The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Samuel 15:1–35

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And Samuel said unto Saul: 'YHWH sent me to anoint thee to be king over His people, over Israel; now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of YHWH.

And Samuel said to Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint thee king over Israel: and now hear the voice of the Lord.

SAMUEL said to Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint you to be king over his people Israel. Now therefore hearken to the voice of the words of the LORD.

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Thus saith YHWH of hosts: I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way, when he came up out of Egypt.

‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: I have taken account of all that Amalek has done to Israel, how he stood against him in the way, when he ascended from Egypt.

Thus says the LORD Of hosts, I remember what Amalek did to Israel on their journey when they were coming up out of Egypt.

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Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.'

And now go, and thou shalt smite Amalec and Hierim and all that belongs to him, and thou shalt not save anything of him alive, but thou shalt utterly destroy him: and thou shalt devote him and all his to destruction, and thou shalt spare nothing belonging to him; and thou shalt slay both man and woman, and infant and suckling, and calf and sheep, and camel and ass.

Now therefore, go and strike Amalek, and demolish all that is his. You shall not spare him, and you shall not covet anything out of the things that are his. Instead, kill from man even to woman, and little ones as well as infants, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”

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And Saul summoned the people, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.

And so, Saul instructed the people, and he numbered them like lambs: two hundred thousand foot soldiers, and ten thousand men of Judah.

And Saul came to the city of Amalek, and lay in wait in the valley.

And when Saul had arrived as far as the city of Amalek, he placed ambushes at the torrent.

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And Saul said unto the Kenites: 'Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them; for ye showed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt.' So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.

And Saul said to the Kinite, Go, and depart out of the midst of the Amalekites, lest I put thee with them; for thou dealedst mercifully with the children of Israel when they went up out of Egypt. So the Kinite departed from the midst of Amalec.

And Saul said to the Kenite: “Go away, withdraw, and descend from Amalek. Otherwise, I will include you with him. For you showed mercy to all the sons of Israel, when they ascended from Egypt.” And so the Kenite withdrew from the midst of Amalek.

And Saul smote the Amalekites, from Havilah as thou goest to Shur, that is in front of Egypt.

And Saul smote Amalec from Evilat to Sur fronting Egypt.

And Saul struck down Amalek, from Havilah even until you arrive at Shur, which is opposite the region of Egypt.

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And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

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But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, even the young of the second birth, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them; but every thing that was of no account and feeble, that they destroyed utterly.

And Saul and all the people saved Agag alive, and the best of the flocks, and of the herds, and of the fruits, of the vineyards, and of all the good things; and they would not destroy them: but every worthless and refuse thing they destroyed.

And Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the flocks of sheep, and of the herds, and the garments, and the rams, and all that was beautiful, and they were not willing to destroy them. Yet truly, whatever was vile or worthless, these they demolished.

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10  Then came the word of YHWH unto Samuel, saying

10  And the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying,

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11  'It repenteth Me that I have set up Saul to be king; for he is turned back from following Me, and hath not performed My commandments.' And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto YHWH all night.

11  I have repented that I have made Saul to be king: for he has turned back from following me, and has not kept my word. And Samuel was grieved, and cried to the Lord all night.

11  “It displeases me that I have appointed Saul as king. For he has forsaken me, and he has not fulfilled the work of my words.” And Samuel was greatly saddened, and he cried out to the Lord, all night long

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12  And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning; and it was told Samuel, saying: 'Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he is setting him up a monument, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.'

12  And Samuel rose early and went to meet Israel in the morning, and it was told Saul, saying, Samuel has come to Carmel, and he has raised up help for himself: and he turned his chariot, and came down to Galgala to Saul; and, behold, he was offering up a whole-burnt-offering to the Lord, the chief of the spoils which he brought out of Amalec.

12  And when Samuel had risen while it was still dark, so that he might go to Saul in the morning, it was reported to Samuel that Saul had arrived at Carmel, and that he had erected for himself a triumphant arch. And, while returning, he had continued on and descended to Gilgal. Therefore, Samuel went to Saul. And Saul was offering a holocaust to the Lord, from the best of the spoils, which he had brought from Amalek.

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13  And Samuel came to Saul; and Saul said unto him: 'Blessed be thou of YHWH; I have performed the commandment of the YHWH.'

13  And when Samuel had gone to Saul, Saul said to him: “You are the blessed of the Lord. I have fulfilled the word of the Lord.”

14  And Samuel said: 'What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?'

14  And Samuel said, “Then what is this voice of the flocks, which resounds in my ears, and of the herds, which I am hearing?”

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15  And Saul said: 'They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto YHWH thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.'

15  And Saul said, I have brought them out of Amalec, that which the people preserved, even the best of the sheep, and of the cattle, that it might be sacrificed to the Lord thy God, and the rest have I utterly destroyed.

16  Then Samuel said unto Saul: 'Stay, and I will tell thee what YHWH hath said to me this night.' And he said unto him: 'Say on.'

16  And Samuel said to Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the Lord has said to me this night: and he said to him, Say on.

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17  And Samuel said: 'Though thou be little in thine own sight, art thou not head of the tribes of Israel? And YHWH anointed thee king over Israel;

17  And Samuel said to Saul, Art thou not little in his eyes, though a leader of one of the tribes of Israel? and yet the Lord anointed thee to be king over Israel.

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18  and YHWH sent thee on a journey, and said: Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.

18  And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said to thee, Go, and utterly destroy: thou shalt slay the sinners against me, even the Amalekites; and thou shalt war against them until thou have consumed them.

18  And the Lord sent you on the way, and he said: ‘Go and put to death the sinners of Amalek. And you shall fight against them, even unto utter annihilation.’

19  Wherefore then didst thou not hearken to the voice of YHWH, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst that which was evil in the sight of the YHWH?'

19  And why didst not thou hearken to the voice of the Lord, but didst haste to fasten upon the spoils, and didst that which was evil in the sight of the Lord?

19  Why then, did you not listen to the voice of the Lord? Instead, you turned to the spoils, and you did evil in the eyes of the Lord.”

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20  And Saul said unto Samuel: 'Yea, I have hearkened to the voice of YHWH, and have gone the way which the YHWH sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

20  And Saul said to Samuel, Because I listened to the voice of the people: yet I went the way by which the Lord sent me, and I brought Agag the king of Amalec, and I destroyed Amalec.

20  And Saul said to Samuel: “On the contrary, I did listen to the voice of the Lord, and I walked in the way along which the Lord sent me, and I led back Agag, the king of Amalek, and I put to death Amalek.

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21  But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the devoted things, to sacrifice unto YHWH thy God in Gilgal.'

21  But the people took some of the spoils, sheep and oxen, as the first-fruits of those things that were slain, to immolate to the Lord their God at Gilgal.”

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22  And Samuel said: 'Hath YHWH as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in hearkening to the voice of the YHWH? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

22  And Samuel said: “Does the Lord want holocausts and victims, and not instead that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifice. And to heed is greater than to offer the fat of rams.

22  And Samuel said, The LORD is not as well pleased with burnt offerings and sacrifices as with one who obeys his voice. Behold, to obey is better than sacrifices, and to hearken, than the fat of rams.

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23  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim. Because thou hast rejected the word of YHWH, He hath also rejected thee from being king.'

23  For sin is as divination; idols bring on pain and grief. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord also shall reject thee from being king over Israel.

23  Therefore, it is like the sin of paganism to rebel. And it is like the crime of idolatry to refuse to obey. For this reason, therefore, because you have rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord has also rejected you from being king.”

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24  And Saul said unto Samuel: 'I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of YHWH, and thy words; because I feared the people, and hearkened to their voice.

24  And Saul said to Samuel: “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the word of the Lord, and your words, by fearing the people and obeying their voice.

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25  Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship YHWH.'

25  And now remove, I pray thee, my sin, and turn back with me, and I will worship the Lord thy God.

25  But now, I beg you, to bear my sin, and to return with me, so that I may adore the Lord.”

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26  And Samuel said unto Saul: 'I will not return with thee; for thou hast rejected the word of YHWH, and the YHWH hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.'

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.”

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27  And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his robe, and it rent.

27  And Samuel turned his face to depart, and Saul caught hold of the skirt of his garment, and tore it.

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28  And Samuel said unto him: 'YHWH hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.

28  And Samuel said to him: “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel away from you this day. And he has delivered it to your neighbor, who is better than you are.

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29  And also the Glory of Israel will not lie nor repent; for He is not a man, that He should repent.'

29  Moreover, the One who triumphs within Israel will not spare, and he will not be moved to repentance. For he is not a man, that he should repent.”

29  And also his Excellency the LORD of Israel will not lie nor seek counsel; for he is not a human being, that he should seek counsel.

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30  Then he said: 'I have sinned; yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship YHWH thy God.'

30  And Saul said, I have sinned; yet honour me, I pray thee, before the elders of Israel, and before my people; and turn back with me, and I will worship the Lord thy God.

30  Then Saul said, I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return again with me, that I may worship the LORD your God.

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31  So Samuel returned after Saul; and Saul worshipped YHWH.

31  Therefore, Samuel turned again after Saul. And Saul adored the Lord.

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32  Then said Samuel: 'Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites.' And Agag came unto him in chains. And Agag said: 'Surely the bitterness of death is at hand.'

32  And Samuel said, Bring me Agag the king of Amalec: and Agag came to him trembling; and Agag said Is death thus bitter?

32  And Samuel said, “Bring near to me Agag, the king of Amalek.” And Agag, very fat and trembling, was presented to him. And Agag said, “Does bitter death separate in this manner?”

33  And Samuel said: As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before YHWH in Gilgal.

33  And Samuel said to Agag, As thy sword has bereaved women of their children, so shall thy mother be made childless among women: and Samuel slew Agag before the Lord in Galgal.

33  And Samuel said, “Just as your sword caused women to be without their children, so will your mother be without her children among women.” And Samuel cut him into pieces, before the Lord at Gilgal.

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34  Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeath-shaul.

34  And Samuel departed to Armathaim, and Saul went up to his house at Gabaa.

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35  And Samuel never beheld Saul again until the day of his death; for Samuel mourned for Saul; and YHWH repented that He had made Saul king over Israel.

35  And Samuel did not see Saul any more, until the day of his death. Yet truly, Samuel mourned for Saul, because the Lord regretted that he had appointed him as king over Israel.