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1 Samuel 15

1 Samuel told Saul: »Jehovah sent me to anoint you king of his people Israel. Now listen to Jehovah’s words:

2 ‘The Israelites were on their way out of Egypt when the nation of Amalek attacked them. I am Jehovah All-Powerful. I am going to make Amalek pay for what he did to Israel!

3 »‘Go and attack the Amalekites! Destroy them and all their possessions. Do not have any pity. Kill their men, women, children, and even their babies. Slaughter their cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys.’«

4 Saul called his forces together and inspected them at Telem. There were two hundred thousand soldiers from Israel and ten thousand from Judah.

5 Then he and his men went to the city of Amalek. They waited in ambush in a dry riverbed.

6 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. That way I will not kill you along with them.« So the Kenites left.

7 Saul defeated the Amalekites. He fought all the way from Havilah to Shur, east of Egypt.

8 He captured King Agag of Amalek alive and with the sword he killed all the people.

9 Saul and his men spared Agag’s life and did not kill the best sheep and cattle, the best calves and lambs, or anything else that was good. They destroyed only what was useless or worthless.

10 Jehovah spoke to Samuel:

11 »I am sorry that I made Saul king. He has turned away from me and disobeyed my commands.« Samuel was angry. All night long he pleaded with Jehovah.

12 Early the following morning he went off to find Saul. He heard that Saul had gone to the town of Carmel. There in Carmel he built a monument to himself. Then he went to Gilgal.

13 Samuel went up to Saul. Saul said: »Jehovah bless you, Samuel! I have obeyed Jehovah’s command.«

14 Samuel asked: »Why do I hear the sound of cows and sheep?«

15 Saul answered: »The army brought them from the Amalekites. They spared the best sheep and cows to sacrifice to Jehovah your God. But the rest they claimed for God and destroyed them.«

16 »Be quiet,« Samuel told Saul, »Let me tell you what Jehovah told me last night.« »Speak,« Saul replied.

17 Samuel said to Saul: »You are little in your own eyes. Even though you are a leader of all of the tribes of Israel that Jehovah anointed king over Israel.

18 »Jehovah sent you on a mission. He said: Go and destroy those sinners, the Amalekites. Fight against them until every one is dead.

19 »Why then did you not obey the voice of Jehovah? Why did you pounce on the plunder? Why did you do evil in the sight of Jehovah?«

20 Then Saul said to Samuel: »I did obey the voice of Jehovah. I went on the mission Jehovah sent me. I brought back Agag the king of Amalek. I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. »

21 The people took from the plunder of the flock the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to Jehovah your God in Gilgal.

22 Samuel said: »What is more pleasing to Jehovah, burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obeying is better than sacrifice. To pay attention is better than the fat of rams.

23 »The sin of divination is rebellion. Wickedness and idolatry are arrogance. They are evil. Because you rejected the word of Jehovah, he rejects you as king.«

24 Then Saul told Samuel: »I have sinned by not following Jehovah’s command or your instructions. I was afraid of the people and listened to them.

25 »But now I beg you, forgive my sin and return with me, so that I can worship Jehovah.«

26 »I will not return with you,« Samuel answered. »You rejected Jehovah’s command. He has rejected you as king of Israel.«

27 Samuel turned to leave, but Saul caught hold of his cloak, and it tore.

28 Samuel said to him: »Jehovah has torn the kingdom of Israel away from you today. He gave it to someone who is a better man than you.

29 »The Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind. He is not a mortal who changes his mind.«

30 Saul replied: »I have sinned! Now please honor me in front of the elders of my people and in front of Israel. Come back with me. Let me worship Jehovah your God!«

31 Then Samuel turned and followed Saul. Saul worshiped Jehovah.

32 »Bring me King Agag of the Amalekites,« Samuel said. Agag came to him trembling. »Surely, the bitterness of death is past,« Agag said.

33 But Samuel said: »As your sword made women childless, so your mother will be made childless among women.« Samuel cut Agag in pieces in the presence of Jehovah at Gilgal.

34 Samuel went to Ramah. Saul went up to his house in Gibeah, in the land of Saul.

35 Samuel never saw Saul again until the day of his death. Samuel went into mourning for Saul. It was no longer Jehovah’s pleasure for Saul to be king over Israel.

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