Chapter 11: Nahash The Ammorite Wants to Put Out the Right Eyes of the Men of Yabesh Gilead in Exchange for a Covenant
1 Then Nahash the Ammorite came up and encamped against Yabesh Gilead and all the men of Yabesh said to Nahash, “Make a covenant with us and we will serve you”. 2 And Nahash the Ammorite answered them, “On this condition I will make a covenant with you, that I may put out all your right eyes and bring reproach on all Ysrayl”. 3 Then the elders of Yabesh said to him, “Hold off for seven days, that we may send messengers to all the territory of Ysrayl. And then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you”.
Shaul Rescues the Town of Yabesh Gilead
4 So the messengers came to Gibeah of Shaul and told the news in the hearing of the people. And all the people lifted up their voices and wept. 5 Now there was Shaul, coming behind the herd from the field and Shaul said, “What troubles the people, that they weep”? And they told him the words of the men of Yabesh. 6 Then the Spirit of Yah came upon Shaul when he heard this news and his anger was greatly aroused. 7 So he took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Ysrayl by the hands of messengers saying, “Whoever does not go out with Shaul and Shemuyah to battle, so it shall be done to his oxen”. And the fear of Yah fell on the people and they came out with one consent. 8 When he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Ysrayl were three hundred thousand and the men of Yahudah thirty thousand. 9 And they said to the messengers who came, “Thus you shall say to the men of Yabesh Gilead: Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have help”. then the messengers came and reported it to the men of Yabesh and they were glad. 10 Therefore, the men of Yabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you and you may do with us whatever seems good to you”. 11 So it was, on the next day, that Shaul put the people in three companies and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch and killed Ammorites until the heat of the day. And it happened that those who survived were scattered so that no two of them were left together. *Yabesh Gilead was a town east of the Jordan among the green hills of Gilead within the half tribe of Manasseh and near the town of Beth-Shan.
Shaul Forgave Those Who Did Not Want Him King: Shaul is Made King of Ysrayl at Gilgal
12 Then the people said to Shemuyah, “Who is he who said, Shall Shaul reign over us? Bring the men, that we may put them to death”. 13 But Shaul said, “Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today Yah has accomplished salvation in Ysrayl”. (Compare to Mattithyah 6:14-15). 14 Then Shemuyah said to the people, “Come, let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there”. 15 So all the people went to Gilgal and there they made Shaul king before Yah in Gilgal. There they made sacrifices of peace offerings before Yah and there Shaul and all the men of Ysrayl rejoiced greatly.
Chapter 12: Shemuyah’s Farewell Address as Judge at Shaul’s Coronation
1 Now Shemuyah said to all Ysrayl: “Indeed I have heeded your voice in all that you said to me and have made a king over you. 2 And now here is the king walking before you and I am old and gray-headed and look my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my childhood to this day. 3 Here I am. Witness against me before Yah and before His anointed: Whose ox have I taken or whose donkey have I taken or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed or from whose hand have I received any bribe with which to blind my eyes? I will restore it to you”. 4 And they said, “You have not cheated us or oppressed us nor have you taken anything from any man’s hand”. 5 Then he said to them, “Yah 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”.
Shemuyah Tells the Children of Ysrayl that They Have Rejected Yah Many Times
6 Then Shemuyah said to the people, “It is Yah who raised up Moshe and Aharon and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt. 7 Now therefore, stand still that I may reason with you before Yah concerning all the righteous acts of Yah which He did to you and your fathers: 8 When Yahqob had gone into Egypt (and reads the Egyptians afflicted them) and your fathers cried out to Yah, then Yah sent Moshe and Aharon who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place. 9 And when they forgot Yah their Father, He sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab and they fought against them. 10 Then they cried out to Yah and said, ‘We have sinned because we have forsaken Yah and served the Baals and Ashtoreths but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies and we will serve You. 11 And Yah sent Yerubbaal (Gideon), Bedan ( reads Barak) , Yephthah and (reads Shimson) and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side and you dwelt in safety. (Shemuyah reminds them of the delivers Yah sent them in the book of Judges after they turned away from Yah). 12 And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammorites came against you, you said to me, ‘No but a king shall reign over us’ when Yah your Power was your King”.
Yah Warns the King and the Children of Ysrayl Both to Keep His Commandments
13 “Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired. And take note, Yah has set a king over you. 14 If you fear Yah and serve Him and obey His voice and do not rebel against the commandment of Yah, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following Yah your Father. 15 However, if you do not obey the voice of Yah but rebel against the commandment of Yah, then the hand of Yah will be against you, as it was against your fathers”.
Yah Sends Rain and Thunder as a Sign Because of Ysrayl’s Wickedness
16 “Now therefore, stand and see the great thing which Yah will do before your eyes: 17 Is today not the wheat harvest? I will call to Yah and He will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of Yah, in asking a king for yourselves”. So Shemuyah called to Yah and Yah sent thunder and rain that day and all the people greatly feared Yah and Shemuyah.
The Children of Ysrayl are Sorry They Asked For a King But Are Told To Continue Serving Yah: Shemuyah promises to pray for Ysrayl
19 And all the people said to Shemuyah, “Pray for your servants to Yah your Father, that we may not die. For we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves”. 20 Then Shemuyah said to the people, “Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness yet do not turn aside from following Yah but serve Yah with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. 22 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against Yah in ceasing to pray for you but I will teach you the good and the right way.
Shemuyah Warns the King and the Children of Ysrayl Once Again to Only Serve Yah with All Their Hearts
24 Only fear Yah and serve Him in truth with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away both you and your king”.
*Shaul or Shaal is thought to mean ‘asked of Yah or YL’ in Hebrew because the children of Ysrayl asked for a king. It could have been pronounced Shau-yl.
*Yahanathan means Yah has given in Hebrew. Similarily, Nathan means given and Nathaniyah means given from Yah.