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 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).