1 Samuel 15:23

23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”

1 Samuel 15:23 in Other Translations

KJV
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
ESV
23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king."
NLT
23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”
MSG
23 Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult. Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors. Because you said No to God's command, he says No to your kingship.
CSB
23 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.

1 Samuel 15:23 Meaning and Commentary

1 Samuel 15:23

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft
Or divination {e}, in whatsoever way it was exercised; for there were various sorts of it among the Heathens, and all condemned by the law of God, ( Deuteronomy 18:10 ) . Now rebellion against God, or disobeying his commands, though in things otherwise, were they not forbidden by him, lawful to be done, is as heinous a sin as to be guilty of witchcraft, or any kind of divination forbidden by the law of God, and deserves as sore a punishment:

and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry:
for a man, when he has committed a sin, to persist in it obstinately, or to vindicate himself in it, and insist on his innocence, which was Saul's case, is as hateful to God as any iniquity whatever; yea, as bad as idolatry, or making use of the teraphim, as is the word here; of which see ( Hosea 3:4 ) than which nothing is more abominable to the Lord:

because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord;
disregarded his command, treated it with contempt and abhorrence:

he hath rejected thee from being king;
not actually, for he continued to exercise kingly power and authority to his death, and was treated as a king by his subjects, and even by David, though anointed by the Lord; but the sentence of rejection was pronounced upon him, and the bestowal of the government on his posterity was cut off.


FOOTNOTES:

F5 (Moq tajx) "peccatum divinationis", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; "ariolandi", V. L. "magiae", Munster, Tigurine version.

1 Samuel 15:23 In-Context

21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal.”
22 But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”
24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the LORD’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.
25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD.”

Cross References 2

  • 1. Deuteronomy 18:10
  • 2. S 1 Samuel 13:13