The First Book of Samuel

Chapter 11

Nahash offers those of Jabesh-gilead a reproachful condition, 1-3. They send messengers and are delivered by Saul, 4-11. Saul thereby is confirmed and his kingdom renewed, 12-15.

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 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, "On this condition I will make a covenant with you: that I may thrust out all your right eyes and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel." 3 And the elders of Jabesh said to him, "Give us seven days respite so that we may send messengers to all the borders of Israel. And then, if there is no man to save us, we will come out to you." 4 Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the tidings in the ears of the people. And all the people lifted up their voices and wept.

5 And behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field, and Saul said, "What ails the people so that they weep?" And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh. 6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly. 7 And he took a yoke of oxen, hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the borders of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, "Whoever does not come forth after Saul and after Samuel, this is what shall be done to his oxen." And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent. 8 And when he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand and the men of Judah thirty thousand. 9 And they said to the messengers who came, "Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh-gilead: 'Tomorrow by the time the sun is hot, you shall have help.'" And the messengers came and declared it to 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 And it was so on the next day, that Saul disposed the people in three companies. And they came into the midst of the host in the morning-watch and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it came to pass, that those who remained were scattered so that two of them were not left together.

12 And the people said to Samuel, "Who is he who said, 'Shall Saul reign over us?' Bring the men so that we may put them to death." 13 And Saul said, "There shall not a man be put to death this day, for today the LORD has wrought salvation in Israel."

14 Then Samuel said to the people, "Come, and let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there." 15 And all the people went to Gilgal. There they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal, sacrificed sacrifices of peace-offerings before the LORD, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Samuel, Chapter 11[➚]