וַיַּעַל נָחָשׁ הָעַמּוֹנִי וַיִּחַן עַל־יָבֵשׁ גִּלְעָד וַיֹּאמְרוּ כָּל־אַנְשֵׁי יָבֵישׁ אֶל־נָחָשׁ כְּרָת־לָנוּ בְרִית וְנַעַבְדֶךָּ׃ 11:1
1Sam. 11:1 And Nahash, the Ammonite, went up and camped near Jabesh-gilead and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a covenant with us and we will serve you.”
וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם נָחָשׁ הָעַמּוֹנִי בְּזֹאת אֶכְרֹת לָכֶם בִּנְקוֹר לָכֶם כָּל־עֵין יָמִין וְשַׂמְתִּיהָ חֶרְפָּה עַל־כָּל־ 11:2 יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
1Sam. 11:2 And Nahash, the Ammonite, said to them, “On this I will make a covenant with you: On putting out every right eye of yours, and I will make it a disgrace upon all Israel.”
וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו זִקְנֵי יָבֵישׁ הֶרֶף לָנוּ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וְנִשְׁלְחָה מַלְאָכִים בְּכֹל גְּבוּל 11:3
יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאִם־אֵין מֹושִׁיעַ אֹתָנוּ וְיָצָאנוּ אֵלֶיךָ׃
1Sam. 11:3 And the elders of Jabesh said to him, “Wait for us seven days that we may send messengers in all the territory of Israel. And if there will be none delivering us, then we will come out to you.”
וַיָּבֹאוּ הַמַּלְאָכִים גִּבְעַת שָׁאוּל וַיְדַבְּרוּ הַדְּבָרִים בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם וַיִּשְׂאוּ כָל־הָעָם אֶת־קוֹלָם וַיִּבְכּוּ׃ 11:4
1Sam. 11:4 And the messengers came to Gibeath-shaul, and spoke the words in the ears of the people, and all the people lifted up their voices and wailed.
וְהִנֵּה שָׁאוּל בָּא אַחֲרֵי הַבָּקָר מִן־הַשָּׂדֶה וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל מַה־לָּעָם כִּי יִבְכּוּ וַיְסַפְּרוּ־לוֹ אֶת־דִּבְרֵי 11:5 אַנְשֵׁי יָבֵישׁ׃
1Sam. 11:5 And behold, Saul came after the oxen from the field. And Saul said, “What of the people, that they weep?” And they declared to him the words of the men of Jabesh.
וַתִּצְלַח רוּחַ־אֱלֹהִים עַל־שָׁאוּל בְּשָׁמְעוֹ אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַיִּחַר אַפּוֹ מְאֹד׃ 11:6
1Sam. 11:6 And the spirit of God came mightily upon Saul on hearing these words and his anger was greatly kindled.
וַיִּקַּח צֶמֶד בָּקָר וַיְנַתְּחֵהוּ וַיְשַׁלַּח בְּכָל־גְּבוּל יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּיַד הַמַּלְאָכִים לֵאמֹר אֲשֶׁר אֵינֶנּוּ יֹצֵא אַחֲרֵי 11:7 שָׁאוּל וְאַחַר שְׁמוּאֵל כֹּה יֵעָשֶׂה לִבְקָרוֹ וַיִּפֹּל פַּחַד־יְהוָה עַל־הָעָם וַיֵּצְאוּ כְּאִישׁ אֶחָד׃
1Sam. 11:7 And he took a pair of oxen and cut it to pieces, and sent throughout the territory of Israel in the hands of the messengers saying, “Who does not come forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall be done to his oxen.” And an alarm of the Lord fell upon the people and they came forth as one man.
וַיִּפְקְדֵם בְּבָזֶק וַיִּהְיוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף וְאִישׁ יְהוּדָה שְׁלֹשִׁים אָלֶף׃ 11:8
1Sam. 11:8 And he counted them in Bezek and the children of Israel were three hundred thousand and the men of Judah, thirty thousand.
וַיֹּאמְרוּ לַמַּלְאָכִים הַבָּאִים כֹּה תֹאמְרוּן לְאִישׁ יָבֵישׁ גִּלְעָד מָחָר תִּהְיֶה־לָכֶם תְּשׁוּעָה בְּחֹם הַשָּׁמֶש 11:9ׁ וַיָּבֹאוּ הַמַּלְאָכִים וַיַּגִּידוּ לְאַנְשֵׁי יָבֵישׁ וַיִּשְׂמָחוּ׃
1Sam. 11:9 And they said to the messengers who came, “Thus shall you say to the men of Jabesh-gilead: ‘Tomorrow at the heat of the sun there shall be deliverance for you.’” So the messengers went and declared to the men of Jabesh, and they rejoiced.
וַיֹּאמְרוּ אַנְשֵׁי יָבֵישׁ מָחָר נֵצֵא אֲלֵיכֶם וַעֲשִׂיתֶם לָּנוּ כְּכָל־הַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֵיכֶם׃ 11:10
1Sam. 11:10 Then the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you and you may do to us like all that is good in your eyes.”
וַיְהִי מִמָּחֳרָת וַיָּשֶׂם שָׁאוּל אֶת־הָעָם שְׁלֹשָׁה רָאשִׁים וַיָּבֹאוּ בְתוֹךְ־הַמַּחֲנֶה בְּאַשְׁמֹרֶת הַבֹּקֶר וַיַּכּוּ 11:11 אֶת־עַמּוֹן עַד־חֹם הַיּוֹם וַיְהִי הַנִּשְׁאָרִים וַיָּפֻצוּ וְלֹא נִשְׁאֲרוּ־בָם שְׁנַיִם יָחַד׃
1Sam. 11:11 And it was the next day that Saul put the people in three companies, and they came into the midst of the camp in the watch of the morning and smote the Ammonites until the heat of the day, and it was, those who remained, then they were scattered, so were not left with them two of them together.
וַיֹּאמֶר הָעָם אֶל־שְׁמוּאֵל מִי הָאֹמֵר שָׁאוּל יִמְלֹךְ עָלֵינוּ תְּנוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים וּנְמִיתֵם׃ 11:12
1Sam. 11:12 And the people said to Samuel, “Who is he that said, ‘Shall Saul rule over us?’ Bring the men and we will put them to death.”
וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל לֹא־יוּמַת אִישׁ בַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה כִּי הַיּוֹם עָשָׂה־יְהוָה תְּשׁוּעָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל׃ 11:13
1Sam. 11:13 And Saul said, “No man shall be put to death on this day, for today the Lord has wrought deliverance in Israel.”
וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל־הָעָם לְכוּ וְנֵלְכָה הַגִּלְגָּל וּנְחַדֵּשׁ שָׁם הַמְּלוּכָה׃ 11:14
1Sam. 11:14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come and we will go to Gilgal and repair the realm there.”
וַיֵּלְכוּ כָל־הָעָם הַגִּלְגָּל וַיַּמְלִכוּ שָׁם אֶת־שָׁאוּל לִפְנֵי יְהוָה בַּגִּלְגָּל וַיִּזְבְּחוּ־שָׁם זְבָחִים שְׁלָמִים לִפְנֵי 11:15 יְהוָה וַיִּשְׂמַח שָׁם שָׁאוּל וְכָל־אַנְשֵׁי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַד־מְאֹד׃
1Sam. 11:15 And all the people went to Gilgal and made Saul king before the Lord there in Gilgal, and sacrificed there sacrifices of peace offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced there very much.
It seems that sacrifices were offered anywhere, not only the place that God had chosen, if He had indeed informed the people that He had chosen. Apparently the Tabernacle was still in Shiloh, and that should have been the only place for sacrifices. Could the Israelites have been that ignorant of the commandments? Or were they still as spiritually corrupt as they’d been during or between the periods of the judges? Perhaps -- most likely? -- the answer is that they were both ignorant and corrupt.
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