1 Samuel 11:2

1 Samuel 11:2

And Nahash the Ammonite answered them
In a very haughty and scornful manner:

on this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust
out all your right eyes;
some Jewish writers go into a mystical and allegorical sense of these words, as that Nahash ordered the book of the law to be brought, which was their right eye, that he might erase out of it these words,

an Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the
Lord;
others understand it of the sanhedrim, which were the eyes of Israel; and others, which come a little nearer to the sense, of the slingers and archers, the desire of the eyes of Israel; and who, by having their right eyes thrust out, would be in a great measure spoiled for taking aim; for the words are to be understood literally; the intention of Nahash was to disable them for war, and that they might become quite unfit for it, as Josephus observes F18; the left eye being under the shield, as it usually was in war, and the right eye plucked out, they would be as blind men: he did not choose to have both their eyes thrust out, for then they could have been of no use and service to him as slaves or tributaries:

and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel;
that they did not come up to the relief of their brethren, and defend them, and signifying that they must all expect the same treatment from him.


FOOTNOTES:

F18 Antiqu. l. 6. c. 5. sect. 1.
Read 1 Samuel 11:2