Saul’s Deliverance of Jabesh-gilead
1Nahash#11:1 DSS, LXX read About a month later, Nahash#1Sm 12:12 the Ammonite came up and laid siege to Jabesh-gilead.#1Sm 12:12; 31:11 All the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treaty#1Kg 20:34; Ezk 17:13 with us, and we will serve you.”
2Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I’ll make one with you on this condition: that I gouge out everyone’s right eye#Nm 16:14 and humiliate all Israel.”#1Sm 17:26; Ps 44:13
3“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.”
4When the messengers came to Gibeah,#1Sm 10:26; 15:34 Saul’s hometown, and told the terms to#11:4 Lit in the ears of the people, all wept aloud.#Gn 27:38; Jdg 2:4 5Just 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.
6When Saul heard these words, the Spirit of God suddenly came powerfully on him,#Jdg 14:6; 1Sm 10:10 and his anger burned furiously. 7He took a team of oxen, cut them in pieces,#Jdg 19:29 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.”#Jdg 21:5,8,10 As a result, the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they went out united.#Jdg 20:1
8Saul counted them at Bezek.#Jdg 1:5 There were three hundred thousand#11:8 LXX reads 600,000#Jdg 20:2 Israelites and thirty thousand#11:8 DSS, LXX read 70,000 men from Judah. 9He 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.
10Then the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Tomorrow we will come out, and you can do whatever you want#11:10 Lit do what is good in your eyes to us.”
11The next day Saul organized the troops into three divisions.#Jdg 7:16 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
12Afterward, the people said to Samuel, “Who said that Saul should not#11:12 Some Hb mss, LXX; other Hb mss omit not reign over us?#1Sm 10:27 Give us those men so we can kill them!” #Lk 19:27
13But Saul ordered, “No one will be executed this day, for today the Lord has provided deliverance in Israel.”#Ex 14:13; 1Sm 19:5
14Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let’s go to Gilgal, so we can renew the kingship there.” 15So all the people went to Gilgal, and there in the Lord’s presence#1Sm 10:17 they made Saul king. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings#1Sm 10:8 in the Lord’s presence, and Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.