1About a month later, Nahash the Ammonite and his army surrounded Jabesh Gilead. All the people of Jabesh said to Nahash, “If you will make a treaty with us, we will serve you.” 2But Nahash the Ammonite answered, “I will make a treaty with you people only if I can poke out the right eye of each person. Then all Israel will be ashamed!” 3The leaders of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Let us have seven days. We will send messengers through all Israel. If no one comes to help us, we will come up to you ˻and surrender to you˼.” 4The messengers came to Gibeah where Saul lived. They told the news to the people. The people cried loudly. 5Saul had been out in the field with his cows. Saul came in from the field and heard the people crying. Saul asked, “What’s wrong with the people? Why are they crying?” Then the people told Saul what the messengers from Jabesh said. 6Saul listened to their story. Then God’s Spirit came on Saul with great power. Saul became very angry. 7Saul took a pair of cows and cut them in pieces. Then he gave the pieces of those cows to messengers. He ordered the messengers to carry the pieces throughout the land of Israel. He told them to give this message to the people of Israel: “Come follow Saul and Samuel. If any person does not come and help them, then this same thing will happen to his cows!” A great fear from the Lord came on the people. They all came together like one person. 8Saul gathered the men together at Bezek. There were 300,000 men from Israel and 30,000 men from Judah. 9Saul and his army told the messengers from Jabesh, “Tell the people at Jabesh in Gilead that by noon tomorrow, you will be saved.” The messengers told Saul’s message to the people at Jabesh. The people at Jabesh were very happy. 10Then the people of Jabesh said to Nahash the Ammonite, “Tomorrow we will come to you. Then you can do anything you want to us.” 11The next morning Saul separated his soldiers into three groups. At sunrise, Saul and his soldiers entered the Ammonite camp. Saul attacked while they were changing guards that morning. Saul and his soldiers defeated the Ammonites before noon. The Ammonite soldiers all ran away in different directions—no two soldiers stayed together. 12Then the people said to Samuel, “Where are the people who said they didn’t want Saul to rule as king? Bring those people here, and we will kill them!” 13But Saul said, “No! Don’t kill anyone today! The Lord saved Israel today!” 14Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let’s go to Gilgal. At Gilgal we will again make Saul the king.” 15All the people went to Gilgal. There, in front of the Lord, the people made Saul king. They offered fellowship offerings to the Lord. Saul and all the Israelites had a great celebration.
1 Samuel 11