Saul Rejected as King
1Samuel told Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over his people Israel.15:1 1Sm 9:16 Now, listen to the words of the Lord.
2This is what the Lord of Armies says: ‘I witnessed15:2 LXX reads I will avenge what the Amalekites did to the Israelites when they opposed them along the way as they were coming out of Egypt.15:2 Ex 17:8–16; Nm 24:20; Dt 25:17–19
4Then Saul summoned the troops and counted them at Telaim: two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men from Judah.
5Saul came to the city of Amalek and set up an ambush in the wadi.
7Then Saul struck down the Amalekites15:7 1Sm 14:48 from Havilah15:7 Gn 16:7; 25:17–18 all the way to Shur,15:7 Ex 15:22; 1Sm 27:8 which is next to Egypt.
8He captured King Agag15:8 Nm 24:7; Est 3:1 of Amalek alive, but he completely destroyed all the rest of the people with the sword.15:8 1Sm 27:8; 30:1; 2Sm 8:12
9Saul and the troops spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and choice animals,15:9 Lit and the second ones as well as the young rams and the best of everything else. They were not willing to destroy them, but they did destroy all the worthless and unwanted things.
10Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel,
12Early in the morning Samuel got up to confront Saul, but it was reported to Samuel, “Saul went to Carmel15:12 Jos 15:55; 1Sm 25:2 where he set up a monument for himself. Then he turned around and went down to Gilgal.”15:12 1Sm 13:13–14
14Samuel replied, “Then what is this sound of sheep, goats, and cattle I hear?”
16“Stop!” exclaimed Samuel. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”
“Tell me,” he replied.
17Samuel continued, “Although you once considered yourself unimportant,15:17 1Sm 9:21 haven’t you become the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel
18and then sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinful Amalekites. Fight against them until you have annihilated them.’
20“But I did obey the Lord!” Saul answered.15:20 Lit answered Samuel “I went on the mission the Lord gave me: I brought back King Agag of Amalek, and I completely destroyed the Amalekites.
22Then Samuel said:
Does the Lord15:22 Ps 40:6–8; 51:16–17; Is 1:11–15; Mc 6:6–8 take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
Look: to obey is better than sacrifice,
to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.15:22 Heb 10:5–7
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.15:23 1Sm 8:7
24Saul answered Samuel, “I have sinned.15:24 Nm 22:34; 2Sm 12:13; Ps 51:3–4 I have transgressed the Lord’s command15:24 Pr 29:25; Is 51:12–13 and your words. Because I was afraid of the people, I obeyed them.
26Samuel replied to Saul, “I will not return with you. Because you rejected the word of the Lord,15:26 1Sm 13:14; 16:1 the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.”
27When Samuel turned to go, Saul grabbed the corner of his robe, and it tore.
28Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingship of Israel away from you today15:28 1Sm 28:17–18 and has given it to your neighbor who is better than you.15:27–28 1Kg 11:30–36
30Saul said, “I have sinned. Please honor me15:30 Jn 12:43 now before the elders of my people and before Israel. Come back with me so I can bow in worship to the Lord your God.”15:30 Is 29:13
31Then Samuel went back, following Saul, and Saul bowed down to the Lord.
32Samuel said, “Bring me King Agag of Amalek.”
Agag came to him trembling,15:32 Hb obscure for he thought, “Certainly the bitterness of death has come.”15:32 LXX reads “Is death bitter in this way?”15:32 Lit turned
As your sword has made women childless,
Then he hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal.