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1 Samuel 11:1–13:23

Saul Defeats the Ammonites

11 oThen Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged pJabesh-gilead, and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, q“Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you.” But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “On this condition I will make a treaty with you, rthat I gouge out all your right eyes, and thus sbring disgrace on all Israel.” The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days’ respite that we may send messengers through all the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to save us, we will give ourselves up to you.” When the messengers came to tGibeah of Saul, they reported the matter in the ears of the people, uand all the people wept aloud.

Now, behold, Saul was coming from the field behind the oxen. And Saul said, “What is wrong with the people, that they are weeping?” So they told him the news of the men of Jabesh. vAnd the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled. He took a yoke of oxen wand cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hand of the messengers, saying, x“Whoever does not come out after Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen!” Then the dread of the Lord fell upon the people, and they came out yas one man. When he mustered them at zBezek, athe people of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. And they said to the messengers who had come, “Thus shall you say to the men of Jabesh-gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have bsalvation.’ ” When the messengers came and told the men of Jabesh, they were glad. 10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, c“Tomorrow we will give ourselves up to you, and you may do to us whatever seems good to you.” 11 dAnd the next day Saul put the people ein three companies. And they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch and struck down the Ammonites until the heat of the day. And those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

The Kingdom Is Renewed

12 Then the people said to Samuel, f“Who is it that said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ gBring the men, that we may put them to death.” 13 But Saul said, h“Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today ithe Lord has worked jsalvation in Israel.” 14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingdom.” 15 So all the people went to kGilgal, and there they made Saul king lbefore the Lord in Gilgal. There mthey sacrificed peace offerings before the Lord, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

Samuel’s Farewell Address

12 And Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have obeyed nyour voice in all that you have said to me oand have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king pwalks before you, qand I am old and gray; and behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day. Here I am; testify against me before the Lord and before rhis anointed. sWhose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me1 and I will restore it to you.” They said, “You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man’s hand.” And he said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and rhis anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything tin my hand.” And they said, “He is witness.”

And Samuel said to the people, u“The Lord is witness,2 who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. Now therefore stand still that I may plead with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous deeds of the Lord that he performed for you and for your fathers. vWhen Jacob went into Egypt, and the Egyptians oppressed them,3 wthen your fathers cried out to the Lord and xthe Lord sent Moses and Aaron, ywho brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place. But zthey forgot the Lord their God. aAnd he sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor,4 band into the hand of the Philistines, cand into the hand of the king of Moab. And they fought against them. 10 dAnd they cried out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord eand have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. But now fdeliver us out of the hand of our enemies, that we may serve you.’ 11 And the Lord sent gJerubbaal hand Barak5 iand Jephthah and jSamuel and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in safety. 12 And when you saw that kNahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, lyou said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ mwhen the Lord your God was your king. 13 And now nbehold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, othe Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you will pfear the Lord and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well. 15 But qif you will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then rthe hand of the Lord will be against you and syour king.6 16 Now therefore tstand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes. 17 uIs it not wheat harvest today? vI will call upon the Lord, that he may send thunder and rain. And you shall know and see that wyour wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking for yourselves a king.” 18 So Samuel called upon the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day, xand all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.

19 And all the people said to Samuel, y“Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” 20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet zdo not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And zdo not turn aside after aempty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 bFor the Lord will not forsake his people, cfor his great name’s sake, because dit has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing eto pray for you, fand I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24 gOnly fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider hwhat great things he has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, iyou shall be swept away, jboth you and your king.”

Saul Fights the Philistines

13 Saul lived for one year and then became king, and when he had reigned for two years over Israel,1 Saul chose three thousand men of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in kMichmash and the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in lGibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the people he sent home, every man to his tent. Jonathan defeated mthe garrison of the Philistines that was nat Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul oblew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” And all Israel heard it said that Saul had defeated the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become a stench to the Philistines. And the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal.

And the Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops plike the sand on the seashore in multitude. They came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of qBeth-aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves rin caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns, and some Hebrews crossed the fords of the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul was still at Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.

Saul’s Unlawful Sacrifice

sHe waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. 10 As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him. 11 Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, 12 I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” 13 And Samuel said to Saul, t“You have done foolishly. uYou have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now vyour kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man wafter his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince2 over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” 15 And Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal. The rest of the people went up after Saul to meet the army; they went up from Gilgal3 to xGibeah of Benjamin.

And Saul numbered the people who were present with him, yabout six hundred men. 16 And Saul and Jonathan his son and the people who were present with them stayed in zGeba of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash. 17 And araiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies. One company turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual; 18 another company turned toward bBeth-horon; and another company turned toward the border that looks down on the Valley of cZeboim toward the wilderness.

19 dNow there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest …

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