Add parallel Print Page Options

11 So after a month had passed, Nahash the Ammonite besieged Jabesh-gilead. The men of Jabesh tried to make a treaty with Nahash, telling him they would serve him.

Nahesh: I will make this treaty with you on one condition: I will put out the right eye of every one of you and so humiliate Israel.

Elders: Give us seven days to send messengers throughout Israel. If no one comes to deliver us, we will surrender to you.

When the messengers reached Gibeah, where Saul was ruling, they told the people about Nahash and his cruelty, and it made them weep out loud. Now Saul was just coming in from plowing in the fields when he heard the commotion.

Saul: What has happened? Why is everyone so sad?

So they told the king about the predicament and request from the people of Jabesh. When he heard their story, the Spirit of the True God moved upon Saul, and he was furious. He took a team of oxen, just like the one he had just been plowing the fields with, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces throughout the land of Israel with his first royal decree: “May those who refuse to answer this call from Saul and Samuel have their oxen torn apart like this!” Because they were afraid of making the Eternal One angry, people from every tribe came forward to fight as one.

Saul gathered them at Bezek, and the Israelites numbered 300,000 fighting men, with Judah providing 30,000. The messengers who had come from Jabesh were sent back to tell the people in Jabesh-gilead to look for deliverance before the heat of the next day. They were thrilled by the news.

10 So the citizens of Jabesh sent a message to Nahash.

People of Jabesh: Tomorrow we will surrender to you, and you may do whatever you wish to us.

11 The next morning Saul divided the people into three regiments; they entered the Ammonite camp that night under the cloak of darkness during the morning watch and slaughtered the soldiers until the next afternoon. The survivors were so few and so scattered you could not find two Ammonites together.

People (to Samuel): 12 Who are those people who jeered, “Is Saul going to be our king?” Where are they now? Hand them over so we can kill them!

Saul: 13 No. Not one man will be executed today because the Eternal One has given a great victory to Israel.

Samuel (to the people): 14 Come with me to Gilgal. There we will renew the kingdom and crown Saul as our king.

15 So representatives from all the tribes went to Gilgal. There Saul was installed as king of Israel before the Eternal One; then they joyfully offered peace offerings to the Eternal, and Saul and all the Israelites celebrated.

Bible Gateway Recommends