1 Samuel 11-13 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Saul Defeats the Ammonites
11 Now Nahash the [a]Ammonite [king] went up and [b]besieged Jabesh-gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a treaty [of peace] with us and we will serve you.” 2 But Nahash the Ammonite told them, “I will make a treaty with you on this condition, that I will [c]gouge out the right eye of every one of you, and make it a disgrace upon all Israel.” 3 The elders of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Give us seven days so that we may send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out [and surrender] to you.” 4 [d]Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the news to the people; and all the people raised their voices and wept aloud.
5 Now Saul was coming out of the field behind the oxen, and he said, “What is the matter with the people that they are weeping?” So they told him about the report of the men of Jabesh. 6 The Spirit of God came upon Saul mightily when he heard these words, and he became extremely angry. 7 He took a team of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, “Whoever does not come out to follow Saul and Samuel, the same shall be done to his oxen.” Then fear of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out [united] as one man [with one purpose]. 8 He assembled and counted them at Bezek; and the sons of Israel numbered 300,000, and the men of Judah 30,000. 9 They said to the messengers who had come, “You shall say to the men of Jabesh-gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you will have [e]help [against the Ammonites].’” So the messengers came and reported this to the men of Jabesh; and they were overjoyed. 10 So the men of Jabesh said [to Nahash the Ammonite], “Tomorrow we will come out to you [to surrender], and you may do to us whatever seems good to you.” 11 The next morning Saul put the men into three companies; and they entered the [Ammonites’] camp during the [darkness of the early] morning watch and killed the Ammonites until the heat of the day; and the survivors were scattered, and no two of them were left together.
12 The people said to Samuel, “Who is the one who said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Bring the men, and we will put them to death.” 13 But Saul said, “No man shall be put to death this day, for today the Lord has brought [f]victory to Israel.”
14 Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there restore the kingdom.” 15 So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal. There they also sacrificed peace offerings before the Lord; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.
Samuel Addresses Israel
12 Then Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have listened to your voice in everything that you have said to me and have appointed a king over you. 2 And now, here is the king walking before you. As for me, I am old and gray, and here are my sons with you. I have walked before you from my childhood to this day. 3 Here I am; testify against me before the Lord and [Saul] His anointed [if I have done someone wrong]. Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I exploited? Whom have I oppressed or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes [to the truth]? [Tell me and] I will restore it to you.” 4 They said, “You have not exploited us or oppressed us or taken anything at all from a man’s hand.” 5 Samuel said to them, “The Lord is a witness against you, and [Saul] His anointed is a witness this day that you have not found anything in my hand.” And they answered, “He is a witness.”
6 Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your fathers (ancestors) up from the land of Egypt. 7 Now then, take your stand, so that I may plead and contend with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous acts of the Lord which He did for you and for your fathers. 8 When Jacob [and his sons] had come into Egypt [and later when the Egyptians oppressed them] and your [g]fathers cried out to the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron who brought your fathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place. 9 But when they forgot the Lord their God, He sold them into the hand of [h]Sisera, commander of Hazor’s army, and into the hand of the Philistines and of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10 They cried out to the Lord, saying, ‘We have sinned because we have abandoned (rejected) the Lord and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth; but now rescue us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve You.’ 11 Then the Lord sent Jerubbaal (Gideon) and [i]Bedan and Jephthah and Samuel, and He rescued you from the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in security.
The King Confirmed
12 But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites had come against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us’—although the Lord your God was your King. 13 Now therefore, here is [Saul] the king whom you have chosen, and for whom you asked; behold, the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you will fear the Lord [with awe and profound reverence] and serve Him and listen to His voice and not rebel against His commandment, then both you and your king will follow the Lord your God [and it will be well]. 15 But if you do not listen to the Lord’s voice, but rebel against His [j]command, then the hand of the Lord will be against you [to punish you], as it was against your fathers. 16 So now, take your stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes. 17 Is it not [the beginning of the] wheat harvest today? I will call to the Lord and He will send thunder and rain; then you will know [without any doubt], and see that your evil which you have done is great in the sight of the Lord by asking for yourselves a king.” 18 So Samuel called to the Lord [in prayer], and He sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
19 Then all the people said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants, [k]so that we will not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil—to ask for a king for ourselves.” 20 Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid. You have [indeed] done all this evil; yet do not turn away from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 You must not turn away, for then you would go after futile things which cannot profit or rescue, because they are futile. 22 The Lord will not abandon His people for His great name’s sake, because the Lord has been pleased to make you a people for Himself. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way. 24 Only fear the Lord [with awe and profound reverence] and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. 25 But if you still do evil, both you and your king will be swept away [to destruction].”
War with the Philistines
2 Saul chose for himself 3,000 men of Israel; of whom 2,000 were with him in Michmash and in the hill country of Bethel, while 1,000 were with Jonathan at Gibeah of Benjamin. But he sent the rest of the people away, each one to his own tent. 3 Jonathan attacked and defeated the Philistine garrison which was at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul blew the trumpet throughout the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” 4 All Israel heard that Saul had defeated the Philistine garrison, and also that Israel had become despicable to the Philistines. And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.
5 Now the Philistines gathered to fight against Israel, 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, and troops in multitude, like sand on the seashore. They came up and camped at Michmash, east of Beth-aven. 6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in a tight situation (for their troops were hard-pressed), they hid in caves, in thickets, in cellars, and in [dry] cisterns (pits). 7 Also some of the Hebrews had crossed the [river] Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him, trembling [in fear and anticipation].
8 Now Saul waited seven days, according to the appointed time which Samuel had set, but Samuel had not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering away from Saul. 9 So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” And [o]he offered the burnt offering [which he was forbidden to do]. 10 As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, [p]Samuel finally came; Saul went out to meet and to [q]welcome him. 11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul said, “Since I saw that the people were scattering away from me, and that you did not come within the appointed time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, 12 therefore, I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not asked for the Lord’s favor [by making supplication to Him].’ So I forced myself to offer the burnt offering.” 13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for [if you had obeyed] the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man (David) after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as leader and ruler over His people, because you have not kept (obeyed) what the Lord commanded you.”
15 Then Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul assembled and counted the people who were still with him, [only] about six hundred [fighting] men. 16 Saul and his son Jonathan and the people with them were staying in Geba of Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Michmash. 17 And the raiding party came from the Philistine camp in three companies: one company turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual, 18 another company turned toward Beth-horon, and another toward the border overlooking the Valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.
19 Now no [r]blacksmith (metal-worker) could be found in all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears.” 20 So all [the men of] Israel went down to the Philistines, each to get his plowshare, pick, axe, or sickle sharpened. 21 The fee [for sharpening] was a pim (two-thirds of a shekel) for the plowshares, the picks, the pitchforks, and the axes, and to straighten the goads (cattle prods). 22 So it came about on the day of battle that [s]neither sword nor spear was found in the hands of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan; but Saul and Jonathan his son had them. 23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass at Michmash.
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