1 Samuel – Chapter 11: Saul Rescues the City of Jabesh

Saul is now king of the Israelites and has had his heart changed by God.  God doesn’t have a very good track record when it comes to changing hearts (see the Egyptians), so this can’t end well.

“But Nahash the Ammonite replied, ‘I will make a treaty with you only on the condition that I gouge out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace on all Israel.’” – 1 Samuel 11:2

Well that’s not nice.  No argument from me on the evil of gouging out someone’s eye.

“When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger. He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, ‘This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel.’ Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out together as one.” – 1 Samuel 11:6-7

I can understand Saul’s anger, but what is the point of chopping the oxen into pieces?  A piece of paper with a message on it is not good enough?  Imagine today’s leaders chopping up animals because they are upset about other leaders?

“The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the last watch of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites and slaughtered them until the heat of the day.” – 1 Samuel 11:11

More slaughter at the hands of God.  In this case the Israelites are rescuing their people, but today’s countries are more moral.  Some enemies may be killed in battle, but the slaughter of everyone is NEVER the goal.  We are more humane than that.

“But Saul said, ‘No one will be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.’” – 1 Samuel 11:13

Um…except for the slaughtering that just happened!

That basically concludes this chapter, but let me explain why I think this story is complete fiction (other than it being in the fictional Bible).  Let’s go back several verses to:

“The elders of Jabesh said to him, ‘Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue us, we will surrender to you.’” – 1 Samuel 11:3

Yes, because the people about to gouge your eyes out are going to just let you have seven days to send out messengers to organize a rescue effort.  That’s exactly what happens…NOT!  This is simply ridiculous and to me proves this story is complete fiction, as is the rest of the Bible!

Coming Soon:  1 Samuel – Chapter 12:  Samuel’s Farewell Speech

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