Saul rescues the city of Jabesh
1 One month later, Na hash the Ammonite went to Jabesh-gilead and surrounded the city. The people of Jabesh told Na hash, “Make an agreement with us and we will serve you.” 2 Nahash answered, “I will make an agreement with you on this condition: I will pluck out the right eye of all of you, so that Israel will be left disgraced.” 3 The elders of Jabesh then told him, “Give us seven days so we may send messengers through all the territories of Israel. If none of them comes to save us, we will surrender to you.”
4 So the messengers went to Gibeah of Saul, breaking the news to the peo ple. And all the people wept aloud.
5 Just then Saul came from the field with his oxen. He asked, “What has happened to make the people weep?” And they told him what the men of Jabesh had said. 6 At once, the spirit of God seized Saul and he was greatly angered. 7 He took a yoke of oxen, cut them into pieces and gave them to the messengers to be taken through all the territories of Israel with this warning, “I will do the same with the oxen of anyone who does not come out after Saul and Samuel.”
7 Then a holy fear came upon the peo ple and they set out as one man.
8 When Saul inspected them at Be zek, the men of Israel were three hun dred thousand; those of Judah, thirty thousand. 9 And they sent the messengers with this answer to the people of Jabesh, “Tomorrow, by noon time, we shall come to you.” When the messengers returned, the people of Jabesh were very comforted 10 and they told Nahash, “To mor row we will surrender and you may do to us whatever you please.”
11 The following morning, Saul divided the people into three groups. They broke into the enemy camp early in the morning and slew the Ammonites until noontime. Those who could escape were scattered, each one running his own way.
12 Then the people asked Sa mu el, “Who are these who said: Saul will never reign over us? Bring the men and we shall put them to death.” 13 But Saul said, “No man shall be put to death today, for this day Yahweh has saved Israel.”
14 Samuel told the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and officially proclaim the kingdom.” 15 So all the people went to Gilgal and there they proclaimed Saul king before Yah weh. They sacrificed peace offerings and Saul and all Israel celebrated.