1 Samuel 15

1Saul is sent to destroy Amalek. 6He favoureth the Kenites; 7smiteth the Amalekites; but spareth Agag and the best of the spoil. 10His disobedience displeaseth the Lord. 12Samuel denounceth unto him God's rejection of him. 24Saul's fruitless humiliation. 32Samuel cutteth Agag in pieces. 34He and Saul part, and meet no more.

1SAMUEL also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD.

2Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Ia1remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.

a Exod. 17:8, 14; Deut. 25:17.

1 That is, examined, considered, observed. Other, I will certainly visit. As if God spoke of the future, as of that which is past.

3Now go and smite Amalek, and 2utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

2 That is, destroy utterly, and slay all that hath life, or every living thing.

4And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in 3Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.

3 That is, in the field by the city Telaim, situated in the tribe of Judah, which Joshua 15:24 is called Telem.

5And Saul came to 4a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.

4 Understand this either of the first city of the Amalekites before which Saul came; or, of the capital city of the Amalekites, where peradventure the king dwelt; or, city may be taken for cities, for the Amalekites inhabited more cities than one.

6¶And Saul said unto the Kenites,b5Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, 6lest I destroy you with them: forc7ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.

b Judges 1:16.

5 This short abrupt manner of speaking signifies that they were to make haste in breaking up. See the like phrase, Gen. 18:6.

6 That is, that I do not do with you likewise I shall do to them.

c Exod. 18:10, 19; Num. 10:29.

7 This is properly to be understood of Jethro the Kenite, Moses’ father in law, from whom the Kenites descended.

7And Saul smote the Amalekites from 8Havilah until thou comest to 9Shur, that is over against Egypt.

8 A land situated in Arabia. See Gen. 2:11.

9 This is the border of Arabia toward Egypt. See Gen. 16:17; 25:18. There is likewise mention made, Exod. 15:22 of the wilderness of Shur.

8And he took 10Agagd the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

10 It is thought that this was a name common to all the kings of the Amalekites, as Pharaoh to the kings of Egypt, and Abimelech to the kings at Gerar.

d Num. 24:7.

9But Saul and the people 11spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the 12fatlings,e and the 13lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and 14refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

11 This God had forbidden, verse 3.

12 That is, the second sort. Other, the fatted.

e young animals fattened for slaughter

13 Other, leaders of the cattle. Other, bell-wethers.

14 Hebr. that melted, that is, which perished by itself and, as it were, melted away.

10¶Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,

1115It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed 16my commandments. 17And it 18grieved Samuel; and 19he cried unto the LORD all night.

15 This is spoken after the manner of men. See the annotation on Gen. 6:6, also below verse 35. So that, which is said below in verse 29, is not contradictory.

16 That is, he hath not suffered My command to prevail with him, that he would have faithfully executed the same. Compare Deut. 27:26.

17 He kindled against Saul, because he had not performed God’s command.

18 Namely, with grief and wrath.

19 Samuel prayed unto the Lord for Saul, that he would not depose him from the kingdom, but God heard not this prayer of Samuel, as may appear below verses 23, 26, 28.

12And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was 20told Samuel, saying, Saul came to 21Carmel, and, behold, he set him up 22a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.

20 Other, notice was given.

21 A city and hill in the tribe of Judah, which was situated on the way as they came from the Amalekites’ country into Judah, Joshua 15:55, very fruitful in pasture and other fruits. There is another Carmel in the tribe of Issachar, 1 Kings 18:19.

22 Hebr. a hand, that is, a memorial, perhaps in the fashion of a hand, in remembrance that he smote and consumed the enemies with the hand. See the like, 2 Sam. 18:18. Other, and had appointed a place, namely, to refresh and view his army, and to divide the prey.

13And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have 23performed the commandment of the LORD.

23 See verse 11.

14And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine 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 24best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and 25the rest we have utterly destroyed.

24 See verse 9.

25 See verse 8.

16Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.

17And Samuel said, 26When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD 27anointed thee king over Israel?

26 That is, when you esteemed yourself little and small. See 1 Sam. 9:21.

27 Namely, by me.

18And the LORD sent thee 28on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy 29the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.

28 That is, upon this attempt and military expedition against the Amalekites; so also verse 20.

29 That is, the great sinners, excelling others in sins and wickedness. Compare Gen. 13:13; Psalm 1:1; Mat. 9:10; 11:19; John 9:24, 31.

19Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, 30but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?

30 See the annotation on 1 Sam. 25:14.

20And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

2131But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, 32the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.

31 As if he had said: Not I, but the people, whom I feared, verse 24, took of the prey.

32 Hebr. the firstlings.

22And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obeyfis better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

f Eccl. 4:17; Hosea 6:6; Mat. 9:13; 12:7.

23For rebellion 33is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as 34iniquity and 35idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

33 That is, it is as great a sin as witchcraft.

34 The Hebrew word signifies vanity, iniquity, unrighteousness, and sometimes labor, pain; likewise an idol and idol worship, so called, because idolaters bestow much labor and pains in the performance of their idolatrous superstitions, which are all mere vanities, and have nothing of reality in them.

35 Hebr. teraphim. See the annotation on Gen. 31:19.

24¶And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the 36commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

36 Hebr. mouth, that is, that which God has spoken by your mouth.

25Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.

26And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.

27And as Samuel turned about to go away, 37he laid hold upon the 38skirt of his mantle, and 39it rent.

37 Namely, Saul.

38 Hebr. a wing, that is, skirt or flap, by which Saul would hold fast the prophet Samuel.

39 Namely, the skirt, or, he, namely, the mantle.

28And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.

29And also the 40Strength of Israel will not lie nor 41repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.

40 That is, God the Lord, Who fights for Israel and conquers His enemy. Other, the Eternity of Israel, that is, the eternal, unchangeable God. Other, the Victory of Israel.

41 See the annotation on Gen. 6:6.

30Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, 42before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God.

42 Or, in the presence of the elders.

31So Samuel 43turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.

43 Namely, to honor the royal dignity in the presence and repute of the people.

32¶Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him 44delicately. And Agag 45said, 46Surely the bitterness of death is past.

44 Or, stately, delicately, tenderly. This may be understood of his soft and costly garments, which (it may be) he put on, to come thus before the prophet with a stately countenance.

45 That is, thought within himself, or, he said this to his servants or those who stood about him.

46 As if he had said, I perceive now plainly that I shall not be put to death, as I hitherto feared, because I am brought before a prophet, having escaped the hands of an armed king.

33And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. 47And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

47 See the like example in the prophet Elijah, 1 Kings 18:40; 2 Kings 1:10, 12. These prophets were moved hereunto by an inward motion and inspiration of God; so that this may not be followed by everyone, whose calling in fact is not to use the sword of justice.

34¶Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.

35And Samuel 48came no more to see Saul 49until the day of his death: 50nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

48 Other, visited Saul no more; namely, to instruct him concerning the government of the kingdom, or to ask counsel of God for him. Otherwise Samuel saw Saul unawares at Naioth in Ramah, below 1 Sam. 19:24. Seeing for visiting, is likewise used 2 Kings 8:29 and more in other places.

49 The same being likewise counted in with the rest. Intimating that he never visited him again, or after that time.

50 Samuel mourned not for Saul all his lifetime, but so long, until he was forbidden by God to do it and he was commanded by God to anoint David king over Israel; as appears below 1 Sam. 16:1.