15:6 Saul said to the Kenites, “Go on and leave! Go down from among the Amalekites! Otherwise I will sweep you away 1 with them! After all, you were kind to all the Israelites when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites withdrew from among the Amalekites.
15:7 Then Saul struck down the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to 2 Shur, which is next to Egypt. 15:8 He captured King Agag of the Amalekites alive, but he executed all Agag’s people 3 with the sword. 15:9 However, Saul and the army spared Agag, along with the best of the flock, the cattle, the fatlings, 4 and the lambs, as well as everything else that was of value. 5 They were not willing to slaughter them. But they did slaughter everything that was despised 6 and worthless.
15:10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 15:11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned away from me and has not done what I told him to do.” Samuel became angry and he cried out to the Lord all that night.
15:12 Then Samuel got up early to meet Saul the next morning. But Samuel was informed, “Saul has gone to Carmel where 7 he is setting up a monument for himself. Then Samuel left 8 and went down to Gilgal.” 9 15:13 When Samuel came to him, 10 Saul said to him, “May the Lord bless you! I have done what the Lord said.”
15:14 Samuel replied, “If that is the case, 11 then what is this sound of sheep in my ears and the sound of cattle that I hear?” 15:15 Saul said, “They were brought 12 from the Amalekites; the army spared the best of the flocks and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord our God. But everything else we slaughtered.”
15:16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Wait a minute! 13 Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” Saul 14 said to him, “Tell me.” 15:17 Samuel said, “Is it not true that when you were insignificant in your own eyes, you became head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord chose 15 you as king over Israel. 15:18 The Lord sent you on a campaign 16 saying, ‘Go and exterminate those sinful Amalekites! Fight against them until you 17 have destroyed them.’ 15:19 Why haven’t you obeyed 18 the Lord? Instead you have greedily rushed upon the plunder! You have done what is wrong in the Lord’s estimation.” 19
15:20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed 20 the Lord! I went on the campaign 21 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? 22
paying attention is better than 25 the fat of rams.
15:23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and presumption is like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as 26 king.”
1 tc The translation follows the Syriac Peshitta and Vulgate which assume a reading אֶסִפְךָ (’esfÿka, “I sweep you away,” from the root ספה [sfh]) rather than the MT אֹסִפְךָ (’osifÿka, “I am gathering you,” from the root אסף[’sf]).
2 tn Heb “[as] you enter.”
3 tn Heb “all the people.” For clarity “Agag’s” has been supplied in the translation.
4 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.)
5 tn Heb “good.”
6 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).
7 tn Heb “and look.”
8 tn Heb “and he turned and crossed over.”
9 tc At the end of v. 12 the LXX and one Old Latin
10 tn Heb “to Saul.”
11 tn The words “if that is the case” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
12 tn Heb “they brought them.”
13 tn Or perhaps “be quiet.”
14 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew
tn Heb “he”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
15 tn Heb “anointed.”
16 tn Heb “journey.”
17 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”).
18 tn Heb “listened to the voice of the
19 tn Heb “you have done what is evil in the eyes of the
20 tn Heb “listened to the voice of the
21 tn Heb “journey.”
22 tn Heb “as [in] listening to the voice of the
23 tn Heb “look.”
24 tn Heb “listening.”
25 tn The expression “is better” is understood here by ellipsis (see the immediately preceding statement).
26 tn Or “from [being].”