1 Samuel Chapter 15 to 16 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Saul Destroys the Amalekites

15 {One day} Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint* you king over his people Israel. Now listen to the Lord’s message. 2The Lord All-Powerful says: ‘When the Israelites came out of Egypt, the Amalekites tried to stop them from going to Canaan. I saw what the Amalekites did. 3Now, go fight against the Amalekites. You must completely destroy the Amalekites and everything that belongs to them. Don’t let anything live; you must kill all the men and women and all of their children and little babies. You must kill all of their cows and sheep and all of their camels and donkeys.’” 4Saul gathered the army together at Telaim. There were 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 other men. That includes the men from Judah. 5Then Saul went to the city of Amalek and waited in the valley. 6Saul said to the Kenite people, “Go away, leave the Amalekites. Then I won’t destroy you with the Amalekites. You showed kindness to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt.” So the Kenite people left the Amalekites. 7Saul defeated the Amalekites. He fought them and chased them all the way from Havilah to Shur, at the border of Egypt. 8Agag was the king of the Amalekites. Saul captured Agag alive. Saul let Agag live, but he killed all the men in Agag’s army. 9Saul and the Israelite soldiers felt bad about destroying everything. So they let Agag live. They also kept the fat cows, the best sheep, and the lambs. They kept everything that was worth keeping. They didn’t want to destroy those things. They destroyed only the things that were not worth keeping.

Samuel Tells Saul About His Sin

10Then Samuel received a message from the Lord. 11The Lord said, “Saul has stopped following me. So I am sorry that I made Saul king. He is not doing what I tell him.” Samuel became angry and cried to the Lord all night. 12Samuel got up early the next morning and went to meet Saul. But the people told Samuel, “Saul went to {the town in Judah named} Carmel. Saul went there to set up a stone monument to honor himself. Saul is traveling around to several places and will finally go down to Gilgal.” So Samuel went to the place where Saul was. Saul had just offered the first part of the things he took from the Amalekites. Saul was offering them as a burnt offering to the Lord.* 13Samuel went to Saul. Saul greeted him. Saul said, “Lord bless you! I obeyed the Lord’s commands.” 14But Samuel said, “Then what is that sound I hear? Why do I hear sheep and cattle?” 15Saul said, “The soldiers took them from the Amalekites. The soldiers saved the best sheep and cattle to burn as sacrifices* to the Lord your God. But we destroyed everything else.” 16Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” Saul answered, “Fine, tell me what he said.” 17Samuel said, “In the past, you thought you were not important. But then you became the leader of the family groups of Israel. The Lord chose you to be king over Israel. 18The Lord sent you on a special mission. The Lord said, ‘Go and destroy all of the Amalekites. They are evil people. Destroy them all! Fight them until they are completely finished!’ 19But you didn’t listen to the Lord! Why? You wanted to keep those things, so you did what the Lord said is bad!” 20Saul said, “But I did obey the Lord! I went where the Lord sent me. I destroyed all the Amalekites! I brought back only one person—their king Agag. 21And the soldiers took the best sheep and cattle to sacrifice* to the Lord your God at Gilgal!” 22But Samuel answered, “Which pleases the Lord more: burnt offerings and sacrifices* or obeying the Lord’s command? It is better to obey God than to offer sacrifices to him. It is better to listen to God than to offer the fat from rams. 23Refusing to obey is as bad as the sin of sorcery.* Being stubborn and doing what you want is like the sin of worshiping idols. You refused to obey the Lord’s command. For this reason, the Lord now refuses to accept you as king.” 24Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I did not obey the Lord’s commands, and I did not do what you told me. I was afraid of the people, and I did what they said. 25Now I beg you, forgive me for doing this sin. Come back with me, so I may worship the Lord.” 26But Samuel said to Saul, “I won’t go back with you. You refused the Lord’s command, and now the Lord refuses you as king of Israel.” 27When Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught Samuel’s robe. The robe tore. 28Samuel said to Saul, “{You tore my robe. In the same way,} the Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today. The Lord has given the kingdom to one of your friends. This man is a better person than you. 29The Lord is the God of Israel. The Lord lives forever. The Lord does not lie or change his mind. The Lord is not like a man who changes his mind.” 30Saul answered, “All right, I sinned! But please come back with me. Show me some respect in front of the leaders and the people of Israel. Come back with me so I may worship the Lord your God.” 31Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord. 32Samuel said, “Bring Agag, the king of the Amalekites, to me.” Agag came to Samuel. Agag was tied with chains. Agag thought, “Surely he won’t kill me.”* 33But Samuel said to Agag, “Your sword took babies from their mothers. So now, your mother will have no children.” And Samuel cut Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal. 34Then Samuel left and went to Ramah. And Saul went up to his home in Gibeah. 35After that Samuel never saw Saul again all his life. Samuel was very sad for Saul. And the Lord was very sorry that he had made Saul king of Israel.

anoint To pour olive oil on a person’s head to show he was chosen by God to be a king, priest, or prophet. Saul had just offered … Lord This is from the ancient Greek translation. It is not in the standard Hebrew text. sacrifice(s) A gift to God. Usually it was a special animal that was killed and burned on an altar. sorcery When a person tries to use the power of demons and bad spirits to do magic. “Surely … kill me Or, “This treatment is worse than death.”

Samuel Goes to Bethlehem

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you feel sorry for Saul? You are feeling sorry for him, even after I told you that I refuse to let Saul be the king of Israel! Fill your horn* with oil and go to Bethlehem. I am sending you to a man named Jesse. Jesse lives in Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be the new king.” 2But Samuel said, “If I go, Saul will hear the news. Then he will try to kill me.” The Lord said, “Go to Bethlehem. Take a young calf with you. Say, ‘I have come to make a sacrifice* to the Lord.’ 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice. Then I will show you what to do. You must anoint* the person I show you.” 4Samuel did what the Lord told him to do. Samuel went to Bethlehem. The elders (leaders) of Bethlehem shook with fear. They met Samuel and asked, “Do you come in peace?” 5Samuel answered, “Yes, I come in peace. I come to make a sacrifice* to the Lord. Prepare yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Samuel prepared Jesse and his sons. Then Samuel invited them to come and share the sacrifice. 6When Jesse and his sons arrived, Samuel saw Eliab. Samuel thought, “Surely this is the man that the Lord has chosen!” 7But the Lord said to Samuel, “Eliab is tall and handsome. But don’t think about things like that. God does not look at the things people see. People look only at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at his heart. Eliab is not the right man.” 8Then Jesse called his second son, Abinadab. Abinadab walked by Samuel. But Samuel said, “No, this is not the man that the Lord chose.” 9Then Jesse told Shammah to walk by Samuel. But Samuel said, “No, the Lord did not choose this man, either.” 10Jesse showed seven of his sons to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these men.” 11Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” Jesse answered, “No, I have another son—my youngest, but he is out taking care of the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him. Bring him here. We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.” 12Jesse sent someone to get his youngest son. This son was a good-looking, red-faced* young man. He was very handsome. The Lord said to Samuel, “Get up and anoint* him. He is the one.” 13Samuel took the horn* with the oil in it, and poured the special oil on Jesse’s youngest son in front of his brothers. The Lord’s Spirit came on David with great power from that day on. Then Samuel went back home to Ramah.

A Bad Spirit Bothers Saul

14The Lord’s Spirit left Saul. Then the Lord sent a bad spirit to Saul. It caused him much trouble. 15Saul’s servants said to him, “A bad spirit from God is bothering you. 16Give us the command and we will look for someone who can play the harp. If the bad spirit from the Lord comes on you, this person will play music for you. Then you will feel better.” 17So Saul said to his servants, “Find a person who plays music well and bring him to me.” 18One of the servants said, “There is a man named Jesse living in Bethlehem. I saw Jesse’s son. He knows how to play the harp. He is also a brave man and fights well. He is smart and handsome. And the Lord is with him.” 19So Saul sent messengers to Jesse. They told Jesse, “You have a son named David. He takes care of your sheep. Send him to me.” 20So Jesse got some things as a gift for Saul. Jesse got a donkey, some bread and a bottle of wine, and a young goat. Jesse gave those things to David and sent him to Saul. 21So David went to Saul and stood in front of him. Saul loved David very much. David became the helper who carried Saul’s weapons. 22Saul sent a message to Jesse. “Let David stay and serve me. I like him very much.” 23Any time the bad spirit from God came on Saul, David would take his harp and play it. The bad spirit would leave Saul and he would begin to feel better.

horn An animal’s horn is hollow and was often used like a bottle. sacrifice(s) A gift to God. Usually it was a special animal that was killed and burned on an altar. anoint To pour olive oil on a person’s head to show he was chosen by God to be a king, priest, or prophet. red-faced Or “tanned” or possibly, “red-haired.” The Hebrew word means “red” or “ruddy.”

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