1 Samuel 15:25
Now therefore, I pray you, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin.—But, after all, the sorrow of Saul was rather for the immediate earthly consequence which he feared might follow the Divine rejection. He foresaw his power in Israel would sensibly decrease, so he intreats the great prophet not to desert him.

15:24-31 There were several signs of hypocrisy in Saul's repentance. 1. He besought Samuel only, and seemed most anxious to stand right in his opinion, and to gain his favour. 2. He excuses his fault, even when confessing it; that is never the way of a true penitent. 3. All his care was to save his credit, and preserve his interest in the people. Men are fickle and alter their minds, feeble and cannot effect their purposes; something happens they could not foresee, by which their measures are broken; but with God it is not so. The Strength of Israel will not lie.I have sinned - Compare 1 Samuel 15:25, 1 Samuel 15:30. How was it that these repeated confessions were unavailing to obtain forgiveness, when David's was? (See the marginal reference.) Because Saul only shrank from the punishment of his sin. David shrank in abhorrence from the sin itself Psalm 51:4. 24-26. I have sinned … turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord—The erring, but proud and obstinate monarch was now humbled. He was conscience-smitten for the moment, but his confession proceeded not from sincere repentance, but from a sense of danger and desire of averting the sentence denounced against him. For the sake of public appearance, he besought Samuel not to allow their serious differences to transpire, but to join with him in a public act of worship. Under the influence of his painfully agitated feelings, he designed to offer sacrifice, partly to express his gratitude for the recent victory, and partly to implore mercy and a reversal of his doom. It was, from another angle, a politic scheme, that Samuel might be betrayed into a countenancing of his design in reserving the cattle for sacrificing. Samuel declined to accompany him.

I feared the people, and obeyed their voice—This was a different reason from the former he had assigned. It was the language of a man driven to extremities, and even had it been true, the principles expounded by Samuel showed that it could have been no extenuation of the offense. The prophet then pronounced the irreversible sentence of the rejection of Saul and his family. He was judicially cut off for his disobedience.

Pardon my sin; use thy great interest with God to obtain the pardon of my sin. Or, do thou pardon my sin against thee; for he had sinned not only against God, but against Samuel also, as God’s prophet; and therefore needed a pardon both from God and man.

And turn again with me, to Gilgal, whence Saul was gone forth to meet Samuel; and Samuel is here said to turn again to Gilgal, not properly, for he had not now been there; but by way of concomitancy, because he accompanied Saul, who was come thence, and returned thither: see the like expression Ruth 1:10,22 2:6.

That I may worship the Lord; that I may offer further sacrifices to God; partly to praise him for the past victory; and partly to implore his mercy, and the taking off of my sin and punishment. This was a politic device of Saul’s, that Samuel might at least seem to countenance his design, in reserving the cattle for sacrifice; which Samuel seeing, refused to do it. Heb. and I will worship the Lord, i.e. I will seek his pardon and favour. Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin,.... It can hardly be thought that Saul was so ignorant as to imagine that Samuel could pardon his sin, as committed against God, which none but God can do, but that he would forgive it, so far as he had offended him; or rather his meaning is, that as he was a prophet of the Lord, and had great interest in him, that he would make use of it on his behalf, and pray to God that his sin might be forgiven him, and the sentence reversed concerning his rejection from the kingdom; which perhaps is the chief thing he means by the pardon of his sin, which sometimes means no more than averting a threatened judgment, or freedom from punishment:

and turn again with me; to Gilgal, for he was come out from thence to meet Samuel, having heard that he was coming:

that I may worship the Lord: by offering sacrifice, either in thankfulness for the victory obtained, or to atone for his sin, and seek pardon for it, or both; this he thought would be a motive and inducement to Samuel to go along with him.

Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my {k} sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.

(k) This was not true repentance, but deceit out of fear for the loss of his kingdom.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Samuel therefore bade him be silent. הרף, "leave off," excusing thyself any further. "I will tell thee what Jehovah hath said to me this night." (The Chethibh ויּאמרוּ is evidently a copyist's error for ויּאמר.) "Is it not true, when thou wast little in thine eyes (a reference to Saul's own words, 1 Samuel 9:21), thou didst become head of the tribes of Israel? and Jehovah anointed thee king over Israel, and Jehovah sent thee on the way, and said, Go and ban the sinners, the Amalekites, and make war against them, until thou exterminatest them. And wherefore hast thou nor hearkened to the voice of Jehovah, and hast fallen upon the booty," etc.? (תּעט, see at 1 Samuel 14:32.)

Even after this Saul wanted to justify himself, and to throw the blame of sparing the cattle upon the people.

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