The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The First Book of Kings
It was a month later that Naas the Ammonite offered battle, and laid siege to Jabes-Galaad; whereupon the men of Jabes would have made a treaty with him, and become his subjects.
But his terms were, that he should put out the right eye of each citizen, to the shame of all Israel.
So the elders of Jabes asked for a truce of seven days, while they sent messengers out to every part of Israel; if none came forward to help them, they would open the gates to him.
When these messengers came to Gabaa, where Saul lived, and told the people their errand, the whole city made loud lament.
And just then Saul came in from the country, driving his team of oxen; What ails the people, he asked, that they should weep? And he was told of the message from Jabes.
When he heard it, the spirit of the Lord fell upon him, and his heart burned with rage;
there and then he took both the oxen, and cut them into small pieces, which he sent round by messenger to every part of Israel; The man who does not rally, said he, to the cause of Saul and Samuel, will have his oxen treated like these. And the Lord put the whole people in such dread of him, that they answered his summons to a man;
when he called the roll at Bezech, Israel had sent three hundred thousand, and there were thirty thousand besides from Juda.
Back went the messengers, carrying word to Jabes-Galaad that relief would come next day, with the heat of the sun. So the men of Jabes, overjoyed at the news the messengers brought,
told Naas that they would open the gates on the morrow, and he should have them at his mercy.
That next day, at the morning watch, Saul divided his army into three, and made his way into the heart of the Ammonite camp at the time of the morning watch. All morning, till the sun gained its heat, he smote the Ammonites down; and those who survived were so scattered that never a pair escaped together.
After this, the people cried out to Samuel, Where are the men who protested they would not have Saul for their king? Bring them out, and let us slay them.
But Saul answered, Nay, the Lord has given Israel a great victory; there shall be no slaughter this day.
And now Samuel called on the people to come with him to Galgala, and renew the covenant of the kingship there;
so all went to Galgala, and there, at Galgala, took Saul for their king in the Lord’s presence, which they honoured with welcome-offerings. A glad man was Saul that day, and not a heart in Israel but rejoiced with him.
The Holy Bible