1 Samuel 15:22
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
But Samuel replied, "What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

English Standard Version
And Samuel said, “Has 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 listen than the fat of rams.

New American Standard Bible
Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
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.

International Standard Version
Samuel said, "Does the LORD delight as much in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the LORD? Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.

NET Bible
Then Samuel said, "Does the LORD take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as he does in obedience? Certainly, obedience is better than sacrifice; paying attention is better than the fat of rams.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then Samuel said, "Is the LORD as delighted with burnt offerings and sacrifices as he would be with your obedience? To follow instructions is better than to sacrifice. To obey is better than sacrificing the fat of rams.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Samuel said, Does the LORD have as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in hearing the voice of the LORD? Behold, to hear is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams.

King James 2000 Bible
And Samuel said, has 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.

American King James Version
And Samuel said, Has 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 listen than the fat of rams.

American Standard Version
And Samuel said, Hath Jehovah as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Samuel said: Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims, and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifices: and to hearken rather than to offer the fat of rams.

Darby Bible Translation
And Samuel said, Has Jehovah delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, As in hearkening to the voice of Jehovah? Behold, obedience is better than sacrifice, Attention than the fat of rams.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
Samuel said, "Has Yahweh as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

Young's Literal Translation
And Samuel saith, 'Hath Jehovah had delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices as in hearkening to the voice of Jehovah? lo, hearkening than sacrifice is better; to give attention than fat of rams;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

15:10-23 Repentance in God is not a change of mind, as it is in us, but a change of method. The change was in Saul; He is turned back from following me. Hereby he made God his enemy. Samuel spent a whole night in pleading for Saul. The rejection of sinners is the grief of believers: God delights not in their death, nor should we. Saul boasts to Samuel of his obedience. Thus sinners think, by justifying themselves, to escape being judged of the Lord. The noise the cattle made, like the rust of the silver, Jas 5:3, witnessed against him. Many boast of obedience to the command of God; but what means then their indulgence of the flesh, their love of the world, their angry and unkind spirit, and their neglect of holy duties, which witness against them? See of what evil covetousness is the root; and see what is the sinfulness of sin, and notice that in it which above any thing else makes it evil in the sight of the Lord; it is disobedience: Thou didst not obey the voice of the Lord. Carnal, deceitful hearts, like Saul, think to excuse themselves from God's commandments by what pleases themselves. It is hard to convince the children of disobedience. But humble, sincere, and conscientious obedience to the will of God, is more pleasing and acceptable to him than all burnt-offering and sacrifices. God is more glorified and self more denied, by obedience than by sacrifice. It is much easier to bring a bullock or lamb to be burned upon the altar, than to bring every high thought into obedience to God, and to make our will subject to his will. Those are unfit and unworthy to rule over men, who are not willing that God should rule over them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 22, 23. - The rebuke of Samuel contains one of those pregnant sayings which mark the high moral tone of the teaching of the prophets, and soon became a fundamental principle with them. To obey is better than sacrifice is a dictum reproduced by Hosea (Hosea 6:6), the most ancient of those prophets of Israel whose lessons have been preserved in writing; it is referred to in still earlier psalms (see Psalm 50:13-14; Psalm 51:16, 17); by other prophets (Isaiah 1:11; Jeremiah 6:20; Micah 6:6, 8); and finally received our Lord's special approbation (Matthew 9:13; Matthew 12:7). It asserts in the clearest terms the superiority of moral to ritual worship, and that God can only be really served with the heart. Witchcraft is in the Hebrew divination, a sin always strongly condemned in the Old Testament. Iniquity literally means nothingness, and so is constantly used for "an idol;" and this must be its signification here, as the word coupled with it, and rendered idolatry, is really teraphim. These were the Hebrew household gods, answering to the Roman Lares, and were supposed to bring good luck. Their worship, we see from this place, was strictly forbidden. The verse, therefore, means, "For rebellion is the sin of divination (i.e. is equal to it in wickedness), and obstinacy (i.e. intractableness) is an idol and teraphim." Samuel thus accuses Saul of resistance to Jehovah's will, and of the determination at all hazards to be his own master. With this temper of mind he could be no fit representative of Jehovah, and therefore Samuel dethrones him. Henceforward he reigns only as a temporal, and no longer as the theocratic, king.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And Samuel said,.... In reply to Saul:

hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? no, certainly, the one being merely ceremonial, the other moral; the one supposes sin committed, for which sacrifice is offered; the other moral, and is a compliance with the will of God, and is neither sinful, nor supposes anything sinful, and therefore must be the more acceptable:

behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams; which always was claimed by the Lord as his right and due; or the fattest rams or best sacrifices, of whatever sort, whether burnt offerings, or sin offerings, or peace offerings; for had man obeyed the will of God, and not sinned, there would have been no need of sacrifice; and that was only acceptable to God when offered with a heart truly sensible of sin, and penitent for it, and in the faith of the great sacrifice of Christ, of which all sacrifices under the law were typical, and led unto.



1 Samuel 15:22 Additional Commentaries
Context
Samuel Denounces Saul
21"But the 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." 22Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 23"For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king."
Cross References
Matthew 12:7
If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent.

Mark 12:33
To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

Hebrews 10:6
with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.

Genesis 4:4
And Abel also brought an offering--fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,

1 Samuel 13:13
"You have done a foolish thing," Samuel said. "You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.

Psalm 40:6
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire-- but my ears you have opened -- burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.

Psalm 51:16
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

Psalm 51:17
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

Proverbs 21:3
To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Ecclesiastes 5:1
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.

Isaiah 1:11
"The multitude of your sacrifices-- what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

Jeremiah 7:22
For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices,

Jeremiah 7:23
but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.

Hosea 6:6
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Micah 6:6
With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
Treasury of Scripture

And Samuel said, Has 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 listen than the fat of rams.

Hath the Lord

Psalm 50:8,9 I will not reprove you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, …

Psalm 51:16,17 For you desire not sacrifice; else would I give it: you delight not …

Proverbs 21:3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Isaiah 1:11-17 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me? said the …

Jeremiah 7:22,23 For I spoke not to your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that …

Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God …

Amos 5:21-24 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn …

Micah 6:6-8 With which shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the …

Matthew 9:13 But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not …

Matthew 12:7 But if you had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not …

Matthew 23:23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe …

Hebrews 10:4-10 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should …

obey

Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, …

Ecclesiastes 5:1 Keep your foot when you go to the house of God, and be more ready …

Jeremiah 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will …

Jeremiah 11:4,7 Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth …

Jeremiah 26:13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice …

Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God …

Matthew 5:24 Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be …

Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, …

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