and then sent you on a mission and said: 'Go and completely destroy the sinful Amalekites. Fight against them until you have annihilated them.'a19
So why didn't you obey the Lord? Why did you rush on the plunderb and do what was evil in the Lord's sight?"
"But I did obey the Lord!" Saul answered.c "I went on the mission the Lord gave me: I brought back Agag, king of Amalek, and I completely destroyed the Amalekites.
The troops took sheep and cattle from the plunder-the best of what was set apart for destruction-to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal."
Then Samuel said: Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? Look: to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention [is better] than the fat of rams.d23
For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.e24
Saul answered Samuel, "I have sinned.f I have transgressed the Lord's command and your words. Because I was afraid of the people, I obeyed them.
Now therefore, please forgive my sin and return with me so I can worship the Lord."
Samuel replied to Saul, "I will not return with you. Because you rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel."
When Samuel turned to go, Saul grabbed the hem of his robe, and it tore.
Samuel said to him, "The Lord has torn the kingship of Israel away from you today and has given it to your neighbor who is better than you.g