A A A A A
Bible Book List

1 Samuel 15 Good News Translation (GNT)

War against the Amalekites

15 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. He is going to punish the people of Amalek because their ancestors opposed the Israelites when they were coming from Egypt. Go 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.”

Saul called his forces together and inspected them at Telem: there were 200,000 soldiers from Israel and 10,000 from Judah. Then he and his men went to the city of Amalek and waited in ambush in a dry riverbed. He 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.

Saul defeated the Amalekites, fighting all the way from Havilah to Shur, east of Egypt; he captured King Agag of Amalek alive and killed all the people. But Saul and his men spared Agag's life and did not kill the best sheep and cattle, the best calves and lambs,[a] or anything else that was good; they destroyed only what was useless or worthless.[b]

Saul Is Rejected as King

10 The 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. 12 Early 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. 13 Samuel went up to Saul, who greeted him, saying, “The Lord bless you, Samuel! I have obeyed the Lord's command.”

14 Samuel asked, “Why, then, do I hear cattle mooing and sheep bleating?”

15 Saul 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.”[c]

16 “Stop,” Samuel ordered, “and I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”

“Tell me,” Saul said.

17 Samuel 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, 18 and he sent you out with orders to destroy those wicked people of Amalek. He told you to fight until you had killed them all. 19 Why, 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. 21 But 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.”

22 Samuel 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. 23 Rebellion 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. 25 But 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 Then Samuel turned to leave, but Saul caught hold of his cloak, and it tore. 28 Samuel 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. 29 Israel'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.” 31 So 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!”[d] 33 Samuel 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.

34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, and King Saul went home to Gibeah. 35 As 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.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 15:9 One ancient translation the best calves and lambs; Hebrew unclear.
  2. 1 Samuel 15:9 Some ancient translations useless or worthless; Hebrew unclear.
  3. 1 Samuel 15:15 These animals had been unconditionally dedicated to the Lord and had to be destroyed (see Lv 27.28).
  4. 1 Samuel 15:32 trembling with fear … die; or confidently, thinking to himself, “Surely the bitter danger of death is past!”
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

1 Samuel 15 New International Version (NIV)

The Lord Rejects Saul as King

15 Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally 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.’”

So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. Then he said to the Kenites, “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.

Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared 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 that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, 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. There he has set up a monument 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 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 and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”

20 “But I did obey 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,
    and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
    and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
    he has rejected you as king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive 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 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, 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—to one better than you. 29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

30 Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honor 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.”

And Samuel put Agag to death before the Lord at Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel left for Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. 35 Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. 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.
  2. 1 Samuel 15:9 Or the grown bulls; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  3. 1 Samuel 15:32 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes