11:1 Then Nahash the Ammonite a 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.
(a) After that Saul was chosen king: for fear of whom they asked a king, as in ( 1 Samuel 12:12 ). 11:2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this [condition] will I make [a covenant] with you, that I may thrust out all your b right eyes, and lay it [for] a reproach upon all Israel.
(b) This declares that the closer the tyrants are to their destruction, the more cruel they are. 11:6 And the Spirit of God c came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.
(c) God gave him the spirit of strength and courage to go against this tyrant. 11:7 And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent [them] throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after d Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.
(d) He adds Samuel because Saul was not yet approved by all. 11:9 And e they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall ye say unto the men of Jabeshgilead, To morrow, by [that time] the sun be hot, ye shall have help. And the messengers came and shewed [it] to the men of Jabesh; and they were glad.
(e) Meaning, Saul and Samuel. 11:10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, To morrow we will come out unto f you, and ye shall do with us all that seemeth good unto you.
(f) That is, to the Ammonites, concealing that they had hope of aid. 11:12 And the people said unto Samuel, g Who [is] he that said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death.
(g) By this victory the Lord won the hearts of the people to Saul. 11:13 And Saul said, There shall not a man be h put to death this day: for to day the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel.
(h) By showing mercy he thought to overcome their malice. 11:15 And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal; and there they sacrificed sacrifices of i peace offerings before the LORD; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.
(i) In sign of thanksgiving for the victory.