Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 11

Saul defeats Nahash’s army

1 Samuel 11:9-11

In Jabesh, the situation was desperate. It seemed that the inhabitants would have to hand over their town to Nahash, their enemy. Then they would suffer his cruelty.

However, 10 miles (15 kilometres) away in Bezek, Israel’s men were gathering to fight for Jabesh. At Saul’s command, they had come from every part of Israel. Together, they were a vast army.

The army of Israel sent a message back to the inhabitants of Jabesh. Israel’s army was ready to fight and to defeat Nahash’s army. The inhabitants of Jabesh would be free early on the next day.

That was wonderful news for the people in Jabesh. Their despair turned to joy immediately. They did not need to see the result of the battle to be joyful. They trusted the message that they had received. They were confident of success. They even told their enemy that they would only wait until the next day for help to arrive.

Saul did not wait until the next day. During the night, he took his men across the river Jordan. He organised them into three groups. They attacked when Nahash’s army did not expect them. It was before dawn when the battle began. Nahash’s men would still be sleeping when Israel’s army entered their camp.

Saul’s plan was a complete success. Nahash’s army was probably much smaller than Saul’s army. Nahash only brought soldiers to attack one town; they did not expect the men from an entire nation to attack them. Saul’s army killed many of them; the others ran away in many directions.

Next part: Saul becomes popular (1 Samuel 11:12-15)


Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 450 page course book.


© 2014, Keith Simons.