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1 Samuel 11:2-11

Context

11:2 But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “The only way I will make a treaty with you is if you let me gouge out the right eye of every one of you and in so doing humiliate all Israel!”

11:3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Leave us alone for seven days so that we can send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. If there is no one who can deliver us, we will come out voluntarily to you.”

11:4 When the messengers went to Gibeah (where Saul lived) 1  and informed the people of these matters, all the people wept loudly. 2  11:5 Now Saul was walking behind the 3  oxen as he came from the field. Saul asked, “What has happened to the people? Why are they weeping?” So they told him about 4  the men of Jabesh.

11:6 The Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and he became very angry. 11:7 He took a pair 5  of oxen and cut them up. Then he sent the pieces throughout the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, who said, “Whoever does not go out after Saul and after Samuel should expect this to be done to his oxen!” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they went out as one army. 6  11:8 When Saul counted them at Bezek, the Israelites were 300,000 7  strong and the men of Judah numbered 30,000. 8 

11:9 They said to the messengers who had come, “Here’s what you should say to the men of Jabesh Gilead: ‘Tomorrow deliverance will come to you when the sun is fully up.’” When the messengers went and told the men of Jabesh Gilead, they were happy. 11:10 The men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you 9  and you can do with us whatever you wish.” 10 

11:11 The next day Saul placed the people in three groups. They went to the Ammonite camp during the morning watch and struck them 11  down until the hottest part of the day. The survivors scattered; no two of them remained together.

1 tn Heb “to Gibeah of Saul.”

2 tn Heb “lifted their voice and wept.”

3 tn Or perhaps, “his oxen.” On this use of the definite article see Joüon 2:506-7 §137.f.

4 tn Heb “the matters of.”

5 tn Heb “yoke.”

6 tn Heb “like one man.”

7 tc The LXX and two Old Latin mss read 600,000 here, rather than the MT’s 300,000.

8 tc The LXX, two Old Latin mss, and a Qumran ms read 70,000 here, rather than the MT’s 30,000.

9 tn The second masculine plural forms in this quotation indicate that Nahash and his army are addressed.

10 tn Heb “according to all that is good in your eyes.”

11 tn Heb “Ammon.” By metonymy the name “Ammon” is used collectively for the soldiers in the Ammonite army.



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