Chapter 5

  1. Then Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh-Gilead. And all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us and we will serve you. And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition I will make a covenant with you: that I may thrust out all your right eyes and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel. And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, Give us seven days’ respite, that we may send messengers unto all the borders of Israel. And then, if there is no man to save us, we will come out to you. Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul and told the tidings in the ears of the people; and all the people lifted up their voices and wept.
  2. And behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field. And Saul said, What ails the people, that they weep? And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh. And the spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly. And he took a yoke of oxen and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the borders of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whoever comes not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen.
  3. And the fear of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out with one consent. And when he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. And they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall you say unto the men of Jabesh-Gilead: Tomorrow, by that time the sun is hot, you shall have help. And the messengers came and showed it to the men of Jabesh, and they were glad. Therefore, the men of Jabesh said, Tomorrow we will come out unto you, and you shall do with us all that seems good unto you.
  4. And it was so on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies. And they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it came to pass that they who remained were scattered so that two of them were not left together.
  5. And the people said unto Samuel, Who is he that said, Shall Saul reign over us? Bring the men, that we may put them to death. And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day, for today the Lord has wrought salvation in Israel. Then Samuel said to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there. And all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal. And there they sacrificed sacrifices of peace offerings before the Lord. And there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.
  6. And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have listened unto your voice in all that you said unto me, and have made a king over you. And now behold, the king walks before you, and I am old and gray-headed. And behold, my sons are with you, and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am. Witness against me before the Lord and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose ass have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind my eyes? And I will restore it to you. And they said, You have not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither have you taken anything of any man’s hand. And he said unto them, The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day that you have not found anything in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.
  7. And Samuel said unto the people, It is the Lord that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord, of all the righteous acts of the Lord which he did to you and to your fathers. When Jacob had come into Egypt and your fathers cried unto the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought forth your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place.
  8. And when they forgot the Lord their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them. And they cried unto the Lord and said, We have sinned because we have forsaken the Lord and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth, but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies and we will serve you. And the Lord sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and you dwelled safe.
  9. And when you saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, you said unto me, Nay, but a king shall reign over us — when the Lord your God was your king. Now therefore behold the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired. And behold, the Lord has set a king over you. If you will fear the Lord, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both you and also the king that reigns over you continue following the Lord your God. But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you as it was against your fathers.
  10. Now therefore stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes. Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call unto the Lord, and he shall send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the Lord in asking for yourselves a king. So Samuel called unto the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day. And all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
  11. And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for your servants, unto the Lord your God, that we die not; for we have added unto all our sins this evil to ask us a king. And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not. You have done all this wickedness; yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart and turn not aside, for then should you go after vain things which cannot profit nor deliver, for they are vain. For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you his people.
  12. Moreover, as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you. But I will teach you the good and the right way; only fear the Lord and serve him in truth with all your heart, for consider how great things he has done for you. But if you shall still do wickedly, you shall be consumed, both you and your king.