1 Samuel 11
(11:1) "Jabeshgilead ... all the men of Jabesh"|
Everyone (except the virgin women) in Jabeshgilead was killed by the non-Benjamite Israelites (see
Judges 21:10-14), yet here just a few years later "all the men" are
negotiating a treaty with the Ammonites. Do dead men make treaties? I guess in the Bible they do!
"I make a covenant with your, that I may thrust out all your right eyes."
Deals like this can only be found in the Bible.
Gouged Eyes and Dismembered Oxen
Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and
all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will
And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that
I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon
And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, Give us seven days' respite, that
we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel: and then, if there be
no man to save us, we will come out to thee.
Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and told the tidings in the
ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept.
And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said,
What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the tidings of the
men of Jabesh.
And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was
(11:6-7) "And the spirit of God came upon Saul
... and he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them
throughout all the coast of Israel." |
People do the darnedest things when the spirit of God comes upon them!
Saul Sacrifices the Oxen
(James Tissot, 1896-1900)
And he took a yoke
of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts
of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth
after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear
of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.
And when he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three
hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.
And they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall ye say unto the
men of Jabeshgilead, To morrow, by that time the sun be hot, ye shall have
help. And the messengers came and shewed it to the men of Jabesh; and they
were glad. ||
Slaughter of the Ammonites
Therefore the men of Jabesh said, To morrow we will come out unto you, and
ye shall do with us all that seemeth good unto you.
And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put 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 they which remained were
scattered, so that two of them were not left together.||
"Saul ... slew the Ammorites unto the
heat of the day."
Then he took a little break. After all, killing is hard work.
God's 62nd Killing
And the people said unto Samuel, Who is he that said, Shall Saul reign
over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death.||
And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day: for to day
the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel.||
"To day the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel."
God saved the Israelites by slaughtering the Ammonites.
Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew
the kingdom there.
And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before
the LORD in Gilgal; and there they sacrificed sacrifices of peace offerings
before the LORD; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.||