15:8 He captured King Agag of the Amalekites alive, but he executed all Agag’s people 1 with the sword. 15:9 However, Saul and the army spared Agag, along with the best of the flock, the cattle, the fatlings, 2 and the lambs, as well as everything else that was of value. 3 They were not willing to slaughter them. But they did slaughter everything that was despised 4 and worthless.
1 Samuel 15:32-33Context
15:32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me King Agag of the Amalekites.” So Agag came to him trembling, 5 thinking to himself, 6 “Surely death is bitter!” 7 15:33 Samuel said, “Just as your sword left women childless, so your mother will be the most bereaved among women!” Then Samuel hacked Agag to pieces there in Gilgal before the Lord.
1 tn Heb “all the people.” For clarity “Agag’s” has been supplied in the translation.
2 tn The Hebrew text is difficult here. We should probably read וְהַמַּשְׂמַנִּים (vÿhammasmannim, “the fat ones”) rather than the MT וְהַמִּשְׂנִים (vÿhammisnim, “the second ones”). However, if the MT is retained, the sense may be as the Jewish commentator Kimchi supposed: the second-born young, thought to be better than the firstlings. (For discussion see S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel, 123-24.)
3 tn Heb “good.”
4 tc The MT has here the very odd form נְמִבְזָה (nÿmivzah), but this is apparently due to a scribal error. The translation follows instead the Niphal participle נִבְזָה (nivzah).
5 tn The MT reading מַעֲדַנֹּת (ma’adannot, literally, “bonds,” used here adverbially, “in bonds”) is difficult. The word is found only here and in Job 38:31. Part of the problem lies in determining the root of the word. Some scholars have taken it to be from the root ענד (’nd, “to bind around”), but this assumes a metathesis of two of the letters of the root. Others take it from the root עדן (’dn) with the meaning “voluptuously,” but this does not seem to fit the context. It seems better to understand the word to be from the root מעד (m’d, “to totter” or “shake”). In that case it describes the fear that Agag experienced in realizing the mortal danger that he faced as he approached Samuel. This is the way that the LXX translators understood the word, rendering it by the Greek participle τρέμον (tremon, “trembling”).
6 tn Heb “and Agag said.”
7 tc The text is difficult here. With the LXX, two Old Latin