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1 Samuel 15

Saul’s Disobedience

Then Samuel said to Saul, “Yahweh sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; so now, obey the voice of the words of Yahweh.
2 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. 3 Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, infant and nursing baby, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” 4 Then Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men of Judah. 5 And Saul came to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the valley. 6 And Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart; go down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them; you showed lovingkindness to all the sons of Israel when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 7 So Saul struck the Amalekites, from Havilah as you go to Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8 And he seized Agag the king of the Amalekites alive and devoted to destruction all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and they were not willing to devote them to destruction; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.

Yahweh Regrets He Made Saul King

10 Then the word of Yahweh came to Samuel, saying,
11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not established My words.” And Samuel became angry and cried out to Yahweh all night. 12 Then Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul; and it was told to Samuel, saying, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on down to Gilgal.” 13 And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of Yahweh! I have established the word of Yahweh.” 14 But Samuel said, “What then is this sound of the sheep in my ears and the sound of the oxen which I am hearing?” 15 And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen, to sacrifice to Yahweh your God; but the rest we have devoted to destruction.” 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Wait, and let me tell you what Yahweh spoke to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak!” 17 And Samuel said, “Is it not true, though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel? And Yahweh anointed you king over Israel, 18 and Yahweh sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go and devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of Yahweh, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh?” 20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I did obey the voice of Yahweh and went on the way on which Yahweh sent me and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek and have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. 21 But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to Yahweh your God at Gilgal.” 22 And Samuel said,
“Has Yahweh as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of Yahweh?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
And insubordination is as wickedness and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of Yahweh,
He has also rejected you from being king.”
24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned; I have indeed trespassed against the command of Yahweh and your words because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 So now, please forgive my sin and return with me, that I may worship Yahweh.” 26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of Yahweh, and Yahweh has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27 Then Samuel turned to go, but Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. 28 So Samuel said to him, “Yahweh has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you. 29 Also the Eternal One of Israel will not lie or have regret; for He is not a man that He should have regret.” 30 Then he said, “I have sinned; but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship Yahweh your God.” 31 So Samuel returned, following after Saul, and Saul worshiped Yahweh. 32 Then Samuel said, “Bring Agag near to me, the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him in chains. And Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death has departed.” 33 But Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before Yahweh at Gilgal. 34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, but Saul went up to his house at Gibeah of Saul. 35 So Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death; for Samuel grieved over Saul. And Yahweh regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.