1 Samuel 11
Saul Defeats the Ammonites
1Now Nahash the Ammonite [king] went up and besieged Jabesh-gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a treaty [of peace] with us and we will serve you.” 2But Nahash the Ammonite told them, “I will make a treaty with you on this condition, that I will gouge out the right eye of every one of you, and make it a disgrace upon all Israel.” 3The elders of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Give us seven days so that we may send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out [and surrender] to you.” 4Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the news to the people; and all the people raised their voices and wept aloud.
5Now Saul was coming out of the field behind the oxen, and he said, “What is the matter with the people that they are weeping?” So they told him about the report of the men of Jabesh. 6The Spirit of God came upon Saul mightily when he heard these words, and he became extremely angry. 7He took a team of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, “Whoever does not come out to follow Saul and Samuel, the same shall be done to his oxen.” Then fear of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out [united] as one man [with one purpose]. 8He assembled and counted them at Bezek; and the sons of Israel numbered 300,000, and the men of Judah 30,000. 9They said to the messengers who had come, “You shall say to the men of Jabesh-gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you will have help [against the Ammonites].’ ” So the messengers came and reported this to the men of Jabesh; and they were overjoyed. 10So the men of Jabesh said [to Nahash the Ammonite], “Tomorrow we will come out to you [to surrender], and you may do to us whatever seems good to you.” 11The next morning Saul put the men into three companies; and they entered the [Ammonites’] camp during the [darkness of the early] morning watch and killed the Ammonites until the heat of the day; and the survivors were scattered, and no two of them were left together.
12The people said to Samuel, “Who is the one who said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Bring the men, and we will put them to death.” 13But Saul said, “No man shall be put to death this day, for today the Lord has brought victory to Israel.”
14Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there restore the kingdom.” 15So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal. There they also sacrificed peace offerings before the Lord; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.