1 Samuel 15:1-23New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
The Lord Is Sad That He Made Saul King
15 Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over his people Israel. So listen now to a message from him. 2 The Lord who rules over all says, ‘I will punish the Amalekites because of what they did to Israel. As the Israelites came up from Egypt, the Amalekites attacked them. 3 Now go. Attack the Amalekites. Completely destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare the Amalekites. Put the men and women to death. Put the children and babies to death. Also kill the cattle, sheep, camels and donkeys.’ ”
4 So Saul brought his men together at Telaim. The total number was 200,000 soldiers on foot from Israel and 10,000 from Judah. 5 Saul went to the city of Amalek. Then Saul had some of his men hide and wait in the valley. 6 Then Saul said to the Kenites, “You were kind to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt. Get away from the Amalekites. Then I won’t have to destroy you along with them.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.
7 Saul attacked the Amalekites. He struck them down all the way from Havilah to Shur. Shur was near the eastern border of Egypt. 8 Saul captured Agag, the king of the Amalekites. But he and his men totally destroyed with their swords all Agag’s people. 9 So Saul and the army spared Agag. They spared the best of the sheep and cattle. They spared the fat calves and lambs. They spared everything that was valuable. They weren’t willing to completely destroy any of those things. But they totally destroyed everything that was worthless and weak.
10 Then the Lord gave Samuel a message. He said, 11 “I am very sad I have made Saul king. He has turned away from me. He has not done what I directed him to do.” When Samuel heard that, he was angry. He cried out to the Lord during that whole night.
12 Early the next morning Samuel got up. He went to see Saul. But Samuel was told, “Saul went to Carmel. There he set up a monument in his own honor. Now he has gone on down to Gilgal.”
13 When Samuel got there, Saul said, “May the Lord bless you. I’ve done what he directed me to do.”
14 But Samuel said, “Then why do I hear the baaing of sheep? Why do I hear the mooing of cattle?”
15 Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites. They spared the best of the sheep and cattle. They did it to sacrifice them to the Lord your God. But we totally destroyed everything else.”
16 “That’s enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”
“Tell me,” Saul replied.
17 Samuel said, “There was a time when you didn’t think you were important. But you became the leader of the tribes of Israel. The Lord anointed you to be king over Israel. 18 He sent you to do something for him. He said, ‘Go and completely destroy the Amalekites. Go and destroy those evil people. Fight against them until you have wiped them out.’ 19 Why didn’t you obey the Lord? Why did you keep for yourselves what you had taken from your enemies? Why did you do what is evil in the sight of the Lord?”
20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went to do what he sent me to do. I completely destroyed the Amalekites. I brought back Agag, their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from what had been taken from our enemies. They took the best of what had been set apart to God. They wanted to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
22 But Samuel replied,
“What pleases the Lord more?
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