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1And Samuel saith unto Saul, ‘Me did Jehovah send to anoint thee for king over His people, over Israel; and now, hearken to the voice of the words of Jehovah:
2‘Thus said Jehovah of Hosts, I have looked after that which Amalek did to Israel, that which he laid for him in the way in his going up out of Egypt.
3Now, go, and thou hast smitten Amalek, and devoted all that it hath, and thou hast no pity on it, and hast put to death from man unto woman, from infant unto suckling, from ox unto sheep, from camel unto ass.’
4And Saul summoneth the people, and inspecteth them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand [are] men of Judah.
5And Saul cometh in unto a city of Amalek, and layeth wait in a valley;
6and Saul saith unto the Kenite, ‘Go, turn aside, go down from the midst of Amalek, lest I consume thee with it, and thou didst kindness with all the sons of Israel, in their going up out of Egypt;’ and the Kenite turneth aside from the midst of Amalek.
7And Saul smiteth Amalek from Havilah — thy going in to Shur, which [is] on the front of Egypt,
8and he catcheth Agag king of Amalek alive, and all the people he hath devoted by the mouth of the sword;
9and Saul hath pity — also the people — on Agag, and on the best of the flock, and of the herd, and of the seconds, and on the lambs, and on all that [is] good, and have not been willing to devote them; and all the work, despised and wasted — it they devoted.
10And the word of Jehovah is unto Samuel, saying,
11‘I have repented that I caused Saul to reign for king, for he hath turned back from after Me, and My words he hath not performed;’ and it is displeasing to Samuel, and he crieth unto Jehovah all the night.
12And Samuel riseth early to meet Saul in the morning, and it is declared to Samuel, saying, ‘Saul hath come in to Carmel, and lo, he is setting up to himself a monument, and goeth round, and passeth over, and goeth down to Gilgal.’
13And Samuel cometh in unto Saul, and Saul saith to him, ‘Blessed [art] thou of Jehovah; I have performed the word of Jehovah.’
14And Samuel saith, ‘And what [is] the noise of this flock in mine ears — and the noise of the herd which I am hearing?’
15And Saul saith, ‘From Amalek they have brought them, because the people had pity on the best of the flock, and of the herd, in order to sacrifice to Jehovah thy God, and the remnant we have devoted.’
16And Samuel saith unto Saul, ‘Desist, and I declare to thee that which Jehovah hath spoken unto me to-night;’ and he saith to him, ‘Speak.’
17And Samuel saith, ‘Art not thou, if thou [art] little in thine own eyes, head of the tribes of Israel? and Jehovah doth anoint thee for king over Israel,
18and Jehovah sendeth thee in the way, and saith, Go, and thou hast devoted the sinners, the Amalekite, and fought against them till they are consumed;
19and why hast thou not hearkened to the voice of Jehovah — and dost fly unto the spoil, and dost do the evil thing in the eyes of Jehovah?’
20And Saul saith unto Samuel, ‘Because — I have hearkened to the voice of Jehovah, and I go in the way which Jehovah hath sent me, and bring in Agag king of Amalek, and Amalek I have devoted;
21and the people taketh of the spoil of the flock and herd, the first part of the devoted thing, for sacrifice to Jehovah thy God in Gilgal.’
22And Samuel saith, ‘Hath Jehovah had delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices as [in] hearkening to the voice of Jehovah? lo, hearkening than sacrifice is better; to give attention than fat of rams;
23for a sin of divination [is] rebellion, and iniquity and teraphim [is] stubbornness; because thou hast rejected the word of Jehovah, He also doth reject thee from [being] king.’
24And Saul saith unto Samuel, ‘I have sinned, for I passed over the command of Jehovah, and thy words; because I have feared the people, I also hearken to their voice;
25and now, bear, I pray thee, with my sin, and turn back with me, and I bow myself to Jehovah.’
26And Samuel saith unto Saul, ‘I do not turn back with thee; for thou hast rejected the word of Jehovah, and Jehovah doth reject thee from being king over Israel.’
27And Samuel turneth round to go, and he layeth hold on the skirt of his upper robe — and it is rent!
28And Samuel saith unto him, ‘Jehovah hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee today, and given it to thy neighbour who is better than thou;
29and also, the Pre-eminence of Israel doth not lie nor repent, for He [is] not a man to be penitent.’
30And he saith, ‘I have sinned; now, honour me, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn back with me; and I have bowed myself to Jehovah thy God.’
31And Samuel turneth back after Saul, and Saul boweth himself to Jehovah;
32and Samuel saith, ‘Bring ye nigh unto me Agag king of Amalek,’ and Agag cometh unto him daintily, and Agag saith, ‘Surely the bitterness of death hath turned aside.’
33And Samuel saith, ‘As thy sword bereaved women — so is thy mother bereaved above women;’ and Samuel heweth Agag in pieces before Jehovah in Gilgal.
34And Samuel goeth to Ramath, and Saul hath gone unto his house — to Gibeah of Saul.
35And Samuel hath not added to see Saul till the day of his death, for Samuel mourned for Saul, and Jehovah repented that He had caused Saul to reign over Israel.
15
War against the Amalekites
1 # 1 S 10.1 Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one whom the Lord sent to anoint you king of his people Israel. Now listen to what the Lord Almighty says. 2#Ex 17.8-14; Dt 25.17-19 He is going to punish the people of Amalek because their ancestors opposed the Israelites when they were coming from Egypt. 3Go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Don't leave a thing; kill all the men, women, children, and babies; the cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys.”
4Saul called his forces together and inspected them at Telem: there were 200,000 soldiers from Israel and 10,000 from Judah. 5Then he and his men went to the city of Amalek and waited in ambush in a dry riverbed. 6He sent a warning to the Kenites, a people whose ancestors had been kind to the Israelites when they came from Egypt: “Go away and leave the Amalekites, so that I won't kill you along with them.” So the Kenites left.
7Saul defeated the Amalekites, fighting all the way from Havilah to Shur, east of Egypt; 8he captured King Agag of Amalek alive and killed all the people. 9But Saul and his men spared Agag's life and did not kill the best sheep and cattle, the best calves and lambs,#15.9: One ancient translation the best calves and lambs; Hebrew unclear. or anything else that was good; they destroyed only what was useless or worthless.#15.9: Some ancient translations useless or worthless; Hebrew unclear.
Saul Is Rejected as King
10The Lord said to Samuel, 11“I am sorry that I made Saul king; he has turned away from me and disobeyed my commands.” Samuel was angry, and all night long he pleaded with the Lord. 12Early the following morning he went off to find Saul. He heard that Saul had gone to the town of Carmel, where he had built a monument to himself, and then had gone on to Gilgal. 13Samuel went up to Saul, who greeted him, saying, “The Lord bless you, Samuel! I have obeyed the Lord's command.”
14Samuel asked, “Why, then, do I hear cattle mooing and sheep bleating?”
15Saul answered, “My men took them from the Amalekites. They kept the best sheep and cattle to offer as a sacrifice to the Lord your God, and the rest we have destroyed completely.”#15.15: destroyed completely: These animals had been unconditionally dedicated to the Lord and had to be destroyed (see Lv 27.28).
16“Stop,” Samuel ordered, “and I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”
“Tell me,” Saul said.
17Samuel answered, “Even though you consider yourself of no importance, you are the leader of the tribes of Israel. The Lord anointed you king of Israel, 18and he sent you out with orders to destroy those wicked people of Amalek. He told you to fight until you had killed them all. 19Why, then, did you not obey him? Why did you rush to grab the loot, and so do what displeases the Lord?”
20“I did obey the Lord,” Saul replied. “I went out as he told me to, brought back King Agag, and killed all the Amalekites. 21But my men did not kill the best sheep and cattle that they captured; instead, they brought them here to Gilgal to offer as a sacrifice to the Lord your God.”
22Samuel said, “Which does the Lord prefer: obedience or offerings and sacrifices? It is better to obey him than to sacrifice the best sheep to him. 23Rebellion against him is as bad as witchcraft, and arrogance is as sinful as idolatry. Because you rejected the Lord's command, he has rejected you as king.”
24“Yes, I have sinned,” Saul replied. “I disobeyed the Lord's command and your instructions. I was afraid of my men and did what they wanted. 25But now I beg you, forgive my sin and go back with me, so that I can worship the Lord.”
26“I will not go back with you,” Samuel answered. “You rejected the Lord's command, and he has rejected you as king of Israel.”
27 # 1 S 28.17; 1 K 11.30,31 Then Samuel turned to leave, but Saul caught hold of his cloak, and it tore. 28Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel away from you today and given it to someone who is a better man than you. 29Israel's majestic God does not lie or change his mind. He is not a human being—he does not change his mind.”
30“I have sinned,” Saul replied. “But at least show me respect in front of the leaders of my people and all of Israel. Go back with me so that I can worship the Lord your God.” 31So Samuel went back with him, and Saul worshiped the Lord.
32“Bring King Agag here to me,” Samuel ordered. Agag came to him, trembling with fear, thinking to himself, “What a bitter thing it is to die!”#15.32: trembling with fear … die; or confidently, thinking to himself, “Surely the bitter danger of death is past!” 33Samuel said, “As your sword has made many mothers childless, so now your mother will become childless.” And he cut Agag to pieces in front of the altar in Gilgal.
34Then Samuel went to Ramah, and King Saul went home to Gibeah. 35As long as Samuel lived, he never again saw the king; but he grieved over him. The Lord was sorry that he had made Saul king of Israel.