1-Samuel - 11:1-15

Saul's Victory

      1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabesh Gilead: and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, "Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you." 2 Nahash the Ammonite said to them, "On this condition I will make it with you, that all your right eyes be put out; and I will lay it for a reproach on all Israel." 3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, "Give us seven day, that we may send messengers to all the borders of Israel; and then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you." 4 Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul, and spoke these words in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voice, and wept. 5 Behold, Saul came following the oxen out of the field; and Saul said, "What ails the people that they weep?" They told him the words of the men of Jabesh. 6 The Spirit of God came mightily on Saul when he heard those words, and his anger was kindled greatly. 7 He took a yoke of oxen, and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the borders of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, "Whoever doesn't come forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen." The dread of Yahweh fell on the people, and they came out as one man. 8 He numbered them in Bezek; and the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. 9 They said to the messengers who came, "Thus you shall tell the men of Jabesh Gilead, 'Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have deliverance.'" The messengers came and told the men of Jabesh; and they were glad. 10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, "Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you shall do with us all that seems good to you." 11 It was so on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and struck the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it happened, that those who remained were scattered, so that no two of them were left together. 12 The people said to Samuel, "Who is he who said, 'Shall Saul reign over us?' Bring those men, that we may put them to death!" 13 Saul said, "There shall not a man be put to death this day; for today Yahweh has worked deliverance in Israel." 14 Then Samuel said to the people, "Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there." 15 All the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before Yahweh in Gilgal; and there they offered sacrifices of peace offerings before Yahweh; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

Chapter In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of 1-Samuel 11.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

Nahash, king of the Ammonites, besieges Jabesh-gilead; and proposes to its inhabitants the most degrading conditions of peace, 1-Samuel 11:1, 1-Samuel 11:2. They apply to their brethren for help, 1-Samuel 11:3, 1-Samuel 11:4. Saul hears of their distress; takes a yoke of oxen, hews them in pieces, and sends them throughout the coasts of Israel, with the threat that all who did not come to his standard should have his cattle served in like manner; in consequence of which he is soon at the head of an army of three hundred and thirty thousand men, 1-Samuel 11:5-8. He sends to Jabesh-gilead, and promises help, 1-Samuel 11:9, 1-Samuel 11:10. Saul attacks the Ammonites next morning, and gives them a total overthrow, 1-Samuel 11:11. The people are greatly encouraged, and propose to put to death those who are opposed to Saul's government: but this he prevents, 1-Samuel 11:12, 1-Samuel 11:13. Samuel leads the people to Gilgal: they offer sacrifices, and renew the kingdom to Saul, 1-Samuel 11:14, 1-Samuel 11:15.

This chapter relates the distress the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead were in on account of the Ammonites, 1-Samuel 11:1 upon which they sent messengers to Saul, whose spirit was immediately stirred up to help them, 1-Samuel 11:4, and prepared for it, and came up soon enough for their relief, and slew their enemies, 1-Samuel 11:7, which gained him much honour and reputation among the people, and occasioned the renewal of the kingdom to him, 1-Samuel 11:12.

(1-Samuel 11:1-11) Jabesh-gilead delivered.
(1-Samuel 11:12-15) Saul confirmed in his kingdom.

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