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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: 1 Samuel

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FRAMEWORKS: 1 Samuel 11: Saul Rescues Jabesh & is confirmed as King


v.1-3 Jabesh comes under threat but pleads for time

v.4-6 Saul hears and the Spirit comes on him

v.7-11 Saul calls out Israel and delivers Jabesh

v.12-15 Saul Confirmed as King at Gilgal



v.1-3 Jabesh comes under threat but pleads for time


v.1 Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead. [some miles to the east of the River Jordan] And all the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treaty with us, and we will be subject to you.”

v.2 But Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I will make a treaty with you only on the condition that I gouge out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace on all Israel.”

v.3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue us, we will surrender to you.”


[Notes: The Ammonites were a people to the east who had been protected when Israel advanced to take the Promised Land [see Deut 2] but who subsequently were a thorn in Israel's side. Now this Ammonite leader and his men attacked Jabesh. Long back they had objected to Israel taking the land to the east of the Jordan [see Judg 11:12,13]. Now they come again as a force that Jabesh can't oppose under siege. The inhabitants ask to make a treaty but Nahash, perhaps knowing it will be unacceptable, uses it as an excuse to continue blockading Jabesh, and talks about gouging out eyes. The inhabitants ask for seven day's grace.]



v.4-6 Saul hears and the Spirit comes on him


v.4 When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and reported these terms to the people, they all wept aloud.

v.5 Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen, and he asked, “What is wrong with everyone? Why are they weeping?” Then they repeated to him what the men of Jabesh had said.

v.6 When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger.


[Notes: The word gets back to Gibeah [north of Jerusalem] where Saul is and when he hears of it, the Spirit of the Lord comes on him.]



v.7-11 Saul calls out Israel and delivers Jabesh


v.7 He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, “This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel.” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out together as one.

v.8 When Saul mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and those of Judah thirty thousand.

v.9 They told the messengers who had come, “Say to the men of Jabesh Gilead, ‘By the time the sun is hot tomorrow, you will be rescued.'” When the messengers went and reported this to the men of Jabesh, they were elated.

v.10 They said to the Ammonites, “Tomorrow we will surrender to you, and you can do to us whatever you like.”

v.11 The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.


[Notes: Saul thus calls out Israel who gather in numbers at Bezek [about 8 miles west of the Jordan] and they go and attack and rout the Ammonites.]



v.12-15 Saul Confirmed as King at Gilgal


v.12 The people then said to Samuel, “Who was it that asked, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?' Turn these men over to us so that we may put them to death.”

v.13 But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.”

v.14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.”

v.15 So all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul king in the presence of the Lord. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a great celebration.


[Notes: The effect of this victory raises Saul's status and Samuel instructs a more formal recognising him as king at Gilgal.]