Saul’s Rash Vow
24 And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, bso Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies.” So none of the people had tasted food.
25 Now when all the people1 came to the forest, behold, there was honey on the ground. 26 And when the people entered the forest, behold, the honey was dropping, but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. 27 But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath, cso he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright. 28 Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food this day.’” And the people were dfaint. 29 Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. See how my eyes have become bright because I tasted a little of this honey. 30 How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies that they found. For now the defeat among the Philistines has not been great.”
31 They struck down the Philistines that day from eMichmash to fAijalon. And the people were very dfaint. 32 The people gpounced on the spoil and took sheep and oxen and calves and slaughtered them on the ground. And the people ate them hwith the blood. 33 Then they told Saul, “Behold, the people are sinning against the Lord by eating hwith the blood.” And he said, “You have dealt treacherously; roll a great stone to me here.”2 34 And Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people and say to them, ‘Let every man bring his ox or his sheep and slaughter them here and eat, and do not sin against the Lord by eating with the blood.’” So every one of the people brought his ox with him that night and they slaughtered them there. 35 And Saul ibuilt an altar to the Lord; it was the first altar that he built to the Lord.
36 Then Saul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night and plunder them until the morning light; let us not leave a man of them.” And they said, “Do whatever seems good to you.” But jthe priest said, “Let us draw near to God here.” 37 And Saul inquired of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will you give them into the hand of Israel?” kBut he did not answer him that day. 38 And Saul said, “Come here, all you leaders of the people, and know and see how this sin has arisen today. 39 For las the Lord lives who saves Israel, mthough it be in Jonathan my son, he shall surely die.” But there was not a man among all the people who answered him. 40 Then he said to all Israel, “You shall be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side.” And the people said to Saul, “Do what seems good to you.” 41 Therefore Saul said, “O Lord God of Israel, why have you not answered your servant this day? If this guilt is in me or in Jonathan my son, O Lord, God of Israel, give Urim. But if this guilt is in your people Israel, give Thummim.”3 nAnd Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped. 42 Then Saul said, n“Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan.” And Jonathan was taken.
43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, o“Tell me what you have done.” And Jonathan told him, p“I tasted a little honey with the tip of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am; I will die.” 44 And Saul said, q“God do so to me and more also; ryou shall surely die, Jonathan.” 45 Then the people said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! lAs the Lord lives, sthere shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people ransomed Jonathan, so that he did not die. 46 Then Saul went up from pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.
Saul Fights Israel’s Enemies
47 When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, tagainst the Ammonites, against Edom, against the kings of uZobah, and against the Philistines. Wherever he turned he routed them. 48 And he did valiantly vand struck the Amalekites and delivered Israel out of the hands of those who plundered them.
49 wNow the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchi-shua. And the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn was xMerab, and the name of the younger Michal. 50 And the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. yAnd the name of the commander of his army was Abner the son of Ner, zSaul’s uncle. 51 aKish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of aAbiel.
52 There was hard fighting against the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, bhe attached him to himself.
The Lord Rejects Saul
15 And Samuel said to Saul, c“The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel din opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. 3 Now go and strike Amalek and edevote to destruction4 all that they have. Do not spare them, fbut kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
4 So Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand men on foot, and ten thousand men of Judah. 5 And Saul came to the city of Amalek and lay in wait in the valley. 6 Then Saul said to gthe Kenites, “Go, depart; go down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. hFor you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 7 iAnd Saul defeated the Amalekites from jHavilah as far as kShur, which is east of Egypt. 8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive land devoted to destruction all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 mBut Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves5 and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.
10 The word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 n“I regret6 that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and ohas not performed my commandments.” And Samuel was angry, and he cried to the Lord all night. 12 And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning. And it was told Samuel, “Saul came to pCarmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.” 13 And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, q“Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” 14 And Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?” 15 Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, rfor the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction.” 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me this night.” And he said to him, “Speak.”
17 And Samuel said, s“Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? tWhy did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” 20 And Saul said to Samuel, u“I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. 21 vBut the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” 22 And Samuel said,
w“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, xto obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and yidolatry.
Because zyou have rejected the word of the Lord,
ahe has also rejected you from being king.”
24 Saul said to Samuel, b“I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin and creturn with me that I may bow before the Lord.” 26 And Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you. dFor you have rejected the word of the Lord, eand the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27 fAs Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it tore. 28 And Samuel said to him, g“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. 29 And also the Glory of Israel hwill not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.” 30 Then he said, “I have sinned; yet ihonor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, jand return with me, that I may bow before the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul bowed before the Lord.
32 Then Samuel said, “Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him cheerfully.7 Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” 33 And Samuel said, k“As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord lin Gilgal.
34 Then Samuel went mto Ramah, and Saul went up to his house in nGibeah of Saul. 35 oAnd Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, pbut Samuel grieved over Saul. qAnd the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.