1. Samuel told Saul, "Yahweh sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel. So now listen to what he has to say to you:

2. I will punish Amalek for having stood in the way of the Israelites when they were leaving Egypt.

3. Now attack Amalek and destroy completely all that he has. Do not spare them - man, woman, infant or suckling, ox or sheep, camel or ass."

4. Saul called his men to Telaim and reviewed two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men from Judah.

5. He went to the city of Amalek, set an ambush in the valley and

6. proceeded to warn the Kenites, "Leave the Amalekites! I do not want to punish you with them since you showed kindness to the people of Israel when they left Egypt." After the Kenites had left,

7. Saul defeated the Amalekites, from Havilah to Shur, east of Egypt.

8. He took Agag, king of the Amalekites alive, but put the rest of the people to the sword.

9. Saul and his men spared Agag and the best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings and lambs and everything that was good, but destroyed all that was worthless.

10. Then Yahweh spoke to Samuel:

11. "I feel sorry that I made Saul king because he has turned his back on me and has not kept my command." Samuel was troubled and cried to Yahweh all night.

12. Early next morning, he went looking for Saul, but was told that Saul had set off for Carmel to erect a monument to himself and then had gone on his way to Gilgal.

13. When finally they met, Saul greeted Samuel, "May Yahweh bless you," and added, "I have done what Yahweh told me to do."

14. Samuel then asked him, "Why do I still hear the bleating of sheep and the lowing of oxen?"

15. Saul replied, "We have brought them from the Amalekites, because the people spared the best sheep and oxen to sacrifice to Yahweh, your God. But the rest have been destroyed."

16. Samuel then told Saul, "Enough! Let me tell you what Yahweh said to me last night." Saul replied, "Please tell me."

17. So Samuel went on and said, "Though you had no confidence in yourself, you became chief of the tribes of Israel, for Yahweh wanted to anoint you king over Israel.

18. Then he sent you with this command, 'Go. Completely crush the Amalekite offenders, engaging them in battle until they are destroyed.'

19. Why then did you not obey the voice of Yahweh but instead swooped down on the spoil, doing what was evil in his sight?"

20. To this, Saul replied, "I have obeyed the voice of Yahweh and have carried out the mission for which he sent me. I have captured Agag, king of Amalek and completely destroyed the Amalekites.

21. If my men spared the best sheep and oxen from among those to be destroyed, it was in order to sacrifice them to Yahweh, your God, in Gilgal."

22. Samuel then said, "Does Yahweh take as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obedience to his command? Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission better than the fat of rams.

23. Rebellion is like the sin of divination, and stubbornness like holding onto idols. Since you have rejected the word of Yahweh, he too has rejected you as king."

24. Saul then told Samuel, "I have sinned in disobeying Yahweh's command and your instructions. I feared my own men and obeyed them instead.

25. Please forgive my sin and return with me so I may worship Yahweh."

26. Samuel refused and said, "I will not return with you because you have rejected the word of Yahweh and he has rejected you as king of Israel."

27. As Samuel turned to leave, Saul held onto the end of his robe, which tore.

28. Then Samuel said to Saul, "Yahweh has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to someone better than you.

29. The Glory of Israel does not change or repent as man does."

30. Saul then said, "I have sinned. But please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel. Return with me so that I may worship Yahweh, your God."

31. And Samuel returned with Saul who went to worship Yahweh.

32. Samuel said, "Bring me Agag, king of the Amalekites." Agag stood before him with a cheerful face, thinking that he was now out of danger.

33. But Samuel told him, "As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women." Then Samuel dealt a mortal blow to Agag before Yahweh in Gilgal.

34. Samuel left for Ramah while Saul went home to Gibeah of Saul.

35. From that day Samuel did not see Saul again until he died, but he was grieving over Saul because Yahweh regretted having made him king over Israel.



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