A city in Israel that changed course for the better 

Old Testament: 2Sa 2.4–7

To read the Bible in a year, read Second Samuel 1–3 on April 21, In the year of our Lord Christ 2022

By Don Ruhl 

Earlier in Israel’s history, the town of Jabesh Gilead had failed to support the rest of the nation when they had gathered together to remove evil from the tribe of Benjamin. 

Years later, an enemy came to attack Jabesh Gilead and King Saul saved them. 

Therefore, when Saul died and the Philistines had taken his body, Jabesh Gilead was the town that broke through the Philistines to recover Saul’s body and to bury it. 

Someone told David what they had done: 

 Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, “The men of Jabesh Gilead were the ones who buried Saul.” So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, and said to them, “You are blessed of the LORD, for you have shown this kindness to your lord, to Saul, and have buried him. And now may the LORD show kindness and truth to you. I also will repay you this kindness, because you have done this thing. Now therefore, let your hands be strengthened, and be valiant; for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”

– 2 Samuel 2.4–7 

The men of Jabesh Gilead did a courageous thing, showing that they had truly changed from what they were before. 

It is also noteworthy that David commended them for what they did, although King Saul had tried to kill David numerous times. 

King Saul was an evil governmental ruler, yet, Jabesh Gilead and David still recognized him for what he was, the king. 


  • Can you find Jabesh Gilead on a map? 
  • What is your attitude toward government officials with whom you disagree? 

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