G a c 1. Saul's call by Samuel. d 2. Amalekites' crime against Israel. e 3. Command to smite Amalek. b 4. Saul's army. b 5. Saul's strategy. a c 6-. Saul's call to the Kenites. d -6. The Kenites kindness to Israel. c 7-35. Disobedience to Saul.
1 Samuel 15)
1: Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore listen you to the voice of the words of the Lord. (The priest role of Samuel still in effect)
2: Thus says the Lord of hosts (Yahaveh Sabaioth), ‘I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way (cp. Ex. 17:8), when he came up from Egypt.
3: Now therefore go and smite Amalek (cp. Ex. 17:16. Num. 24:20), and utterly destroy (= devote to destruction) all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.’ ”
4: And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim (probably Telem [Josh.15:24]), two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.
5: And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. (cp. Num. 24:20)
6: And Saul said to the Kenites (= the sons of Cain. They have to make their living off other peoples. The ground will not produce for them. See Gen.4:12), “Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them:
for you all showed kindness to all the sons of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
e O 7-9. Saul's sin. P f 10,11-. Repentance of Yehovah. g -11. Sorrow of Samuel. h 12,13-. Journey to Saul. O -13-33. Saul's reproof. P h 34,35-. Departure from Saul. g -35-. Sorrow of Samuel. f -35. Repentance of Yehovah.
7: And Saul smote the Amalekites that dwell from Havilah until you come to Shur, that is over against Egypt.
8: And he took Agag (= flame) the king of the Amalekites alive (Saul disobeyed God's command. What will man's mind do!?), and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
9: But Saul and the People spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fat-lings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but all the stock that was worthless and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
10: Then came the word of the Lord to Samuel, saying,
11: “It repents Me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.”
And it grieved Samuel; and he cried to the Lord all night.
12: And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place (Heb. a hand. Either to mark his claim to the place or monument, as in 2 Sam. 18:18), and is gone about, and passed over, and gone down to Gilgal.”
13: And Samuel came to Saul:
O Q¹ -13-31. By Samuel's word. Q² 32,33. By Samuel's action.
Q¹ R¹ i¹ -13. Saul's self-commendation. k¹ 14. Samuel's commendation. i¹ 15. Saul's self-justification. S¹ 16-19. Message from Yahaveh. R² i² 20,21. Saul's self-justification. k² 22,23. Samuel's refutation. i² 24,25. Saul's confession. S² 26-29. Sentence of Yahaveh. R³ i³ 30. Saul's confession and request. k³ 31-. Samuel's compliance. i³ -31. Saul's worship.
and Saul said to him, “Blessed be you of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” (see v.11. Now Saul is lying)
14: And Samuel said, “What does this mean then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”
15: And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites: (Saul has just lied again!) for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God (its not what God ordered! No discipline! They did it in the name of "religion" = man's word what seems good will lead people astray); and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”
16: Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stay, and I will tell you what the Lord has said to me this night.” And he said to him, “Say on.”
17: And Samuel said, “When you were little in your own sight, were you not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed you king over Israel?
18: And the Lord sent you on a journey, and said, ‘Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they have consumed them.’
19: Why then did you not listen to the voice of the Lord, but did fly upon the spoil, and did the evil in the sight of the Lord?” (He thought of self first. You need to please God first!)
20: And Saul said to Samuel, “Yes, I have listened to the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
21: But the People took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” (He refused to take the blame. Don't be a man pleaser.)
22: And Samuel said, “Has the Lord a great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to listen to is better than sacrifice, and to give heed than the fat of rams. (God gets tired of man's religious practices)
23: For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (= divination or necromancy; i.e. dealing with spirits), and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king.”
24: And Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and your word: because I feared the People, and listened to their voice. (To listen to people instead of God is the worst mistake you can make)
25: Now therefore, I pray you, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord.”
26: And Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you: for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.”
27: And as Samuel turned about to go away, Saul laid hold upon the skirt of Samuel's mantle, and it tore. (cp. 1 Kings 11:30,31)
28: And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day (Saul's kingship is taken away), and has given it to a neighbor of yours, that is better than you.
29: And also the Strength (the Eternal One) of Israel (first occ. Heb. Nezah. A Divine title) will not lie nor repent (i.e. as God, though He is said to do so by Fig. Anthropopatheia): for He is not a man, that He should repent.”
30: Then he said, “I have sinned: yet honor me now, I pray you, before the elders of my People, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord your God .”
31: So Samuel turned again after Saul;
and Saul worshiped the Lord.
32: Then said Samuel, “Bring you all to this place to me Agag the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him in fetters (see Job 38:31. Sept. has "trembling"; Vulg. has "sleek and trembling"). And Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” (Good talker. Probably was the reason Saul didn't kill him)
33: And Samuel said, “According as your sword has made women childless (Agag was a murderer), so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal (i.e. commanded him to be hewed or cut asunder after death. Verb occ. only here. See note on Amalek [Ex. 17:16, and cp. v.3. The man of God had to complete the command himself).
34: Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.
35: And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death (cp. 16:1,14; 19:23):
nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul (i.e. as for one dead. Samuel liked him. We do not read that Saul mourned for himself!):
and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.