Biblical Verses Biblical Verses & Resources

Book of 1 Samuel - Chapter 11 - Verse 1

Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee.


When Nahash the Ammonite came up against Jabesh-gilead, it signified a threat to the people of Jabesh. The Ammonites were enemies of Israel, and their encampment meant danger and potential destruction for the men of Jabesh. In their desperation, the men of Jabesh sought to make a covenant with Nahash in order to avoid conflict and possibly secure some form of protection. This action reflects the difficult and precarious situation that the people of Jabesh found themselves in, as they were willing to submit to the rule of Nahash if it meant safety for their city. The verse serves as a reminder of the harsh realities faced by communities in ancient times, where the threat of war and invasion was a constant concern. Ultimately, the story of Nahash and Jabesh-gilead highlights the importance of unity, courage, and faith in times of adversity, as the people of Jabesh faced a difficult decision that would determine their fate.

Theological Overview

In this verse, Nahash the Ammonite is seen encamping against Jabeshgilead. The theological interpretation here is that Nahash symbolizes an external threat or enemy. The fact that the men of Jabesh are willing to make a covenant with him in exchange for serving him can be seen as a reflection of how desperate they are in the face of this threat. The word "covenant" is significant in this context as it represents a binding agreement between two parties. In the biblical context, covenants are often seen as agreements between God and his people, so the men of Jabesh turning to Nahash for protection may be seen as a sign of their wavering faith. This verse serves as a reminder of the consequences of turning away from God and seeking help from worldly sources. It also underscores the importance of trust and reliance on God in times of trouble, rather than turning to human means for security and protection.

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