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Saul Rejected as King

15 Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to ·appoint [anoint] you king over [L his people] Israel. Now listen to ·his message [L the words of the Lord]. This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; of hosts] says: ‘When the Israelites came out of Egypt, the Amalekites ·tried to stop them from going to Canaan [opposed/laid a trap for them; Ex. 17:8–16]. So I will ·punish [settle accounts with] them [Deut. 25:17–19]. Now go, ·attack [crush; L strike] the Amalekites and ·completely destroy everything they own as an offering devoted to the Lord [devote to destruction; C Israel was commanded to kill all the inhabitants of the land; Deut. 20:15–18]. Don’t ·let anything live [spare anything]. Put to death men and women, children and small babies, ·cattle [ox] and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

So Saul ·called [mobilized] the army together at Telaim and ·counted [reviewed] them. There were two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men from Judah. Then Saul went to the city of Amalek and set up an ambush in the ·ravine [valley]. He said to the Kenites [Gen. 15:19; Num. 24:21–22; Judg. 4:11; 5:24], “·Go [Move] away. Leave the Amalekites ·so that I won’t [or I will] destroy you with them, because you showed ·kindness [lovingkindness; treaty faithfulness] to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.

Then Saul ·defeated [L struck] the Amalekites. He fought them all the way from Havilah to Shur, ·at the border [east] of Egypt. He ·took [captured] King Agag of the Amalekites alive, but he ·killed all of Agag’s army [totally destroyed all the people; 15:3] with the sword. Saul and the ·army let Agag live [people spared Agag], along with the best sheep, [L oxen,] fat cattle, and lambs. They let every ·good [valuable] animal live, because they did not want to ·destroy them [devote them to destruction; 15:3]. But when they found an animal that was ·weak [despised] or useless, they ·killed it [devoted it to destruction].

10 Then the Lord spoke his word to Samuel: 11 “I ·am sorry [regret] I made Saul king, because he has ·stopped [turned away from] following me and has not ·obeyed [carried out] my commands.” Samuel was ·upset [distressed; angry; deeply moved], and he cried out to the Lord all night long.

12 Early the next morning Samuel got up and went to ·meet [find] Saul. But the people told Samuel, “Saul has gone to Carmel, where he has put up a monument ·in his own honor [to himself]. Now he has gone down to Gilgal.”

13 When Samuel came to Saul, Saul said, “May the Lord bless you! I have ·obeyed [carried out; upheld] the Lord’s commands.”

14 But Samuel said, “Then why do I hear ·cattle mooing [oxen lowing] and sheep bleating?”

15 Saul answered, “The ·soldiers [people] took them from the Amalekites. They saved the best sheep and cattle to offer as sacrifices to the Lord your God, but we ·destroyed [devoted to destruction; 15:3] all the other animals.”

16 Samuel said to Saul, “·Stop [Enough]! Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”

Saul answered, “·Tell me [Speak].”

17 Samuel said, “·Once [Although] you ·didn’t think much of yourself [L are/were little/small in your own eyes], but now you have become the ·leader [head] of the tribes of Israel. The Lord ·appointed [anointed] you to be king over Israel. 18 And he sent you on a mission. He said, ‘Go and ·destroy [devote to destruction; 15:3] those ·evil people [L sinners], the Amalekites. Make war on them until all of them are ·dead [wiped out; exterminated; consumed].’ 19 Why didn’t you obey the [L the voice of the] Lord? Why did you ·take the best things [L rush for/pounce on the plunder/spoils]? Why did you do what ·the Lord said was wrong [L was evil in the Lord’s sight/eyes]?”

20 Saul said [L to Samuel], “But I did obey [L the voice of] the Lord. I ·did what the Lord told [went on the mission the Lord gave] me to do. I ·destroyed [devoted to destruction; 15:3] all the Amalekites, and I brought back Agag their king. 21 The ·soldiers [people] took [L from the plunder/spoil] the best sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”

22 But Samuel answered,

“What pleases the Lord more:
    burnt offerings and sacrifices
    or obedience to his voice?
·It is better to obey [Obedience is better] than ·to sacrifice [sacrifice].
    ·It is better to listen to God than to offer [Submission/Heeding is better than] the fat of ·sheep [rams].
23 ·Disobedience [Rebellion] is as bad as the sin of ·sorcery [witchcraft; divination].
    ·Pride [Stubbornness; Arrogance; Presumption; Insubordination] is as bad as ·the sin of worshiping idols [idolatry].
You have rejected the Lord’s ·command [word].
    Now he rejects you as king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I ·didn’t obey [broke; violated; transgressed] the Lord’s commands and your ·words [instructions]. I was afraid of the people, and I ·did what they said [L listened to their voice]. 25 Now, I beg you, ·forgive [pardon] my sin. Come back with me so I may worship the Lord.”

26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I won’t go back with you. You rejected the Lord’s ·command [word], and now he rejects you as king of Israel.”

27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul ·caught [grabbed] his robe, and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors [C David; 16:13] who is better than you. 29 The Lord is the ·Eternal One [or Glory] of Israel. He does not lie or change his mind. He is not a ·human being [mortal], so he does not change his mind.”

30 Saul answered, “I have sinned. But please ·honor [respect] me in front of the elders of my people and in front of the Israelites. Come back with me so that I can worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me King Agag of the Amalekites.”

Agag came to Samuel ·in chains [or cheerfully; hopefully; or haltingly], but Agag thought, “Surely the ·threat [bitterness] of death has passed. [or Surely, death is bitter].”

33 Samuel said to him, “Your sword made other mothers ·lose their children [childless]. Now your mother will ·have no children [be childless].” And Samuel ·cut Agag to pieces [butchered Agag] before the Lord at Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel left and went to Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah [L of Saul]. 35 And Samuel never saw Saul again ·the rest of his life [L until the day of his death], but he ·was sad [mourned; grieved] for Saul. And the Lord ·was very sorry [regretted] he had made Saul king of Israel.