Saul's Disobedience

1 Then Samuel said to Saul, "1The LORD sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the LORD.
2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'I will punish Amalek 2for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt.
3 'Now go and strike Amalek and 3utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but 4put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' "
4 Then Saul summoned the people and numbered them in 5Telaim, 200,000 * foot soldiers and 10,000 * men of Judah.
5 Saul came to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the valley.
6 Saul said to 6the Kenites, "Go, depart, go down from among the Amalekites, so that I do not destroy you with them; for 7you showed kindness to all the sons of Israel when they came up from Egypt." So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
7 So 8Saul defeated the Amalekites, from 9Havilah as you go to 10Shur, which is east * of Egypt.
8 He captured 11Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and 12utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
9 But Saul and the people 13spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything * despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.

Samuel Rebukes Saul

10 Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying,
11 "14I regret that I have made Saul king, for 15he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands." And Samuel was distressed and 16cried out to the LORD all night.
12 Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul; and it was told Samuel, saying, "Saul came to 17Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on down to 18Gilgal."
13 Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, "19Blessed are you of the LORD! I have carried out the command of the LORD."
14 But Samuel said, "20What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?"
15 Saul said, "They have brought them from the Amalekites, for 21the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; but the rest we have utterly destroyed."
16 Then Samuel said to Saul, "Wait, and let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night." And he said to him, "Speak!"
17 Samuel said, "Is it not true, 22though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the LORD anointed you king over Israel,
18 and the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, '23Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated.'
19 "Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, 24but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the LORD?"
20 Then Saul said to Samuel, "25I did obey the voice of the LORD, and went on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
21 "But 26the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal."
22 Samuel said, "27Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, 28to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
23 "For rebellion is as the sin of 29divination, And insubordination is as 30iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, 31He has also rejected you from being king."