Nahash1 the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead.2 And all the men of Jabesh said to him, "Make a treaty3 with us, and we will be subject to you."
But Nahash the Ammonite replied, "I will make a treaty with you only on the condition4 that I gouge5 out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace6 on all Israel."
The elders7 of Jabesh said to him, "Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue8 us, we will surrender9 to you."
When the messengers came to Gibeah10 of Saul and reported these terms to the people, they all wept11 aloud.
Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen, and he asked, "What is wrong with the people? Why are they weeping?" Then they repeated to him what the men of Jabesh had said.
When Saul heard their words, the Spirit12 of God came upon him in power, and he burned with anger.
He took a pair of oxen,13 cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel,14 proclaiming, "This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone15 who does not follow Saul and Samuel." Then the terror of the LORD fell on the people, and they turned out as one man.16