Saul Spares King Agag
1Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the Lord.
2Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt.
3Now go and attack15:3 Lit. strike Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”
4So Saul gathered the people together and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah.
5And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and lay in wait in the valley.
6Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart, get down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
7And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt.
8He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
9But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.
Saul Rejected as King
10Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying,
11“I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night.
12So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal.”
13Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandment of the Lord.”
14But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”
15And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”
16Then Samuel said to Saul, “Be quiet! And I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”
And he said to him, “Speak on.”
17So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel?
18Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are 15:18 exterminatedconsumed.’
19Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the 15:19 plunderspoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?”
20And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
21But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”
22So Samuel said:
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
23For rebellion is as the sin of 15:23 divinationwitchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He also has rejected you from being king.”
24Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.
25Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord.”
26But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.”
27And as Samuel turned around to go away, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore.
28So Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.
29And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent.”
30Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord your God.”
31So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.
32Then Samuel said, “Bring Agag king of the Amalekites here to me.” So Agag came to him cautiously.
And Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”
33But Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.
New King James Version®, Copyright© 1982, Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.