1 Samuel 11.3 – Incidental reference to seven days

The king of the Ammonites sought to take Jabesh Gilead,

Then the elders of Jabesh said to him, “Hold off for seven days, that we may send messengers to all the territory of Israel. And then, if there is no one to save us, we will come out to you” (1 Samuel 11.3). 

The king granted their request, but in so doing he set up his own defeat, because when Saul, the new king of Israel, heard of this, he immediately when to the defense of Jabesh Gilead and saved them.

The elders of Jabesh Gilead asked for a seven day waiting period to find out whether anyone would come to their aid. Why did they say seven days? Perhaps they figured that was enough time for messengers to travel anywhere in the land of Israel, and then for the messengers to return.

Other than that, we cannot see any significance to the use of “seven” in this passage.

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3 thoughts on “1 Samuel 11.3 – Incidental reference to seven days

  1. I was wondering if you’ve read “The Harbinger” or seen the DVD “Harbinger Decoded” by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn? He also wrote a book on the Shemita recently. Every 7 years is a Shemita. It falls on Elul 29. On Elul 29 (Sept.) 2001 and 2008 were the greatest stock market drops in US history. I believe the closing number in the stock market that day in 2008 was 777. The next Shemita (which also ushers in the Jubilee) is September 13 (Elul 29), 2015.

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