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1 Samuel 11:3-4 meaning...

Here the people of Jabesh-gilead are in a dire situation, facing a brutal threat from the Ammonites. In their distress, they turn to Saul, who has recently been anointed as king by the prophet Samuel. This event serves as a test of Saul's leadership and a moment that will define his early reign as king.

  • Key Points:

The Plea of the Elders: The elders of Jabesh-gilead approach Nahash with a plea for a seven-day respite, during which they intend to seek help from the rest of Israel. This request is a desperate attempt to save their city from the horrific fate Nahash has threatened.

The Messengers' Arrival in Gibeah: The messengers sent by the elders of Jabesh-gilead arrive in Gibeah, Saul's hometown. They deliver the distressing message, revealing the dire situation faced by their city. This news deeply affects the people of Gibeah, who respond with weeping.

  • Significance:

Leadership under Pressure: This passage illustrates the challenges and responsibilities that come with leadership, especially in times of crisis. Saul, as the newly anointed king, is faced with a test of his leadership and his ability to protect and deliver justice to his people.

Compassion and Empathy: The response of the people of Gibeah, including Saul, is marked by empathy and compassion. They are deeply moved by the distress of the messengers and the plight of the people of Jabesh-gilead. This highlights the importance of caring for the welfare of others.

Unity and Solidarity: The messengers' plea for help from all the borders of Israel emphasizes the unity and solidarity among the tribes of Israel. In times of crisis, it is crucial for communities and nations to come together to support one another.

  • Application:

Leadership and Responsibility: Those in positions of leadership, whether in government, church, or community, should be prepared to act decisively and responsibly when faced with crises. Leadership often entails making difficult decisions for the well-being of others.

Compassion and Empathy: This passage encourages believers to cultivate empathy and compassion for those in need. It reminds us to respond with care and concern when we encounter distressing situations or hear the pleas of those facing adversity.

Unity and Solidarity: Just as the tribes of Israel came together in solidarity to help the people of Jabesh-gilead, believers are called to support and stand with one another in times of trouble. Unity is a powerful force for overcoming adversity.


Galatians 6:2: "Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." This New Testament verse emphasizes the importance of supporting and helping one another in times of need.

Proverbs 11:14: "Where there is no counsel, plans fail; but in a multitude of counselors they are established." This proverb underscores the significance of seeking advice and counsel from others, especially in moments of decision and crisis.

1 Samuel 11:3-4 recounts the plea of the elders of Jabesh-gilead for a respite and the distressing message delivered to the people of Gibeah. This passage serves as a test of Saul's leadership and highlights themes of leadership under pressure, compassion, empathy, unity, and solidarity. It provides valuable lessons for believers today on the responsibilities of leadership, caring for others, and the power of unity in times of crisis.

1 Samuel 11:3-4. The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days, that we may send messengers to all the borders of Israel; and then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you.” Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul, and spoke these words in the ears of the people, then all the people lifted up their voice, and wept.


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