1 Samuel 11:1

Saul Rescues the City of Jabesh

1 Nahash[a] the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead. And all the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treaty with us, and we will be subject to you.”

1 Samuel 11:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee.
ESV
1 Then Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh-gilead, and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, "Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you."
NLT
1 About a month later, King Nahash of Ammon led his army against the Israelite town of Jabesh-gilead. But all the citizens of Jabesh asked for peace. “Make a treaty with us, and we will be your servants,” they pleaded.
MSG
1 So Nahash went after them and prepared to go to war against Jabesh Gilead. The men of Jabesh petitioned Nahash: "Make a treaty with us and we'll serve you."
CSB
1 Nahash the Ammonite came up and laid siege to Jabesh-gilead. All the men of Jabesh said to him, "Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you."

1 Samuel 11:1 Meaning and Commentary

1 Samuel 11:1

Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against
Jabeshgilead
A month after, as in the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, that is, a month after Saul was chosen king; so Josephus F16: this prince was preparing for war against Israel before, which they hearing of, requested they might have a king to go before them in battle, ( 1 Samuel 12:12 ) but now he actually marched from his own country, and besieged Jabeshgilead, a city in the land of Gilead, from whence it had its name, and lay in the half tribe of Manasseh, on the other side Jordan, see ( Judges 21:8 ) . It lay near to the Ammonites, and was part of the country they laid claim to in the times of Jephthah, which they now renewed, and attempted to gain it by force. This Nahash was king of the Ammonites, as he is called in the Targum, and by Josephus F17, and so in the Arabic version, see ( 1 Samuel 12:12 )

and all the men of Jabeshgilead said unto Nahash, make a covenant with
us;
they desired to be his allies and confederates, live in peace and friendship with him, and enjoy their religion and liberties on certain conditions they were willing to come into; and this was the sense of them all, or at least the greatest part, which showed a mean and abject spirit in them, to make no defence of themselves, but as soon as besieged to move for a capitulation. This doubtless arose from a sense of their weakness, not being able to hold it out long, and from an apprehension that their brethren the Israelites, on the other side Jordan, could give them no assistance, being in an unsettled condition, having chosen a king, and he scarcely on the throne, and the Philistines having great power over them:

and we will serve thee;
not as slaves, but as tributaries; they were willing to pay a yearly tax to him.


FOOTNOTES:

F16 Antiqu. l. 6. c. 5. sect. 1.
F17 Ibid.

1 Samuel 11:1 In-Context

1 Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead. And all the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treaty with us, and we will be subject to you.”
2 But Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I will make a treaty with you only on the condition that I gouge out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace on all Israel.”
3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue us, we will surrender to you.”
4 When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and reported these terms to the people, they all wept aloud.
5 Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen, and he asked, “What is wrong with everyone? Why are they weeping?” Then they repeated to him what the men of Jabesh had said.

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Genesis 19:38; 1 Samuel 12:12; 2 Samuel 10:2; 2 Samuel 17:27; 1 Chronicles 19:1
  • 2. Judges 21:8; 1 Samuel 31:11; 2 Samuel 2:4,5; 2 Samuel 21:12
  • 3. S Exodus 23:32; S Jeremiah 37:1; 1 Kings 20:34; Ezekiel 17:13

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls "gifts. Now Nahash king of the Ammonites oppressed the Gadites and Reubenites severely. He gouged out all their right eyes and struck terror and dread in Israel. Not a man remained among the Israelites beyond the Jordan whose right eye was not gouged out by Nahash king of the Ammonites, except that seven thousand men fled from the Ammonites and entered Jabesh Gilead. About a month later, " 1"Nahash"