But Saul and the army spared1 Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calvesa and lambs--everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel:
"I am grieved2 that I have made Saul king, because he has turned3 away from me and has not carried out my instructions."4 Samuel was troubled,5 and he cried out to the LORD all that night.
Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, "Saul has gone to Carmel.6 There he has set up a monument7 in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal."
When Samuel reached him, Saul said, "The LORD bless you! I have carried out the LORD's instructions."
But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?"
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."
"Stop!" Samuel said to Saul. "Let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night." "Tell me," Saul replied.
Samuel said, "Although you were once small8 in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel.
And he sent you on a mission, saying, 'Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.'
Why did you not obey the LORD? Why did you pounce on the plunder9 and do evil in the eyes of the LORD?"