Nahasha the Ammonite came up and laid siege to Jabesh-gilead.b All the men of Jabesh said to him, "Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you."
Nahash the Ammonite replied, "I'll make one with you on this condition: that I gouge out everyone's right eye and humiliate all Israel."
"Don't do anything to us for seven days," the elders of Jabesh said to him, "and let us send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. If no one saves us, we will surrender to you."
When the messengers came to Gibeah, Saul's [hometown], and told the terms toc the people, all wept aloud.
Just then Saul was coming in from the field behind his oxen. "What's the matter with the people? Why are they weeping?" Saul inquired, and they repeated to him the words of the men from Jabesh.
When Saul heard these words, the Spirit of God suddenly took control of him,d and his anger burned furiously.
He took a team of oxen, cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout the land of Israel by messengers who said, "This is what will be done to the ox of anyone who doesn't march behind Saul and Samuel." As a result, the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they went out united.
Saul counted them at Bezek. There were 300,000e Israelites and 30,000f men from Judah.
He told the messengers who had come, "Tell this to the men of Jabesh-gilead: 'Deliverance will be yours tomorrow by the time the sun is hot.' " So the messengers told the men of Jabesh, and they rejoiced.
Then the men of Jabesh said to [Nahash], "Tomorrow we will come out, and you can do whatever you wantg to us."
The next day Saul organized the troops into three divisions. During the morning watch, they invaded the Ammonite camp and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. There were survivors, but they were so scattered that no two of them were left together.
Afterwards, the people said to Samuel, "Who said that Saul should noth reign over us?i Give us those men so we can kill them!"j13
But Saul ordered, "No one will be executed this day, for today the Lord has provided deliverance in Israel."