Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king
over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of
the words of the LORD.
15:2Thus saith the LORD
of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait
for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
(15:2-3) "Thus saith the LORD of hosts ... slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and
God orders Saul to kill all of the Amalekites: men, women, infants, sucklings, ox, sheep, camels, and
asses. Why? Because God remembers what Amalek did hundreds of years ago.
To kill or not to kill Is God merciful?
What the Bible says about genocide,
family values, and
God God's 65th Killing
15:3Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not;
but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and
And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two
hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.
And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.
And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the
Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the
children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed
from among the Amalekites.
15:7And Saul smote the
Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over
(15:7-26) "Saul ... destroyed all
the people with the edge of the sword." Saul killed everyone but Agag (the king)
and the best of the animals. But still God was furious with Saul for not killing
everything as he had been told to do. He said, "it repenteth me that I have
set Saul up to be king." Did Saul and Samuel kill all the Amalekites?
And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all
the people with the edge of the sword.
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.
15:10Then came the word of
the LORD unto Samuel, saying,
(15:10-11, 35) "It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king."
These verses say that God repented of making Saul king. But just a few verses
later (15:29) it says that God never repents. Does God repent?
15:11It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to
be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my
commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all
And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told
Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and
is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.
And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the
LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine
ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people
spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy
God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.
Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath
said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.
And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not
made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over
15:18And the LORD sent thee
on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites,
and fight against them until they be consumed.
(15:18-19) "The LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites."
Saul is rebuked by Samuel for "doing evil in the sight of the Lord" by failing to kill all of the
15:19Wherefore then didst
thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst
evil in the sight of the LORD?
And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and
have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of
Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things
which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and
sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better
than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
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
thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from
Because Saul didn't kill everyone as God commanded, God changes his mind
about him being king. Why did God reject Saul as king?
And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the
commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and
obeyed their voice.
Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I
may worship the LORD.
And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word
of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.
And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his
mantle, and it rent.
(15:27) "Samuel ... laid hold upon the skirt of his
mantle, and it rent."
Samuel was so upset that Saul left one Amalekite alive (instead of killing everyone like God commanded) that he tore his skirt. They rent their clothes
And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from
thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better
And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he
Here is Pat Robertson's rationalization for the genocide of the early Israelites
("The 700 Club" television program. May 6, 1985):
The wars of extermination have given a lot of people trouble unless
they know what was going on. The people in the land of Palestine were
very wicked. They were given over to idolatry; they sacrificed their
children; they had all kinds of abominable sex practices; they were
having sex, apparently, with animals; they were having sex men with
men, and women with women; they were committing adultery, fornication;
they were worshipping idols, offering their children up; and they were
forsaking God. God told the Israelites to kill them all - men, women
and children, to destroy them. And that seems to be a terrible thing to
do. Is it? Or isn't it? Well, let us assume there were 2,000 of them,
or 10,000 of them living in the land, or whatever number there was of
them. I don't have the exact number. Pick a number. God said, 'Kill
them all.' Well, that would seem hard, wouldn't it? That would be
10,000 people who would probably go to Hell. But, if they stayed and
reproduced, in 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 or 100 more years, they could
conceivably be - 10,000 would go to a 100,000 - 100,000 could
conceivably go to a million. And then, there would be a million people
who would have to spend eternity in Hell! And it's far more merciful to
take away a few than to see in the future a 100 years down the road,
and say, 'Well, I have to take away a million people that would forever
be apart from God,' because the abomination was there like a contagium.
God saw that there was no cure for it. It wasn't going to change; their
hearts weren't going to change; and all they would do is cause trouble
for the Israelites, and pull the Israelites away from God, and prevent
the truth of God from reaching the Earth. So, God, in love, took away a
small number that he might not have to take away a large number.