New Heart English Bible
1Samuel said to Saul, "The LORD sent me to anoint you to be king over his people, over Israel. Now therefore listen to the voice of the words of the LORD. 2Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way, when he came up out of Egypt. 3Now go and strike Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them; but kill both man and woman, infant and nursing baby, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'"
4Saul summoned the people, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. 5Saul came to the city of Amalek, and lay in wait in the valley. 6Saul said to the Kenites, "Go, depart, go down from among the Amalekites, lest I sweep you away with them; for you showed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt." So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 7Saul struck the Amalekites, from Havilah as you go to Shur, that is before Egypt. 8He took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and the cattle, and the fat ones and the lambs, and all that was good, and wouldn't utterly destroy them; but everything that was despised and rejected, that they utterly destroyed.
10Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, 11"It grieves me that I have made Saul king; for he has turned back from following me, and has not carried out my commandments." And Samuel was angry; and he cried to the LORD all night. 12And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning; and it was told Samuel, saying, "Saul came to Carmel, and look, he set up a monument for himself, and turned, and passed on, and went down to Gilgal." And Samuel came to Saul, and look, he was offering up a burnt offering to the LORD, the best of the spoils which he had brought from Amalek. 13And Samuel came to Saul; and Saul said to him, "You are blessed by the LORD. I have performed the commandment of the LORD." 14Samuel said, "Then what does this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the cattle which I hear mean?" 15And Saul said, "I have brought them from Amalek; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, and I have utterly destroyed the rest." 16Then Samuel said to Saul, "Stay, and I will tell you what the LORD has said to me last night." He said to him, "Say on."
17Samuel said, "Though you were little in your own sight, weren't you made the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel; 18and the LORD sent you on a journey, and said to you, 'Go, and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until you have destroyed them.' 19Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but took the spoils, and did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD?"
20Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed 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. 21But the people took of the spoil, sheep and cattle, the chief of the devoted things, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal."
22Samuel said, "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Look, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
23For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king."
24Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and your words, because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. 25Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD." 26Samuel 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." 27As Samuel turned about to go away, he grabbed the skirt of his robe, and it tore. 28Samuel said to him, "The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day, and has given it to a neighbor of yours who is better than you. 29And also the Glory of Israel will not retract or change his mind; for he is not a man that he should change his mind." 30Then he said, "I have sinned: yet please honor me now before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and come back with me, that I may worship the LORD your God." 31So Samuel went back with Saul; and he worshiped the LORD.
32Then Samuel said, "Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites." Agag came to him with faltering steps. Agag said, "Surely the bitterness of death is past." 33Samuel said, "As your sword has made women childless, so your mother will be childless among women." Samuel cut Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.
34Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul. 35And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death; for Samuel mourned for Saul. And the LORD grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel.