I Samuel 11
Saul has now been brought forth in front of all the Tribes of Israel by Samuel, as directed by Father, and anointed king. He will now encounter his first trial. Who presents this trial and how will he do? We'll find out the answer to the first question rather quickly, the answer to the second doesn't take too long either, and we'll know before the end of the Chapter.
So, let's begin.
11:1-11 AGGRESSION OF NAHASH. (Repeated Alternation.)
11:1 Aggression of Nahash.
11:1 Men of Jabesh-gilead. Message to Nahash.
I Samuel 11:1 Then Nahash (serpent)the Ammonite (of the offspring of Lot and his younger daughter) came up, and encamped against Jabesh-gilead: and all the men of Jabesh (dry) said unto Nahash, “Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee.” -> The men=Enosh, Hebrew for man as an individual, or, male person(s). In this instance it means, those Israelites who had not obeyed the summons of all the Tribes from Judges 21--Judges 21:8And they said, "What one is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Mizpeh to the LORD?" And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabesh-gilead to the assembly.--were extinguished, and their daughters given to the remnant of Benjamin. Remember from Judges 19that the men of Israel had gone to war against the people of Gibeah because they had turned into a community of sodomites, and had attacked and killed the Levite priest's concubine. When the Levite returned home, he had brought his concubine’s body with him, cut it up, and then sent a piece to each of the Tribes, thereby summoning them to war against Gibeah, a call for conscripts also went out to all the communities.
When they were all gathered together at Mizpeh, it was found that no one from Jabesh-gilead had answered the call to go to war. Let’s review Judges 21 to see what happened to the people of Jabesh-gilead. Again, Judges 21:8And they said, "What one is there of tribes of Israel that came unto up to Mizpeh to the Lord?” And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabesh-gilead to the assembly of God. [21:9]For the people numbered, and, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead there. [21:10]And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest, and commanded them, saying, "Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the children. [21:11] And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man. -> This act of killing all the men, and the women that had sexual union with a man, would virtually end the existence of that that tribe. It was a form of genocide and it took place within the tribes of Israel. However when the battle was over the entire tribe of Benjamin was wiped out, except for six hundred men. The Israelites realized after the fact as to what they had done, and that they had eliminated the inheritance of Benjamin yet they were held back from giving their daughters to these six hundred men by their own laws and decrees. Let’s skip down to verse v21:18, Judges 21:18Howbeit we may not give wives of our daughters: for the children of Israel have sworn, saying, Cursed be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin. -> The problem was solved when they determined that the men of Israel would use the dance of the feast at Shiloh that was held each year as a method of allowing the six hundred men of Benjamin to continue their tribe. The plan was to have the men hide in the bushes, select a wife for himself and steal her away, then rush her back to their land. A priest would be there to marry them instantly, and thus a new family unit would be established so that children would be born and the tribe would have an inheritance.
Saul was a child that came from one of these marriages; therefore these men had a claim on him, and the city of Jabesh-gilead were the descendants of part of those six hundred men. So now the Ammonites are coming against the town of Jabesh, and before the men of that town would give into the Ammonites, they sent word out to the rest of Israel for help. Remember that the tribe of Benjamin was the smallest of all the tribes because of that war, and they didn't want to fight Nahash so they immediately try to enter into a covenant with him. Think about this, they're trying to enter into a covenant with "the serpent."
11:2 Ultimatum of Nahash.
I Samuel 11:2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, “On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel. -> Before Nahash agrees, he tells the men of Israel that he first wants to make an agreement with them, they must each agree to allow him to thrust or "pluck" out their right eyes. Why the right eye? Because, during battle, a soldier's shield covered his left eye, leaving the right eye necessary for seeing, and the loss of it would then incapacitate the fighting soldier. Talk about going into servitude, we're about to find out just how strong of a leader Saul is going to be for Israel, as these men of Jabesh--the Benjamites--will first send to him to find if he'll muster the troops and come to their aid.
Father is giving us a lesson through this chapter; He is showing us what a mess we can get ourselves into when we try to negotiate with the "serpent." The Israelites are pulling away from Father and instead are turning to a man to save them. The first thing that these people of the serpent will try to do is to disarm us, and make us ineffective to fight the battles that Father expects us to fight. He is showing us that man cannot save you, only He can save you. The only power that we have, comes from our Heavenly Father.
11:3-4 Men of Jabesh-gilead. Message to Saul.
I Samuel 11:3 And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, “Give us seven days' respite, that we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel: and then, if there be no man to save us, we will come out to thee.” -> These Benjamites tell Nahash that before they agree, they first want to consult with the rest of the Tribes, to see whether they too will agree to this.
Nahash is hoping they will, however, either way, he is about to test the strength and resolve of their new, man king. Remember, in the last Chapter, I Samuel 10:9, Father had given Saul a new mind, or heart, so maybe he'll have the courage to go with his height.
Man to save us=You can see their looking for a Saviour, however, man is not such.
I Samuel 11:4 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. -> Lifted up their voice and wept=I have a hard time with these cowards weeping, for this is not the time for weeping, as the enemy is at the gate of the city, therefore it’s time for action. Remember, Father had already given them victory after victory when He brought them into the Promised Land, and now they’re weeping at the first time they have a man king – this is supposedly what they wanted – a man king to lead them into battle.
Gibeah was that small community that was wiped out some two hundred years prior for their in-actions against sodomy, and this was the community that was reformed after the first community was destroyed. This is also Saul's birthplace, and the place where his family lives.
11:5-9 Ultimatum of Nahash.
I Samuel 11:5 And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, “What aileth the people that they weep?” And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh. -> Saul was out in his fields with his herds when the messengers from Jabesh arrived, so he had no idea that Nahash was about to come against the House of Israel, or his trying to test their new king's resolve. As soon as he returns, he notices but doesn't understand the "why" for all the people crying because of the proposed covenant, so he asks. He is then told of Nahash and his proposal. What will he do? Will he muster up the courage or will he cow to Nahash and therefore from this day forward rely on the Ammonites to be their defenses?
Saul came after the herd=Saul, the first man king, is protector of asses. Do you see Father's humor in this? Think he is calling His People, Israel, a bunch of donkeys for wanting a man king instead of Him?
I Samuel 11:6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly. -> And the Spirit of God came upon Saul=Father wasn't going to take any chances with His People, He immediately placed His Spirit--ruach-- upon Saul in order for him to have the intestinal fortitude to stand against this aggression of Nahash and the Ammonites.
Came=Came mightily as It did back in I Samuel 10:6 and 10:10.
His anger was kindled greatly=Righteous indignation! How many times have you heard Christian pastors and Christians say that we shouldn't become angry or get mad at things or people? That we should do as Christ told us love them and "turn the other cheek." That isn't how Father wants us to be, if something is against Him, His Plan or His Will or even against correct moral righteousness, we are allowed and expected to get angry, stand up for, and fight for, what is right. Love them yes, but sometimes that requires "tough love" and you need to take the correcting rod to them to make them "do right."
I Samuel 11:7 And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent themthroughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, “Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen.” And the fear of the LORD fell on the People, and they came out with one consent. -> Saul did the correct thing by cutting and dividing--hewing--this oxen for two reasons: (1) he knew by his statement of his cutting theirs if they didn't show-up, that he'd be getting into their wallets, and no man wants that; and (2) it also would assist in their no longer being able to provide for themselves.
Fear of the LORD fell on the People=Again, Father's ruach touched the Israelites and they came out as "one man" and consented to go to war and fight for what was right.
I Samuel 11:8 And when he numbered them in Bezek (lightening), the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand. -> Children of Israel...men of Judah=Here we have the start of the dividing of the two Houses of Israel: House of Israel--ten tribes to include Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Ephraim and half of Manasseh, with a sprinkling of Levi--the priesthood; and House of Judah-two tribes to include Judah and, Benjamin, with half of Manasseh and a sprinkling of the Levites.
If you are going to understand Father’s Word, you must fix in your mind the division to each of these separate groups of people, for Father deals with each of these houses separately. In Jeremiah 3:8, because of their idolatry, Father divorced Israel whom He had taken to wife in Ezekiel 16:8. It was through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that Father now draws all his people of the house of Israel back to him.
These two Houses will not be joined back together until the prophecy of Ezekiel 37 comes to pass, and that event will transpire at the entering into the Millennium Age when the kingdom of Jesus Christ is established right here on earth.
Men of Judah thirty thousand=In Numbers 1:27, the number of those who were twenty years and older which were able to go to war, was, 74,600, then in Numbers 26:22that number increased by one thousand nine hundred, to, 76,500, however, now approximately 450 years later, all they can muster is a mere, 30,000 warfighters. Why? Because Saul knew of the division that was started back in Genesis 48-50, and thus he treats Israel--all of the tribes except Judah--as separate from Judah. There were three hundred thousand warfighters of the house of Israel, and only thirty thousand of Judah. Remember, Benjamin was very limited because most of their tribe had been killed off right there in Gibeah, three hundred years prior.
I Samuel 11:9 And they said unto the messengers that came, “Thus shall ye say unto the men of Jabesh-gilead, ‘To morrow, by that time the sun be hot, ye shall have help.’ ’’ And the messengers came and shewed itto the men of Jabesh; and they were glad. -> Help=Deliverance, or salvation.
And they were glad=Yeah, I bet they were happy that their man king was mustering the troops and going to come to their rescue. They wouldn't have to wait long either for as the messengers had told them--by the time the sun gets hot tomorrow, the army will be there ready to fight."
11:10 Men of Jabesh-gilead. Reply to Nahash.
I Samuel 11:10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, “To morrow we will come out unto you, and ye shall do with us all that seemeth good unto you.” -> They're getting a little cocky, aren't they? But, I guess if you have an army of three hundred plus thousand coming to back your claims up, you have the luxury to be slightly cocky. They tell Nahash and the Ammonites, that tomorrow, "you won't even have to come to us as we'll come out, and you can pluck out the eyes of all you can" - just a little covertness on their part, that they don't mention the three hundred thousand man backing they'll have.
11:11 Defeat of Nahash.
I Samuel 11:11 And it was so on the morrow, 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 which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together. -> Saul put the people in three companies=See how you immediately become more intelligent when Father's Spirit comes upon you? Saul himself, would never have known how to plan this military strategy and operation.
Saul divided the Army into three divisions and they arrived at the outskirts of Jabesh sometime between 3AM and 6AM, just prior to the sun coming up, and they went right into battle. They attacked and slew the Ammonites while they were least expecting it, for they thought they had already won the battle. They had let their guard down; and because of it, now the Ammonites were either dead, lying on the battlefield or scattered to the four corners of the earth.
Samuel, the man of God, was with them and had brought YHVH's blessings with Saul and the Israelite Army. Israel--just like we today--always wins when they have Father's blessings on their side.
This is something our--the United States--Military of today--2012--better start considering. It seems our top brass have completely forsaken Father and are now in favor of our man king--president obama--and is allowing the removal of YHVH's name from all their logos and saying, and also allowing itself to be run by these same children of belial in their acceptance of homosexuals, all in order to be politically correct.
I Samuel 11:12 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.” -> After thumping the Ammonite army, the Israelites are still in the war-fighting mode and now want to know who those sons of belial were, that said: ""How shall this man save us?" And then despised him, and brought him no presents.", the Israelites are now wanting to thump them as well. The Israelites are now thinking that Saul is going to be a very good king. However, it still doesn't change the fact that Father wanted--and still wants, and will be--our king.
I Samuel 11:13 And Saul said, “There shall not a man be put to death this day: for to day the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel.” -> Saul is now acting very kingly. He is also using something the third king of Israel, Solomon, will ask Father for and then use himself--wisdom. Notice he, Saul, rightfully gives Father all the credit--"for the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel." He knew it wasn't he who won this battle against the Ammonites, he knew Father's Ruach had descended upon him and led him--giving him the knowledge, and the victory.
11:14-12:25 INAUGURATION OF KINGDON. (Division.)
11:14-15 People assembled.
I Samuel 11:14 Then said Samuel to the people, “Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there.” -> Samuel the high priest now gives his input. He correctly suggests they all return home to Gilgal and renew their relationship with Father. Gilgal of course has been a hub of activity for the Israelites to this point in Father’s Word and the Israelites existence since coming up, out of their bondage to the Egyptians – approximately four hundred fifty years ago. It was located on the West side of the Jordan River but laid to the east of Jericho. It was the place which was the site of the first camp of the Israelites on the west of the Jordan; the place where they passed the first night after crossing the river, and at which the twelve stones were set up which had been taken from the bed of the stream. It was at Gilgal that the Gibeonites—the Hivites—came to Joshua and the elders and deceived them into not killing them, and then allowing them to dwell amongst Israelites. The Levites made them temple servants—nethinims—the drawers of water and hewers of wood for the altar of YHVH. Gilgal was also the home base from whence Joshua and the Israelite Army fought against the kings of the Amorites, Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth and Lachish. It was during this battle that Father had rained down great hailstones upon these kings and their armies, whereby Father had slew more men than Joshua and his army had with their swords. Gilgal was also part of Samuel’s circuit, along with Mizpeh and Bethel, that he judged Israel year-by-year. It is also the same place where he, Samuel, had also sent Saul right after telling him that he would be the first man king of Israel and after anointing him in: I Samuel 10:8And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do. So as we see, there is a lot of history with this location – Gilgal.
Samuel is the last Judge of Israel and the Judgeship is now about to bow out. There are big changes coming. Samuel like many of his predecessors was a good Judge of Israel; they had done righteously for the Nation. Will the kings live up to the high
standards that Debra, Samson, Gideon, Jephthah and some of the others set? Sadly, no, most will not, only a few will rule the Nation with Father as their guide-on. It will be during the reign of their third king, Solomon, because of his many wives and concubines, who will begin to lead Israel right back to worshipping idols and false gods, whereby Father will rend the kingdom into two separate Houses. Those two Houses are still separated to today and will remain so until the first day of Jesus' one thousand year Millennial reign.
I Samuel 11:15 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. -> So there we have it, Israel now has a king, not Father, not Father's True King, but a man king. The True will not rule until first the false comes, pretending to be the true, this is still future even to this day, he will then be identified as the false and then the True will return for His Children, to rule over them in His Kingdom for one thousand years, teaching and disciplining as can be read in Revelation 20. Our enemy, satan, will then be released for a short period to try and draw as many as will follow him and then he and they will be cast into the Lake of Fire and be gone forever.
So let's learn all we can about each of these kings of Israel, beginning with the first two: Saul and then David, who are spoken of in the remaining chapters of the wonderful Book of Samuel.