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1 Samuel 15:18-22

15:18 The Lord sent you on a campaign 1  saying, ‘Go and exterminate those sinful Amalekites! Fight against them until you 2  have destroyed them.’ 15:19 Why haven’t you obeyed 3  the Lord? Instead you have greedily rushed upon the plunder! You have done what is wrong in the Lord’s estimation.” 4 

15:20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed 5  the Lord! I went on the campaign 6  the Lord sent me on. I brought back King Agag of the Amalekites after exterminating the Amalekites. 15:21 But the army took from the plunder some of the sheep and cattle – the best of what was to be slaughtered – to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”

15:22 Then Samuel said,

“Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices

as much as he does in obedience? 7 

Certainly, 8  obedience 9  is better than sacrifice;

paying attention is better than 10  the fat of rams.

1 tn Heb “journey.”

2 tc The translation follows the LXX, the Syriac Peshitta, and the Targum in reading the second person singular suffix (“you”) rather than the third person plural suffix of the MT (“they”).

3 tn Heb “listened to the voice of the Lord.”

4 tn Heb “you have done what is evil in the eyes of the Lord.”

5 tn Heb “listened to the voice of the Lord.”

6 tn Heb “journey.”

7 tn Heb “as [in] listening to the voice of the Lord.”

8 tn Heb “look.”

9 tn Heb “listening.”

10 tn The expression “is better” is understood here by ellipsis (see the immediately preceding statement).

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