11 About this time,[a] King Nahash of Ammon came with his army and surrounded the town of Jabesh in Gilead. The people who lived there told Nahash, “If you will sign a peace treaty with us, you can be our ruler, and we will pay taxes to you.”
2 Nahash answered, “Sure, I’ll sign a treaty! But not before I insult Israel by poking out the right eye of every man who lives in Jabesh.”
3 The town leaders said, “Give us seven days so we can send messengers everywhere in Israel to ask for help. If no one comes here to save us, we will surrender to you.”
4 Some of the messengers went to Gibeah, Saul’s hometown. They told what was happening at Jabesh, and everyone in Gibeah started crying. 5 Just then, Saul came in from the fields, walking behind his oxen.
“Why is everyone crying?” Saul asked.
They told him what the men from Jabesh had said. 6 Then the Spirit of God suddenly took control of Saul and made him furious. 7 Saul killed two of his oxen, cut them up in pieces, and gave the pieces to the[b] messengers. He told them to show the pieces to everyone in Israel and say, “Saul and Samuel are getting an army together. Come and join them. If you don’t, this is what will happen to your oxen!”
The Lord made the people of Israel terribly afraid. So all the men came together 8 at Bezek. Saul had them organized and counted. There were three hundred thousand from Israel and thirty thousand[c] from Judah.
9 Saul and his officers sent the messengers back to Jabesh with this promise: “We will rescue you tomorrow afternoon.” The messengers went back to the people at Jabesh and told them that they were going to be rescued.
Everyone was encouraged! 10 So they told the Ammonites, “We will surrender to you tomorrow, and then you can do whatever you want to.”
11 The next day, Saul divided his army into three groups and attacked before daylight. They started killing Ammonites and kept it up until afternoon. A few Ammonites managed to escape, but they were scattered far from each other.
12 The Israelite soldiers went to Samuel and demanded, “Where are the men who said they didn’t want Saul to be king? Bring them to us, and we will put them to death!”
13 “No you won’t!” Saul told them. “The Lord rescued Israel today, and no one will be put to death.”
Saul Is Accepted as King
14 “Come on!” Samuel said. “Let’s go to Gilgal and make an agreement that Saul will continue to be our king.”
15 Everyone went to the place of worship at Gilgal, where they agreed that Saul would be their king. Saul and the people sacrificed animals to ask for the Lord’s blessing,[d] and they had a big celebration.
10.27—11.1But Saul. . . time: The Standard Hebrew Text; the Dead Sea Scrolls add “King Nahash of Ammon was making the people of Gad and Reuben miserable. He was poking out everyone’s right eye, and no one in Israel could stop him. He had poked out the right eye of every Israelite man who lived east of the Jordan River. Only seven thousand men had escaped from the Ammonites, and they had gone into the town of Jabesh in Gilead. About a month later. . . “
11.8three hundred thousand. . . thirty thousand: The Dead Sea Scrolls and some ancient translations have different numbers.
11.15sacrificed. . . blessing: This kind of sacrifice is described in Leviticus 3; 7.11-36; 19.5-8. People who offered these sacrifices were allowed to eat most of the meat, and they could invite others to share it with them.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to remove banner ads and unlock new features!
For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!