1 Samuel 15:9

9 But Saul and the army spared 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.

Read 1 Samuel 15:9 Using Other Translations

But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.
Saul and his men spared Agag’s life and kept the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs—everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality.

What does 1 Samuel 15:9 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Samuel 15:9

And Saul and all the people spared Agag
Perhaps Saul made the motion to spare him, and the people agreed to it; it may be, out of respect to him as a king; or because of the comeliness of his person, the height of his stature, and the largeness of his body, as Josephus


FOOTNOTES:

F25 notes; or to carry him in triumph in a public show, see ( 1 Samuel 15:12 )

and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings;
or "of the second sort", as in the margin, the second best; or rather which shed their two long teeth, as sheep at two years old did when reckoned at their full strength, and fittest for sacrifice F26:

and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy
them;
as they were commanded, but kept them for their own private use and advantage, and this not only the best and fattest of the flocks and herds, but of their household goods:

but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly:
such of the cattle that were poor and lean, lame or blind, or had any defect in them, and household goods that were mere rubbish and lumber; such they entirely destroyed, killed the creatures, and burnt the goods; in doing which they thought they fulfilled the will of God.


F25 Ut supra, (Antiqu. l. 6. c. 7.) sect. 2.
F26 Bidentes, Virgil. Aeneid. l. 6. ver. 39. Vid. Servium in ib.

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