2 But Nahash the Ammonite told them, “I will make a treaty with you on this condition, that I will [a]gouge out the right eye of every one of you, and make it a disgrace upon all Israel.” 3 The elders of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Give us seven days so that we may send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out [and surrender] to you.” 4 [b]Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the news to the people; and all the people raised their voices and wept aloud.
1 Samuel 11:2Partially blinding a man made him almost useless as an enemy combatant or archer because it hampered his depth perception and limited his peripheral vision.
1 Samuel 11:4Nahash granted the request, even though the Israelites’ offer to submit to slavery (v 1) clearly indicated that they were in essence already defeated. Nahash undoubtedly believed that there was no formidable person to save Israel, and he wanted to see them willingly submit to the painful and debilitating mutilation that he had planned for them.
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