1 Samuel 15
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Saul Rejected as King
15 Samuel told Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people Israel.(A) Now, listen to the words of the Lord. 2 This is what the Lord of Hosts says: ‘I witnessed[a] what the Amalekites did to the Israelites when they opposed them along the way as they were coming out of Egypt.(B) 3 Now go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have.(C) Do not spare them. Kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”(D)
4 Then Saul summoned the troops and counted them at Telaim: 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men from Judah. 5 Saul came to the city of Amalek and set up an ambush in the wadi. 6 He warned the Kenites,(E) “Since you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came out of Egypt,(F) go on and leave! Get away from the Amalekites, or I’ll sweep you away with them.” So the Kenites withdrew from the Amalekites.
7 Then Saul struck down the Amalekites(G) from Havilah(H) all the way to Shur,(I) which is next to Egypt. 8 He captured Agag(J) king of Amalek alive, but he completely destroyed all the rest of the people with the sword.(K) 9 Saul and the troops spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, cattle, and choice animals,[b] as well as the young rams and the best of everything else. They were not willing to destroy them, but they did destroy all the worthless and unwanted things.
10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, 11 “I regret that I made Saul king,(L) for he has turned away from following Me and has not carried out My instructions.”(M) So Samuel became angry and cried out to the Lord all night.(N)
12 Early in the morning Samuel got up to confront Saul, but it was reported to Samuel, “Saul went to Carmel(O) where he set up a monument for himself. Then he turned around and went down to Gilgal.”(P) 13 When Samuel came to him, Saul said, “May the Lord bless you.(Q) I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”
14 Samuel replied, “Then what is this sound of sheep[c] and cattle I hear?”
16 “Stop!” exclaimed Samuel. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”
“Tell me,” he replied.
17 Samuel continued, “Although you once considered yourself unimportant,(T) have you not become the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel 18 and then sent you on a mission and said: ‘Go and completely destroy the sinful Amalekites. Fight against them until you have annihilated them.’ 19 So why didn’t you obey the Lord? Why did you rush on the plunder(U) and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?”
20 “But I did obey the Lord!” Saul answered.[d] “I went on the mission the Lord gave me: I brought back Agag, king of Amalek, and I completely destroyed the Amalekites. 21 The troops took sheep and cattle from the plunder—the best of what was set apart for destruction—to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”(V)
22 Then Samuel said:
Does the Lord(W) take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
Look: to obey is better than sacrifice,
to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.(X)
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,(Y)
and defiance is like wickedness(Z) and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He has rejected you as king.(AA)
24 Saul answered Samuel, “I have sinned.(AB) I have transgressed the Lord’s command(AC) and your words. Because I was afraid of the people, I obeyed them. 25 Now therefore, please forgive my sin(AD) and return with me so I can worship the Lord.”
26 Samuel replied to Saul, “I will not return with you. Because you rejected the word of the Lord,(AE) the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27 When Samuel turned to go, Saul grabbed the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingship of Israel away from you today(AF) and has given it to your neighbor who is better than you.(AG) 29 Furthermore, the Eternal One of Israel(AH) does not lie or change His mind, for He is not man who changes his mind.”(AI)
30 Saul said, “I have sinned. Please honor me(AJ) now before the elders of my people and before Israel. Come back with me so I can bow in worship to the Lord your God.”(AK) 31 Then Samuel went back, following Saul, and Saul bowed down to the Lord.
32 Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of Amalek.”
33 Samuel declared:
As your sword has made women childless,
so your mother will be childless among women.(AL)
Then he hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal.
34 Samuel went to Ramah,(AM) and Saul went up to his home in Gibeah(AN) of Saul. 35 Even to the day of his death, Samuel never again visited Saul.(AO) Samuel mourned for Saul,(AP) and the Lord regretted He had made Saul king over Israel.
1 Samuel 15
New International Version
The Lord Rejects Saul as King
15 Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint(A) you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. 2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites(B) for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally(C) destroy[a] all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”
4 So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. 5 Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. 6 Then he said to the Kenites,(D) “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.
7 Then Saul attacked the Amalekites(E) all the way from Havilah to Shur,(F) near the eastern border of Egypt. 8 He took Agag(G) king of the Amalekites alive,(H) and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. 9 But Saul and the army spared(I) Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves[b] and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret(J) that I have made Saul king, because he has turned(K) away from me and has not carried out my instructions.”(L) Samuel was angry,(M) and he cried out to the Lord all that night.
12 Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel.(N) There he has set up a monument(O) in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”
13 When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”
14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”
15 Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”
16 “Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”
“Tell me,” Saul replied.
17 Samuel said, “Although you were once small(P) in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ 19 Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder(Q) and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”
20 “But I did obey(R) the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
22 But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,(S)
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,(T)
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected(U) the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”
24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned.(V) I violated(W) the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid(X) of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive(Y) my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.”
26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected(Z) the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”
27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe,(AA) and it tore.(AB) 28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn(AC) the kingdom(AD) of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you.(AE) 29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie(AF) or change(AG) his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”
30 Saul replied, “I have sinned.(AH) But please honor(AI) me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.
32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.”
Agag came to him in chains.[c] And he thought, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”
33 But Samuel said,
“As your sword has made women childless,
so will your mother be childless among women.”(AJ)
And Samuel put Agag to death before the Lord at Gilgal.
34 Then Samuel left for Ramah,(AK) but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah(AL) of Saul. 35 Until the day Samuel(AM) died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned(AN) for him. And the Lord regretted(AO) that he had made Saul king over Israel.
- 1 Samuel 15:3 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verses 8, 9, 15, 18, 20 and 21.
- 1 Samuel 15:9 Or the grown bulls; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
- 1 Samuel 15:32 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.