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1 Samuel 15 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

Saul Rejected as King

15 Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to appoint you king over Israel. Now listen to his message. This is what the Lord of heaven’s armies says: ‘The Israelites came out of Egypt. But the Amalekites tried to stop them from going to Canaan. I saw what they did. Now go, attack the Amalekites. Destroy everything that belongs to them as an offering to the Lord. Don’t let anything live. Put to death men and women, children and small babies. Kill the cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

So Saul called the army together at Telaim. There were 200,000 soldiers and 10,000 men from Judah. Then Saul went to the city of Amalek and set up an ambush in the ravine. He said to the Kenites, “Go away. Leave the Amalekites so that I won’t destroy you with them. You showed kindness to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.

Then Saul defeated the Amalekites. He fought them all the way from Havilah to Shur, at the border of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive. But he killed all of Agag’s army with the sword. But Saul and the army let Agag live. They also let the best sheep, fat cattle and lambs live. They let every good animal live. They did not want to destroy them. But when they found an animal that was weak or useless, they killed it.

10 Then the Lord spoke his word to Samuel: 11 “Saul has stopped following me. And I am sorry I made him king. He has not obeyed my commands.” Samuel was upset, and he cried out to the Lord all night long.

12 Early the next morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul. But the people told Samuel, “Saul has gone to Carmel. He has put up a monument in his own honor. Now he has gone down to Gilgal.”

13 Then Samuel came to Saul. And Saul said, “May the Lord bless you! I have obeyed the Lord’s commands.”

14 But Samuel said, “Then why do I hear cattle mooing and sheep bleating?”

15 Saul answered, “The soldiers took them from the Amalekites. They saved the best sheep and cattle to offer as sacrifices to the Lord your God. But we destroyed all the other animals.”

16 Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”

Saul answered, “Tell me.”

17 Samuel said, “Once you didn’t think much of yourself. But now you have become the leader of the tribes of Israel. The Lord appointed you to be king over Israel. 18 And he told you to do something. He said, ‘Go and destroy those evil people, the Amalekites. Make war on them until all of them are dead.’ 19 Why didn’t you obey the Lord? Why did you take the best things? Why did you do what the Lord said was wrong?”

20 Saul said, “But I did obey the Lord. I did what the Lord told me to do. I destroyed all the Amalekites. And I brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took the best sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”

22 But Samuel answered,

“What pleases the Lord more:
    burnt offerings and sacrifices or obedience?
It is better to obey God than to offer a sacrifice.
    It is better to listen to God than to offer the fat of male sheep.
23 Refusing to obey is as bad as the sin of sorcery.
    Being stubborn is as bad as the sin of worshiping idols.
You have rejected the Lord’s command.
    For this reason, he now rejects you as king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I didn’t obey the Lord’s commands. I didn’t do what you told me. I was afraid of the people, and I did what they said. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin. Come back with me so I may worship the Lord.”

26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I won’t go back with you. You refused the Lord’s command. And now he rejects you as king of Israel.”

27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught his robe, and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today. He has given it to one of your neighbors. He has given it to one better than you. 29 The Lord is the Eternal One of Israel. He does not lie or change his mind. He is not a man. So he does not change his mind as men do.”

30 Saul answered, “I have sinned. But please honor me in front of my people’s elders. Please honor me in front of the Israelites. Come back with me so that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.”

Agag came to Samuel in chains. Yet Agag thought, “Surely the threat of death has passed.”

33 Samuel said to him, “Your sword caused mothers to be without their children. Now your mother will have no children.” And Samuel cut Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel left and went to Ramah. But Saul went up to his home in Gibeah. 35 And Samuel never saw Saul again all the rest of his life. But he was sorry for Saul. And the Lord was very sorry he had made Saul king of Israel.

International Children’s Bible (ICB)

The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

1 Samuel 15 New International Version (NIV)

The Lord Rejects Saul as King

15 Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy[a] all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. Then he said to the Kenites, “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.

Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves[b] and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.

10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.

12 Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”

13 When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”

14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”

15 Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”

16 “Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”

“Tell me,” Saul replied.

17 Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ 19 Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”

20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”

22 But Samuel replied:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
    as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
    and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
    and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
    he has rejected you as king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.”

26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”

27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you. 29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

30 Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.”

Agag came to him in chains.[c] And he thought, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”

33 But Samuel said,

“As your sword has made women childless,
    so will your mother be childless among women.”

And Samuel put Agag to death before the Lord at Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel left for Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. 35 Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 15:3 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verses 8, 9, 15, 18, 20 and 21.
  2. 1 Samuel 15:9 Or the grown bulls; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  3. 1 Samuel 15:32 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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