15 Then Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the [a]words of the Lord. 2 This is what the Lord of armies says: ‘I will [b]punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, in that he obstructed him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. 3 Now go and strike Amalek and completely destroy everything that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
4 Then Saul summoned the people and [c]counted them in Telaim: two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah. 5 And Saul came to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the [d]wadi. 6 But Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, get away, go down from among the Amalekites, so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the sons of Israel when they went up from Egypt.” So the Kenites got away from among the Amalekites. 7 Then Saul [e]defeated the Amalekites, from Havilah [f]going toward Shur, which is [g]east of Egypt. 8 He captured Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and completely destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the more valuable animals, the lambs, and everything that was good, and were unwilling to destroy them completely; but everything despicable and weak, that they completely destroyed.
Samuel Rebukes Saul
10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned back from [h]following Me and has not carried out My commands.” And Samuel was furious and cried out to the Lord all night. 12 Samuel got up early in the morning to meet Saul; and it was reported to Samuel, saying, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on [i]down to Gilgal.” 13 So Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have carried out the command of the Lord.” 14 But Samuel said, “What then is this [j]bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the [k]bellowing of the oxen which I hear?” 15 Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God; but the rest we have completely destroyed.” 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop, and let me inform you of what the Lord said to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak!”
17 So Samuel said, “[l]Is it not true, though you were [m]insignificant in your own eyes, that you became the head of the tribes of Israel? For the Lord anointed you as king over Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a [n]mission, and said, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are eliminated.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Instead, you loudly rushed upon the spoils and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord!”
20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I did obey the voice of the Lord, for I went on the [o]mission on which the Lord sent me; and I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have completely destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took some of the spoils, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things designated for destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.” 22 Samuel said,
“Does the Lord have as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than a sacrifice,
And to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as reprehensible as the sin of divination,
And insubordination is as reprehensible as false religion and idolatry.
Since you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He has also rejected you from being king.”
24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have violated the [p]command of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice. 25 Now then, please pardon my sin and return with me, so that I may worship the Lord.” 26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27 Then Samuel turned to go, but Saul grasped the edge of his robe, and it tore off. 28 So Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you. 29 Also the [q]Glory of Israel will not lie nor change His mind; for He is not a man, that He would change His mind.” 30 Then Saul said, “I have sinned; but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before all Israel, and go back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel went back following Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.
32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag, the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him [r]cheerfully. And Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is gone!” 33 But Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel cut Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal.
34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, but Saul went up to his house at Gibeah of Saul. 35 And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, though Samuel mourned for [s]Saul. And the Lord regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.
- 1 Samuel 15:1 Lit sound of the words
- 1 Samuel 15:2 Or visit
- 1 Samuel 15:4 Lit mustered
- 1 Samuel 15:5 Or valley
- 1 Samuel 15:7 Lit struck
- 1 Samuel 15:7 Lit as you go
- 1 Samuel 15:7 Lit before
- 1 Samuel 15:11 Lit after
- 1 Samuel 15:12 Lit and went down
- 1 Samuel 15:14 Lit sound
- 1 Samuel 15:14 Lit sound
- 1 Samuel 15:17 Or Though you were..., did you not become
- 1 Samuel 15:17 Lit small
- 1 Samuel 15:18 Lit way
- 1 Samuel 15:20 Lit way
- 1 Samuel 15:24 Lit mouth
- 1 Samuel 15:29 Or Splendor
- 1 Samuel 15:32 Or in chains
- 1 Samuel 15:35 I.e., God’s rejection of Saul