(jā`bĕsh-gĭl`ēăd), in the Bible, city of Gilead. After the affair at Gibeah, wives were provided for the Benjamites by sacking Jabesh. Later, Saul saved Jabesh, and at his death the grateful city buried him.
Reading "and it was about a month" at the beginning of chapter 11 places the account of Nahash the Ammonite's siege of jabesh-gilead firmly in the earliest days of Saul's kingship.
The insertion given in 4QSam (a) gives additional background information for the account of the Ammonite campaign against Jabesh-gilead. Frank Moore Cross suggests that the addition helps to explain the severity of Nahash's behavior toward the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead, gouging out their right eye, by explaining that they were harboring fugitives.
Instead, the Qumran material serves to intensify the horror of Nahash's attack on Jabesh-gilead. Not only was he threatening to take the region of Gilead, but he had already devastated all the Israelites who had settled on the far side of the Jordan and left no one there with both eyes.
When David heard about her actions, he eventually buried not just these bodies but also the bodies of Saul and Jonathan, which had been left hanging by the Philistines after they killed them, and which later had been stolen by the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead. When David buried these bodies, the famine lifted from the land.
Indeed, immediately following the story of the burial of Saul by the citizens of Jabesh-Gilead, the Chronicler skips the story of the Amalakite who informs David about Saul's death and instead goes on to tell us that already David began his reign as king in Hebron (I Chron.