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1 Samuel 11

1 Nahash the Ammonite came up and put his forces in position for attacking Jabesh in Gilead. The men of Jabesh said to Nahash: »Make an agreement with us and we will be your servants.«

2 Nahash answered: »I will make a treaty with you on one condition. I will put out everyone’s right eye and so bring disgrace on all Israel

3 The elders of Jabesh said: »Give us seven days to send messengers throughout the land of Israel. If no one will help us, then we will surrender to you.«

4 The messengers arrived at Gibeah where Saul lived. When they told the news, the people started crying in despair.

5 Just then Saul came from the field from behind some oxen. »Why are these people crying?« Saul asked. They told him the news about the men of Jabesh.

6 When he heard this news, God’s Spirit came over him. He became very angry.

7 Saul took a pair of oxen, cut them in pieces, and sent them by messengers throughout the territory of Israel with the following message: »This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel into battle.« The people were afraid of Jehovah. They came out united behind Saul.

8 When Saul counted them at Bezek, there were three hundred thousand troops from Israel and thirty thousand troops from Judah.

9 They told the messengers: »This is what you are to say to the men of Jabesh in Gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun gets hot, you will be rescued.’« When the men of Jabesh received the message, they were overjoyed.

10 They said to Nahash the Ammonite: »Tomorrow we will surrender to you. You may do to us whatever you think is right.«

11 The next day Saul arranged the army in three divisions. They came into the Ammonite camp during the morning hours. They continued to defeat the Ammonites until it got hot that day. The survivors were so scattered that no two of them were left together.

12 The people asked Samuel: »Who said: ‘Saul should not rule us?’ Let us have them, and we will kill them.’«

13 Saul said: »No man is to be put to death today, for today Jehovah has saved Israel.«

14 Then Samuel said to the people: »Come to Gilgal. Let us make the kingdom strong in the hands of Saul.«

15 So all the people went to Gilgal. In Gilgal they made Saul king before Jehovah. Peace offerings were offered before Jehovah. Saul and all the men of Israel were glad with great joy.

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