth good unto you.

11 And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.

12 And the people said unto Samuel, Who is he that said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death.

13 And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day: for to day the Lord hath wrought salvation in Israel.

14 Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there.

15 And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal; and there they sacrificed sacrifices of peace offerings before the Lord; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

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