Synopsis:An Ammonite named Nahesh camped against the people of Jabesh-gilead. They said – we will serve you. He said – if that is true – come to me and let me put out the right eye of every person. The people of Jabesh-gilead said – let us think on that for 7 days. During that time, they sent out a request for help to all the tribes of Israel. Saul heard of it and was angered. He cut up some oxen and sent messengers out with the pieces and said – if you don’t come to my side – I will do this to your oxen. He was able to raise an army of 300,000. They went to Jabesh and went out to meet the Ammonites, who were outnumbered and slew. The people were thrilled. The threatened to kill anyone who didn’t agree, Saul should be king. Saul said – no – no more killing. Samuel said – let’s go to Gilgal and make a new kingdom there.
In other words:Saul defeats the Ammonites and is named king.
Favorite bit:1 Samuel 11:13: There shall not a man put to death this day.
Least favorite bit:1 Samuel 11:2: 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 all Israel.
2nd least favorite bit:1 Samuel 11:7 – that Saul had to threaten the livestock of the people to raise an army.
General thoughts:Nahash had won the land on Jabesh – without a fight. But he was a jerk – demanding their right eyes. Had he really wanted the land – but he wanted to dominate. Which is what caused the Israeli’s to fight him. He wasn’t being very strategic, was he.
Moral Lessons Learned:
• Don’t be a sadistic jerk – or any kind of jerk (1 Samuel 11:2)
• Don’t suppress dissent with violence (1 Samuel 11:13)