Saul Defeats the Ammonites

1 Now 1Nahash the Ammonite came up and besieged * 2Jabesh-gilead *; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, "Make 3a covenant with us and we will serve you."
2 But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, "I will make it with you on this condition, 4that I will gouge out the right eye of every one of you, thus I will make it 5a reproach on all Israel."
3 6The elders of Jabesh said to him, "Let us alone for seven days, that we may send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to deliver us, we will come out to you."
4 Then the messengers came 7to Gibeah of Saul and spoke these words in the hearing of the people, and all the people 8lifted up their voices and wept.
5 Now behold, Saul was coming from the field 9behind the oxen, and he said, "What is the matter with the people that they weep?" So they related to him the words of the men of Jabesh.
6 Then 10the Spirit of God came upon Saul mightily when he heard these words, and he became very angry *.
7 He took a yoke of oxen and 11cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, "12Whoever does not come out after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen." Then the dread of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out 13as one man.
8 He numbered them in 14Bezek; and the 15sons of Israel were 300,000 * *, and the men of Judah 30,000 *.
9 They said to the messengers who had come, "Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh-gilead *, 'Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you will have deliverance.' " So the messengers went and told the men of Jabesh; and they were glad.
10 Then the men of Jabesh said, "16Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do to us whatever seems good to you."
11 The next morning Saul put the people 17in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp at the morning watch and struck down the Ammonites until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
12 Then the people said to Samuel, "18Who is he that said, 'Shall Saul reign over us?' 19Bring the men, that we may put them to death."
13 But Saul said, "20Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today 21the LORD has accomplished deliverance in Israel."
14 Then Samuel said to the people, "Come and let us go to 22Gilgal and 23renew the kingdom there."