Saul’s Deliverance of Jabesh-gilead

11 Nahash[a](A) the Ammonite came up and laid siege to Jabesh-gilead.(B) All the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treaty(C) with us, and we will serve you.”

Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I’ll make one with you on this condition: that I gouge out everyone’s right eye(D) and humiliate all Israel.”(E)

“Don’t do anything to us for seven days,” the elders of Jabesh said to him, “and let us send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. If no one saves us, we will surrender to you.”

When the messengers came to Gibeah,(F) Saul’s hometown, and told the terms to the people, all wept aloud.(G) Just then Saul was coming in from the field behind his oxen. “What’s the matter with the people? Why are they weeping?” Saul inquired, and they repeated to him the words of the men from Jabesh.

When Saul heard these words, the Spirit of God suddenly came powerfully on him,(H) and his anger burned furiously. He took a team of oxen, cut them in pieces,(I) and sent them throughout the territory of Israel by messengers who said, “This is what will be done to the ox of anyone who doesn’t march behind Saul and Samuel.”(J) As a result, the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they went out united.(K)

Saul counted them at Bezek.(L) There were three hundred thousand[b](M) Israelites and thirty thousand[c] men from Judah. He told the messengers who had come, “Tell this to the men of Jabesh-gilead: ‘Deliverance will be yours tomorrow by the time the sun is hot.’” So the messengers told the men of Jabesh, and they rejoiced.

10 Then the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Tomorrow we will come out, and you can do whatever you want to us.”

11 The next day Saul organized the troops into three divisions.(N) During the morning watch, they invaded the Ammonite camp and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. There were survivors, but they were so scattered that no two of them were left together.

Saul’s Confirmation as King

12 Afterward, the people said to Samuel, “Who said that Saul should not[d] reign over us?(O) Give us those men so we can kill them!” (P)

13 But Saul ordered, “No one will be executed this day, for today the Lord has provided deliverance in Israel.”(Q)

14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let’s go to Gilgal, so we can renew the kingship there.” 15 So all the people went to Gilgal, and there in the Lord’s presence(R) they made Saul king. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings(S) in the Lord’s presence, and Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

Samuel’s Final Public Speech

12 Then Samuel said to all Israel, “I have carefully listened to everything you said to me and placed a king over you.(T) Now you can see that the king is leading you. As for me, I’m old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have led you from my youth until now. Here I am. Bring charges against me before the Lord and his anointed: Whose ox or donkey have I taken?(U) Who have I wronged or mistreated? Who gave me a bribe to overlook something?[e](V) I will return it to you.”

“You haven’t wronged us, you haven’t mistreated us, and you haven’t taken anything from anyone,” they responded.

He said to them, “The Lord is a witness against you, and his anointed is a witness today that you haven’t found anything(W) in my hand.”(X)

“He is a witness,” they said.

Then Samuel said to the people, “The Lord, who appointed Moses and Aaron(Y) and who brought your ancestors up from the land of Egypt, is a witness.[f] Now present yourselves, so I may confront you before the Lord about all the righteous acts he has done for you and your ancestors.

“When Jacob went to Egypt,[g] your ancestors cried out to the Lord,(Z) and he sent them Moses and Aaron, who led your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.(AA) But they forgot the Lord their God, so he handed them over to Sisera(AB) commander of the army of Hazor, to the Philistines, and to the king of Moab.(AC) These enemies fought against them. 10 Then they cried out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned, for we abandoned the Lord and worshiped the Baals and the Ashtoreths. Now rescue us from the power of our enemies,(AD) and we will serve you.’ 11 So the Lord sent Jerubbaal,(AE) Barak,[h](AF) Jephthah,(AG) and Samuel.(AH) He rescued you from the power of the enemies around you, and you lived securely. 12 But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was coming against you, you said to me, ‘No, we must have a king reign over us’—even though the Lord your God is your king.

13 “Now here is the king you’ve chosen,(AI) the one you requested.(AJ) Look, this is the king the Lord has placed over you. 14 If you fear the Lord,(AK) worship and obey him, and if you don’t rebel against the Lord’s command, then both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God. 15 However, if you disobey the Lord(AL) and rebel against his command, the Lord’s hand will be against you(AM) as it was against your ancestors.[i](AN)

16 “Now, therefore, present yourselves and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes.(AO) 17 Isn’t the wheat harvest today?(AP) I will call on the Lord, and he will send thunder and rain so that you will recognize what an immense evil you committed in the Lord’s sight by requesting a king for yourselves.”(AQ) 18 Samuel called on the Lord, and on that day the Lord sent thunder and rain. As a result, all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.(AR)

19 They pleaded with Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants(AS) so we won’t die! For we have added to all our sins the evil of requesting a king for ourselves.”(AT)

20 Samuel replied, “Don’t be afraid. Even though you have committed all this evil, don’t turn away from following the Lord.(AU) Instead, worship the Lord with all your heart. 21 Don’t turn away to follow worthless[j] things that can’t profit or rescue you; they are worthless.(AV) 22 The Lord will not abandon his people,(AW) because of his great name and because he has determined to make you his own people.(AX)

23 “As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you.(AY) I will teach you the good and right way. 24 Above all, fear the Lord and worship him faithfully with all your heart; consider the great things he has done for you.(AZ) 25 However, if you continue to do what is evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”(BA)

Footnotes

  1. 11:1 DSS, LXX read About a month later, Nahash
  2. 11:8 LXX reads 600,000
  3. 11:8 DSS, LXX read 70,000
  4. 11:12 Some Hb mss, LXX; other Hb mss omit not
  5. 12:3 LXX reads bribe or a pair of shoes? Testify against me.
  6. 12:6 LXX; MT omits is a witness
  7. 12:8 LXX reads “When Jacob and his sons went to Egypt and Egypt humbled them
  8. 12:11 LXX, Syr; MT reads Bedan; Jdg 4:6; Heb 11:32
  9. 12:15 LXX against you and against your king
  10. 12:21 LXX reads away after empty

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