Saul Is Rejected as King
15:1 Then Samuel said to Saul, “I was the one the Lord sent to anoint you as king over his people Israel. Now listen to what the Lord says. 1 15:2 Here is what the Lord of hosts says: ‘I carefully observed how the Amalekites opposed 2 Israel along the way when Israel 3 came up from Egypt. 15:3 So go now and strike down the Amalekites. Destroy everything that they have. Don’t spare 4 them. Put them to death – man, woman, child, infant, ox, sheep, camel, and donkey alike.’”
15:4 So Saul assembled 5 the army 6 and mustered them at Telaim. There were 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men of Judah. 15:5 Saul proceeded to the city 7 of Amalek, where he set an ambush 8 in the wadi. 9 15:6 Saul said to the Kenites, “Go on and leave! Go down from among the Amalekites! Otherwise I will sweep you away 10 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 11 Shur, which is next to Egypt. 15:8 He captured King Agag of the Amalekites alive, but he executed all Agag’s people 12 with the sword. 15:9 However, Saul and the army spared Agag, along with the best of the flock, the cattle, the fatlings, 13 and the lambs, as well as everything else that was of value. 14 They were not willing to slaughter them. But they did slaughter everything that was despised 15 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 16 he is setting up a monument for himself. Then Samuel left 17 and went down to Gilgal.” 18 15:13 When Samuel came to him, 19 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, 20 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 21 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! 22 Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” Saul 23 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 24 you as king over Israel. 15:18 The Lord sent you on a campaign 25 saying, ‘Go and exterminate those sinful Amalekites! Fight against them until you 26 have destroyed them.’ 15:19 Why haven’t you obeyed 27 the Lord? Instead you have greedily rushed upon the plunder! You have done what is wrong in the Lord’s estimation.” 28
15:20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed 29 the Lord! I went on the campaign 30 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? 31
Certainly, 32 obedience 33 is better than sacrifice;
paying attention is better than 34 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 35 king.”
15:24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have disobeyed what the Lord commanded 36 and what you said as well. 37 For I was afraid of the army, and I followed their wishes. 38 15:25 Now please forgive my sin! Go back with me so I can worship 39 the Lord.”
15:26 Samuel said to Saul, “I will not go back with you, for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel!”
15:27 When Samuel turned to leave, Saul 40 grabbed the edge of his robe and it tore. 15:28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to one of your colleagues who is better than you! 15:29 The Preeminent One 41 of Israel does not go back on his word 42 or change his mind, for he is not a human being who changes his mind.” 43 15:30 Saul 44 again replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel. Go back with me so I may worship the Lord your God.” 15:31 So Samuel followed Saul back, and Saul worshiped the Lord.
Samuel Puts Agag to Death
15:32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me King Agag of the Amalekites.” So Agag came to him trembling, 45 thinking to himself, 46 “Surely death is bitter!” 47 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.
15:34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, while Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. 15:35 Until the day he 48 died Samuel did not see Saul again. Samuel did, however, mourn for Saul, but the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.
Samuel Anoints David as King
16:1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long do you intend to mourn for Saul? I have rejected him as king over Israel. 49 Fill your horn with olive oil and go! I am sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem, 50 for I have selected a king for myself from among his sons.” 51
16:2 Samuel replied, “How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me!” But the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you 52 and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 16:3 Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you should do. You will anoint for me the one I point out 53 to you.”
16:4 Samuel did what the Lord told him. 54 When he arrived in Bethlehem, 55 the elders of the city were afraid to meet him. They 56 said, “Do you come in peace?” 16:5 He replied, “Yes, in peace. I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” So he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
16:6 When they arrived, Samuel 57 noticed 58 Eliab and said to himself, 59 “Surely, here before the Lord stands his chosen king!” 60 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t be impressed by 61 his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not view things the way men do. 62 People look on the outward appearance, 63 but the Lord looks at the heart.”
16:8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him to Samuel. 64 But Samuel 65 said, “The Lord has not chosen this one, either.” 16:9 Then Jesse presented 66 Shammah. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 16:10 Jesse presented seven of his sons to Samuel. 67 But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 16:11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Is that all of the young men?” Jesse 68 replied, “There is still the youngest one, but he’s taking care of the flock.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we cannot turn our attention to other things until he comes here.”
16:12 So Jesse had him brought in. 69 Now he was ruddy, with attractive eyes and a handsome appearance. The Lord said, “Go and anoint him. This is the one!” 16:13 So Samuel took the horn full of olive oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers. The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day onward. Then Samuel got up and went to Ramah.
David Appears before Saul
16:14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had turned away from Saul, and an evil spirit 70 from the Lord tormented him. 16:15 Then Saul’s servants said to him, “Look, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you!” 16:16 Let our lord instruct his servants who are here before you to look for a man who knows how to play the lyre. Then whenever the evil spirit from God comes upon you, he can play the lyre 71 and you will feel better.” 72 16:17 So Saul said to his servants, “Find 73 me a man who plays well and bring him to me.” 16:18 One of his attendants replied, 74 “I have seen a son of Jesse in Bethlehem 75 who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave warrior 76 and is articulate 77 and handsome, 78 for the Lord is with him.”
16:19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is out with the sheep. 16:20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a container of wine, and a young goat 79 and sent them to Saul with 80 his son David. 16:21 David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him a great deal, 81 and he became his armor bearer. 16:22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse saying, “Let David be my servant, for I really like him.” 82
16:23 So whenever the spirit from God would come upon Saul, David would take his lyre and play it. This would bring relief to Saul and make him feel better. Then the evil spirit would leave him alone. 83