11 Nahash[a] the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead. And all the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treaty with us, and we will be subject to you.”
2 But Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I will make a treaty with you only on the condition that I gouge out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace on all Israel.”
3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue us, we will surrender to you.”
4 When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and reported these terms to the people, they all wept aloud.5 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.
6 When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger.7 He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, “This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel.” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out together as one.8 When Saul mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and those of Judah thirty thousand.
9 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 to you, and you can do to us whatever you like.”
11 The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites 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 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, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.”
14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.”15 So all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul king in the presence of the Lord. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.
1 Samuel 11:1Masoretic 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, 1 Nahash
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:
“Woe to Nebo, for it will be ruined. Kiriathaim will be disgraced and captured; the stronghold[a] will be disgraced and shattered. 2 Moab will be praised no more; in Heshbon[b] people will plot her downfall: ‘Come, let us put an end to that nation.’ You, the people of Madmen,[c] will also be silenced; the sword will pursue you. 3 Cries of anguish arise from Horonaim, cries of great havoc and destruction. 4 Moab will be broken; her little ones will cry out.[d] 5 They go up the hill to Luhith, weeping bitterly as they go; on the road down to Horonaim anguished cries over the destruction are heard. 6 Flee! Run for your lives; become like a bush[e] in the desert. 7 Since you trust in your deeds and riches, you too will be taken captive, and Chemosh will go into exile, together with his priests and officials. 8 The destroyer will come against every town, and not a town will escape. The valley will be ruined and the plateau destroyed, because the Lord has spoken. 9 Put salt on Moab, for she will be laid waste[f]; her towns will become desolate, with no one to live in them.
10 “A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work! A curse on anyone who keeps their sword from bloodshed!
11 “Moab has been at rest from youth, like wine left on its dregs, not poured from one jar to another— she has not gone into exile. So she tastes as she did, and her aroma is unchanged. 12 But days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will send men who pour from pitchers, and they will pour her out; they will empty her pitchers and smash her jars. 13 Then Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh, as Israel was ashamed when they trusted in Bethel.
14 “How can you say, ‘We are warriors, men valiant in battle’? 15 Moab will be destroyed and her towns invaded; her finest young men will go down in the slaughter,” declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty. 16 “The fall of Moab is at hand; her calamity will come quickly. 17 Mourn for her, all who live around her, all who know her fame; say, ‘How broken is the mighty scepter, how broken the glorious staff!’
18 “Come down from your glory and sit on the parched ground, you inhabitants of Daughter Dibon, for the one who destroys Moab will come up against you and ruin your fortified cities. 19 Stand by the road and watch, you who live in Aroer. Ask the man fleeing and the woman escaping, ask them, ‘What has happened?’ 20 Moab is disgraced, for she is shattered. Wail and cry out! Announce by the Arnon that Moab is destroyed. 21 Judgment has come to the plateau— to Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath, 22 to Dibon, Nebo and Beth Diblathaim, 23 to Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul and Beth Meon, 24 to Kerioth and Bozrah— to all the towns of Moab, far and near. 25 Moab’s horn[g] is cut off; her arm is broken,” declares the Lord.
26 “Make her drunk, for she has defied the Lord. Let Moab wallow in her vomit; let her be an object of ridicule. 27 Was not Israel the object of your ridicule? Was she caught among thieves, that you shake your head in scorn whenever you speak of her? 28 Abandon your towns and dwell among the rocks, you who live in Moab. Be like a dove that makes its nest at the mouth of a cave.
29 “We have heard of Moab’s pride— how great is her arrogance!— of her insolence, her pride, her conceit and the haughtiness of her heart. 30 I know her insolence but it is futile,” declares the Lord, “and her boasts accomplish nothing. 31 Therefore I wail over Moab, for all Moab I cry out, I moan for the people of Kir Hareseth. 32 I weep for you, as Jazer weeps, you vines of Sibmah. Your branches spread as far as the sea[h]; they reached as far as[i] Jazer. The destroyer has fallen on your ripened fruit and grapes. 33 Joy and gladness are gone from the orchards and fields of Moab. I have stopped the flow of wine from the presses; no one treads them with shouts of joy. Although there are shouts, they are not shouts of joy.
34 “The sound of their cry rises from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz, from Zoar as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah, for even the waters of Nimrim are dried up. 35 In Moab I will put an end to those who make offerings on the high places and burn incense to their gods,” declares the Lord. 36 “So my heart laments for Moab like the music of a pipe; it laments like a pipe for the people of Kir Hareseth. The wealth they acquired is gone. 37 Every head is shaved and every beard cut off; every hand is slashed and every waist is covered with sackcloth. 38 On all the roofs in Moab and in the public squares there is nothing but mourning, for I have broken Moab like a jar that no one wants,” declares the Lord. 39 “How shattered she is! How they wail! How Moab turns her back in shame! Moab has become an object of ridicule, an object of horror to all those around her.”
40 This is what the Lord says:
“Look! An eagle is swooping down, spreading its wings over Moab. 41 Kerioth[j] will be captured and the strongholds taken. In that day the hearts of Moab’s warriors will be like the heart of a woman in labor. 42 Moab will be destroyed as a nation because she defied the Lord. 43 Terror and pit and snare await you, you people of Moab,” declares the Lord. 44 “Whoever flees from the terror will fall into a pit, whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a snare; for I will bring on Moab the year of her punishment,” declares the Lord.
45 “In the shadow of Heshbon the fugitives stand helpless, for a fire has gone out from Heshbon, a blaze from the midst of Sihon; it burns the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of the noisy boasters. 46 Woe to you, Moab! The people of Chemosh are destroyed; your sons are taken into exile and your daughters into captivity.
47 “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come,” declares the Lord.
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