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Saul Defeats the Ammonites

11 Now Nahash the Ammonite went up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead. All the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a treaty with us[a] and we will serve you.” But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “On this condition I will make a treaty[b] with you, by gouging out the right eye of each of you, so that I can make it a disgrace for all Israel.” So the elders of Jabesh said to him, “Leave us alone for seven days so that we may send messengers in all the territory of Israel, and if there is no deliverer for us, then we will come out to you.” When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul, they reported these things to[c] the people. Then all the people lifted up their voices and wept. Just then,[d] Saul was coming from the field behind the cattle. Saul said, “What is the matter with the people, that they are weeping?” So they recounted to him the words of the men of Jabesh.

Then the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and he became very angry.[e] So he took a yoke of oxen and cut them into pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hand of the messengers, saying, “Whoever is not going out after Saul and after Samuel, so will it be done to his oxen.” Then the fear of Yahweh fell on the people and they went out as one man. He mustered them at Bezek; the Israelites[f] were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah were thirty thousand. They said to the messengers who had come, “Thus you will say to the men of Jabesh Gilead: ‘Tomorrow deliverance for you will come when the sun is hot.’”[g] When the messengers went and told the men of Jabesh, they rejoiced. 10 The men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you and you may do to us whatever seems good to you.”[h] 11 And the[i] next day Saul placed the people in three divisions. Then they came into the middle of the camp at the early morning watch[j] and struck down the Ammonites[k] until the heat of the day. It happened that the remainder were scattered so that no two among them remained together.[l] 12 Then the people said to Samuel, “Who is the one who asked, ‘Will Saul reign over us?’ Give the men to us that we may kill them.” 13 But Saul said, “No one will be put to death on this day, because today[m] Yahweh has provided deliverance in Israel.”

14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal, and let us renew the kingship there.” 15 So all the people went to Gilgal and they made Saul king there before Yahweh in Gilgal. They sacrificed fellowship offerings there before Yahweh. Then Saul rejoiced there greatly along with all the men of Israel.


  1. 1 Samuel 11:1 Literally “Cut with us a covenant”
  2. 1 Samuel 11:2 Literally “I will cut”
  3. 1 Samuel 11:4 Literally “they spoke the words in the ears of”
  4. 1 Samuel 11:5 Literally “And look/behold”
  5. 1 Samuel 11:6 Literally “his nose became very hot”
  6. 1 Samuel 11:8 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  7. 1 Samuel 11:9 Literally “at the heating of the sun”
  8. 1 Samuel 11:10 Literally “as all of the good that is in your eyes”
  9. 1 Samuel 11:11 Literally “and it happened the”
  10. 1 Samuel 11:11 Literally “at the night watch of the morning”
  11. 1 Samuel 11:11 Literally “Ammon”
  12. 1 Samuel 11:11 Literally “and they did not remain among them two together”
  13. 1 Samuel 11:13 Literally “the day”