Saul Rescues the City of Jabesh
Nahash 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."
But Nahash the Ammonite replied, "I willmake 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."
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."
When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and reported these terms
to the people, they all wept aloud.
Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen, and he asked,
"What is wrong with the people? Why are they weeping?"
Then they repeated to him what the men of Jabesh had said.
When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came upon him in power,
and he burned with anger.
He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messenger
throughout Israel, proclaiming, "Thi is what will be done to Oxen of anyone
who does not follow Saul and Samuel." Then the terror of the LORD fell on
the people, and they turned out as one man.
When Saul mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel numbered three hundreds
thousand and the men of Judah thirty thousand.
They told the messengers who had come, "Say to the men of Jabesh Gilead,
'By the time the sun is hot tomorrow, you will bre delivered.' "
When the messengers went and reported this to the men of Jabesh, they were elated.
They said to the Ammonites, "Tomorrow we will surrender to you,
and you can do to us whatever seems good to you."
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
The people then said to Samuel, "Who was it that asked, 'Shall Saul reign over us?'
Bring these men to us and we will put them to death."
But Saul said, "No one shall be put to death today, for this day the LORD
Then Samuel said to the people, "Come, let us go to Gilgal
and there reaffirm the kingship."
So all the people went to Gilgal and confirmed Saul as 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.