Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to
the tempestuous sea of liberty. — Thomas Jefferson

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh

Saul was now the king of all the twelve tribes of Israel, but he did not at once n his manner of life set up the state of a king. He lived at home, and worked in the fields on his father's farm, just as he had always done.

One day, while Saul was plowing in the field with a yoke of oxen, a man came running with sad news. He said that the Ammonites, a fierce people living near the desert on the east, beyond the Jordan, had come up against Jabesh in Gilead, led by their king, Nahash. The people in that city were too few to fight the Ammonites, and they said, "We will submit to your rule, if you will promise to spare our lives."

And Nahash, the king of the Ammonites, said to the people of Jabesh, "You shall live, but within seven days I will come with my soldiers, and I will put out the right eye of every man in your city."

When a city was taken by its enemies in those times, such cruel deeds were common. Often all the people in it, young and old, were slain without mercy. The men of Jabesh sent a messenger to go to Saul as swiftly as possible, and to tell him of the terrible fate that was hanging over them.

Saul and Samuel

When Saul heard of it the spirit of a king rose within him. He killed the oxen that he was driving, cut them into twelve pieces, and sent swift messengers through all the land, to say to every fighting man in the twelve tribes, "Whoever will not come out after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen."

And the Lord gave to all the people the spirit of obedience to their king. At once a great army gathered at a place called Bezek, and he sent word to Jabesh, saying, "To-morrow, by the time the sun is hot, you will be set free from all fear of the Ammonites."

Saul and his men marched swiftly over the mountains of Benjamin and down into the Jordan valley. They walked across the river where it was shallow and climbed the mountains of Gilead. There they fell furiously upon the Ammonites early in the morning, killed many of them and scattered the rest, so that not even two of their men could be found together.

We read in the last Story that when Saul was made king some men were not pleased and were unwilling to submit to him. Now that a great victory had been won under Saul as leader, the people said with one voice, "Where are those men who would not honor our king? Bring them out, and let them be put to death."

But King Saul said, "There shall not a man be put to death this day, for to-day the Lord has set his people free from their enemies." Samuel was with Saul, and he said, "Let us go to Gilgal, where Joshua encamped long ago when our fathers crossed the Jordan; and there let us set up the kingdom again."

They came to Gilgal, and offered sacrifices to the Lord and worshipped. There Samuel gave up to the new king the rule over the land and spoke words of farewell. He said to the people:

"I have done as you asked me, and have given you a king. You king stands before you now. I am old and gray-headed, and I have lived before you from my youth up to this day. Here I am; now, in the presence of the Lord and of his anointed king, is there any man whom I have wronged? Have I taken any man's ox or ass? Have I taken a present from any man to make me favor him as judge? If I have robbed any man, let him speak, and I will pay him all that I have taken."

And all the people said to Samuel, "You have ruled justly, and have wronged no man, and have robbed no man."

And Samuel said, "The Lord is witness, and his anointed, the king, is witness, that I have taken nothing from any man."

And all the people said, "He is witness."

Then Samuel called to their minds all that God had done for his people since he had led them out of Egypt; how he had saved them from their enemies, and had given them judges. And he said, "Now the Lord has set a king over you. But if you disobey the Lord, then God will punish you, as he punished your fathers."

Then Samuel called upon God, and God sent thunder and rain on that day, showing his power. The people were filled with fear, and they cried to Samuel, "Pray to the Lord for us, for we have done wrong in asking for a king."

"Yes," said Samuel, "you have done wrong; but if you from this time do right, and seek the Lord, God will not forsake you. He will forgive you and bless you. I will always pray for you, and will teach you the right way. But if you do evil, God will destroy you and your king. So fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all you heart."

After this Samuel went again to his own house at Ramah, and Saul ruled the people from Gibeah, the home of his family.


Front Matter

The Story of a Beautiful Garden
The First Baby in the World and His Brother
The Great Ship That Saved Eight People
The Tower That Was Never Finished
The Story of a Long Journey
How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing
The Angel by the Well
The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City
The Boy Who Became an Archer
How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life
The Story of a Journey after a Wife
How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing
Jacob's Wonderful Dream
A Midnight Wrestling Match
The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave
From the Prison to the Palace
How Joseph's Dream Came True
A Lost Brother Found
From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty
The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River
The Voice from the Burning Bush
The River That Ran Blood
The Night When a Nation Was Born
How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre
The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke
How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It
The Tent Where God Lived Among His People
How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle
What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons
The Scapegoat in the Wilderness
The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan
How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an
What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass
How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land
The Story of Job
The Story of a Scarlet Cord
How the River Jordan Became Dry
The Story of a Wedge of Gold
How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan
The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants
The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge
The Story of an Altar Beside the River
The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon
How a Woman Won a Great Victory
Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred
Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It
The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died
The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest
How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz
The Little Boy with a Linen Coat
How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark
The Last of the Judges
The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King
How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh
The Brave Young Prince
Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss
The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem
The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant
The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows
Where David Found the Giant's Sword
How David Spared Saul's Life
The Last Days of King Saul
The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King
The Sound in the Treetops
The Cripple at the King's Table
The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb
David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom
Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne
The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah
Solomon on This Father's Throne
The Wise Young King
The House of God on Mount Moriah
The Last Days of Solomon's Reign
The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom
The King Who Led Israel to Sin
The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life
The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire
The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount
The Wounded Prophet and His Story
What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard
The Arrow That Killed a King
Elijah's Chariot of Fire
A Spring Sweetened by Salt
The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison
The Little Boy at Shunem
How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper
The Chariots of Fire around Elisha
What the Lepers Found in the Camp
Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot
Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh
How the Ten Tribes Were Lost
The First Four Kings of Judah
The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King
Three Kings and a Great Prophet
The Good King Hezekiah
The Lost Book Found in the Temple
The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph
What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley
The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King
The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace
The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again
The Writing upon the Wall
Daniel in the Den of Lions
The Story of a Joyous Journey
The New Temple on Mount Moriah
The Beautiful Queen of Persia
The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament
The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem
Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem
The Angel by the Altar
The Manger of Bethlehem
The Star and the Wise Men
The Boy in his Father's House
The Prophet in the Wilderness
Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River
The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast
The Stranger at the Well
The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot
A Net Full of Fishes
The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof
The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand
The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount
The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn
Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea
"Peace, Be Still"
The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life
A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her
The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It
The Answer to a Mother's Prayer
The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain
The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus
At the Feast of Tabernacles
The Man with Clay on His Face
The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan
Lazarus Raised to Life
Some Parables in Perea
The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man
Jesus at Jericho
Palm Sunday
The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple
The Parables on the Mount of Olives
The Last Supper
The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall
The Crown of Thorns
The Darkest Day of All the World
The Brightest Day of All the World
The Stranger on the Shore
The Church of the First Days
The Man at the Beautiful Gate
The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way
Stephen with the Shining Face
The Man Reading in the Chariot
The Voice That Spoke to Saul
What Peter Saw by the Sea
How the Iron Gate Was Opened
The Earliest Missionaries
The Song in the Prison
Paul's Speech on the Hill
Paul at Corinth
Paul at Ephesus
Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem
The Speech on the Stairs
Two Years in Prison
The Story That Paul Told to the King
Paul in the Storm
How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There
The Throne of God
The City of God