1 Samuel 14:36-15:35
New International Version
36 Saul said, “Let us go down and pursue the Philistines by night and plunder them till dawn, and let us not leave one of them alive.”
“Do whatever seems best to you,” they replied.
But the priest said, “Let us inquire(A) of God here.”
37 So Saul asked God, “Shall I go down and pursue the Philistines? Will you give them into Israel’s hand?” But God did not answer(B) him that day.
38 Saul therefore said, “Come here, all you who are leaders of the army, and let us find out what sin has been committed(C) today. 39 As surely as the Lord who rescues Israel lives,(D) even if the guilt lies with my son Jonathan,(E) he must die.”(F) But not one of them said a word.
40 Saul then said to all the Israelites, “You stand over there; I and Jonathan my son will stand over here.”
“Do what seems best to you,” they replied.
41 Then Saul prayed to the Lord, the God of Israel, “Why have you not answered your servant today? If the fault is in me or my son Jonathan, respond with Urim, but if the men of Israel are at fault,[a] respond with Thummim.” Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot, and the men were cleared. 42 Saul said, “Cast the lot(G) between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken.
43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.”(H)
So Jonathan told him, “I tasted a little honey(I) with the end of my staff. And now I must die!”
45 But the men said to Saul, “Should Jonathan die—he who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Never! As surely as the Lord lives, not a hair(L) of his head will fall to the ground, for he did this today with God’s help.” So the men rescued(M) Jonathan, and he was not put to death.
46 Then Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and they withdrew to their own land.
47 After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab,(N) the Ammonites,(O) Edom,(P) the kings[b] of Zobah,(Q) and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment on them.[c] 48 He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites,(R) delivering Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them.
49 Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malki-Shua.(S) The name of his older daughter was Merab, and that of the younger was Michal.(T) 50 His wife’s name was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the commander of Saul’s army was Abner(U) son of Ner, and Ner was Saul’s uncle.(V) 51 Saul’s father Kish(W) and Abner’s father Ner were sons of Abiel.
52 All the days of Saul there was bitter war with the Philistines, and whenever Saul saw a mighty or brave man, he took(X) him into his service.
The Lord Rejects Saul as King
15 Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint(Y) 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(Z) for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally(AA) destroy[d] 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,(AB) “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(AC) all the way from Havilah to Shur,(AD) near the eastern border of Egypt. 8 He took Agag(AE) king of the Amalekites alive,(AF) and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. 9 But Saul and the army spared(AG) Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves[e] 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(AH) that I have made Saul king, because he has turned(AI) away from me and has not carried out my instructions.”(AJ) Samuel was angry,(AK) 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.(AL) There he has set up a monument(AM) 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(AN) 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(AO) and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”
20 “But I did obey(AP) 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,(AQ)
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,(AR)
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected(AS) the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”
24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned.(AT) I violated(AU) the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid(AV) of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive(AW) 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(AX) 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,(AY) and it tore.(AZ) 28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn(BA) the kingdom(BB) of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you.(BC) 29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie(BD) or change(BE) his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”
30 Saul replied, “I have sinned.(BF) But please honor(BG) 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.[f] 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.”(BH)
And Samuel put Agag to death before the Lord at Gilgal.
34 Then Samuel left for Ramah,(BI) but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah(BJ) of Saul. 35 Until the day Samuel(BK) died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned(BL) for him. And the Lord regretted(BM) that he had made Saul king over Israel.
- 1 Samuel 14:41 Septuagint; Hebrew does not have “Why … at fault.
- 1 Samuel 14:47 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint king
- 1 Samuel 14:47 Hebrew; Septuagint he was victorious
- 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.