1 Samuel 15
Orthodox Jewish Bible
1 Shmuel also said unto Sha’ul, Hashem sent me limeshachacha (to anoint thee) to be Melech over His people, over Yisroel; now therefore shema (pay heed) thou unto the voice of the Divrei Hashem. 2 Thus saith Hashem Tzva'os, I remember that which Amalek did to Yisroel, how he waylaid him on the derech, when he came up from Mitzrayim. 3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both ish and isha, olel, and yonek, shor, seh, gamal, and chamor.

4 And Sha'ul gathered HaAm together, and numbered them at Tela'im, two hundred elef foot soldiers, and ten elef Ish Yehudah. 5 And Sha'ul came to a city of Amalek, and lay in wait in the valley. 6 And Sha'ul said unto the Keni, Go, depart, get you away from among the Amaleki, lest I destroy you with them; for ye showed chesed to kol Bnei Yisroel, when they came up out of Mitzrayim. So the Keni moved away from among Amalek. 7 And Sha'ul attacked Amalek from Chavilah until where thou comest to Shur, that is alongside Mitzrayim. 8 And he took Agag Melech Amalek alive, and destroyed with utter cherem destruction kol haAm with the edge of the cherev. 9 But Sha'ul and HaAm spared Agag, and the best of the tzon, and of the bakar, and of the fat bulls, and the fat sheep, and all that was tov, and would not utterly destroy them; but everything that was despised and worthless, that they destroyed with utter cherem destruction.

10 Then came the Devar Hashem unto Shmuel, saying, 11 I greatly regret and relent and reconsider that I have set up Sha'ul to be Melech; for he is turned back from following Me, and hath not performed My Devar. And it grieved Shmuel; and he cried out unto Hashem kol halailah. 12 And when Shmuel rose early to meet Sha'ul in the boker, it was told Shmuel, saying, Sha'ul came to Carmel, and, hinei, he set up a yad (hand, i.e. memorial, monument) for himself. And he turned and went down to Gilgal. 13 And Shmuel came to Sha'ul; and Sha'ul said unto him, Baruch atah l'Hashem; I have carried out the Devar Hashem. 14 And Shmuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the tzon (sheep) in mine ears, and the lowing of the bakar (cattle) which I hear? 15 And Sha'ul said, They have brought them from Amalek; for HaAm spared the best of the tzon and of the bakar, in order to sacrifice unto Hashem Eloheicha; and the rest we have destroyed in utter cherem desruction. 16 Then Shmuel said unto Sha'ul, Stop, and I will tell thee what Hashem hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.

17 And Shmuel said, When thou wast katon (little) in thine own eyes, wast thou not made the Rosh Shivtei Yisroel, and Hashem anointed thee Melech over Yisroel? 18 And Hashem sent thee baderech (on a mission), and said, Go destroy with utter cherem destruction the chatta'im (sinners), Amalek, and make war against them until they be consumed. 19 Why then didst thou not obey the voice of Hashem, but didst pounce upon the plunder, and didst harah (the evil) in the eyes of Hasham?

20 And Sha'ul said unto Shmuel, Yes, I have obeyed the voice of Hashem, and have gone baderech (on the mission) which Hashem sent me, and have brought back Agag Melech Amalek, and have destroyed Amalek with utter cherem destruction. 21 But HaAm took of the plunder the tzon and bakar, the reshit of the cherem to sacrifice unto Hashem Eloheicha at Gilgal.

22 And Shmuel said, Hath Hashem as great chefetz (delight) in olot and zevakhim, as in obeying the voice of Hashem? Hinei, to obey is better than zevach (sacrifice), and to pay heed than the chelev eilim (fat of rams).

23 For meri (rebellion) is as the chattat (sin) of kesem (witchcraft, soothsaying, divination), and stubbornness is as heathenish iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the Devar Hashem, He hath also rejected thee from being Melech.

24 And Sha'ul said unto Shmuel, Chatati (I have sinned): for I have transgressed the commandment of Hashem, and thy words: because I feared HaAm, and listened to their voice. 25 Therefore, now, pardon my sin, and turn back with me, that I may worship Hashem. 26 And Shmuel said unto Sha'ul, I will not go back with thee: for thou hast rejected the Davar Hashem, and Hashem hath rejected thee from being Melech over Yisroel. 27 And as Shmuel turned about to go away, he [Sha'ul] seized the edge of his me'il (robe, mantle), and he tore (it). 28 And Shmuel said unto him, Hashem hath torn the Mamlechut Yisroel from thee this day, and hath given it to a re'a (neighbor) of thine, that is better than thou. 29 And also the Netzach Yisroel (Eternal One of Israel) will not lie nor relent: for He is not an adam, that He should change His mind. 30 Then he said, Chatati (I have sinned): yet honor me now, before the Ziknei Ami, and before Yisroel, and turn back with me, that I may worship Hashem Eloheicha. 31 So Shmuel turned back after Sha'ul; and Sha'ul worshiped Hashem.

32 Then said Shmuel, Bring ye to me Agag Melech Amalek. And Agag came unto him confidently. And Agag thought, Surely the mar hamavet (bitterness of death) is past. 33 And Shmuel said, As thy cherev hath made nashim childless, so shall immecha be childless among nashim. And Shmuel cut Agag in pieces before Hashem at Gilgal.

34 Then Shmuel went to Ramah; and Sha'ul went up to his bais at Giveat Sha'ul. 35 Until his [Shaul's] yom mot Shmuel came not again to see him: nevertheless Shmuel mourned for Sha'ul: and Hashem relented that He had made Sha'ul Melech over Yisroel. [T.N. This two-part work begins with the pollution of the religious worship by Eli's apostate sons who were kohanim during the time when the great prophet Shmuel (born ca. 1105 B.C.E.) was a child. 1Sm-2Sm ends with a foreshadowing of the purified Beis Hamikdash worship which was the Messianic vision of King Dovid (died ca. 970 B.C.E.). A subtle indication of this is the linen ephod worn both by little Shmuel (1Sm 2:18) and many years later by King Dovid (2 Sm 6:l4; Ps 110:4). The ephod of the Kohen Gadol was an apron-like garment with an ornamented vest containing the Urim and Thummim used to determine the will of G-d (sacred lots that were cast to determine whether to go to war, etc). The kehunah (priesthood) we see being purified as the story of I-II Shmuel unfolds looks forward to the perfect Moshiach-Kohen who is coming (Ps. 110:4). A man of G-d comes to Eli and prophesies to him about the kehunah (priesthood) of his ancestor Aaron (see 1Sm. 2:27f). Eli is told that he and his sons will be replaced by another Aaronic family, which turns out to be the family of Zadok. Eli's branch of the kehunah will be broken off and "I will raise up for Myself a ne'eman (faithful) kohen" (2:35), says the L-rd. Zadok and his sons will replace Eli and his sons, just as Dovid the king after G-d's own heart will replace Saul the unfaithful monarch and will take his crown (1Sm 28:17; Rv 3:11). Although Zadok was the immediate fulfillment, Moshiach Joshua finally and completely fulfills 2:35 through Ps 110:4 and Zech 3:8; 6:11-12 and Isa 53:10. One of the reasons King Saul angered G-d is because he usurped the role of kohen (1Sm 13:8-15), thus showing his lack of respect for G-d's holy kehunah and for the king's covenant obligation to keep the (see Dt.17:11-20). When he attacked and caused the death of the kohanim at Nob, that was the last straw, though he had already been condemned for rebelliously disobeying G-d in regard to the Amalakites (see 1 Sm 15:1-35; Ex 17:8-16; Dt 25:17-19). The only kohen to survive the massacre at Nob was Ahimelech’s son Abiathar, who, because he later supported David's son Adoniyah instead of Solomon as David's heir to the throne, was finally banished, leaving the Aaronic kehunah to Zadok and his sons. Since Ahimelech and Abiathar are descendents of Eli, we read the story of I-II Shmuel knowing there is a curse on them and that their branch of the Aaronic family tree will eventually lose the kehunah. Eli should have feared G-d enough not to eat and drink judgment on himself, especially in view of his unholy sons who were kohanim (see Lv. 10:1,2,16-20). The backdrop of Eli's decadent kehunah is the ominous military threat of the Philistines, who are on the brink of subjugating the whole land and are already in some sense holding sway (13:19-22), in spite of Shmuel's best efforts (7:2-17). The sinful people discover that the ark will not work as a good-luck charm or a magical weapon. Without teshuvah (repentance) and obedient holiness, Israel will be defeated, as Samson discovered in his own experience with the Philistines. But the Philistine g-d Dagon cannot stand in the presence of the ark; rather, it falls in broken obeisance. This means that if the people of G-d through their sin lose the power of G-d, that does not mean that G-d’s Word has lost its power. G-d is the true king of Israel, and the people need to beware of the tyrannical exploitation they may be asking for when they act like other nations. It turns out that King Saul, lacking covenant loyalty to the Word of G-d, falls short of the theocratic ideal, and his life becomes a foil against which to view the description of the Moshiach in 2Sm. 7:12-17, "But I will not take my steadfast love from him (Dovid's Son, the Moshiach), as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you (Dovid)." In I Sm. 17 we see the killing by the youth Dovid of the Philistine champion Goliath (10 feet tall, weighing in with a 150 lb. coat and a 19 lb. spear head). David’s victory over Goliath begins to trigger Saul's jealousy and eventual unraveling (18:7-8). Later Saul tries to kill David, but G-d puts a wonderful brotherly love for Dovid in the heart of Saul's son Jonathan, who rescues Dovid from Saul's murderous wrath and seems to hold a serene and unselfish knowledge that Dovid and not he will inherit the throne (20:13-15). Like Jonathan, David's wife Michal, Saul's young daughter, also helps David escape (19:11-17). In the Philistine city of Gath Dovid has to use his wits to save himself, pretending to be mad. The Philistine king Achish later makes Dovid his mercenary and gives him the village of Ziglag (though, as his mercenary, Dovid outwits him, and, in a holy war, destroys non-Israelite villages rather than his own Jewish people). In any event, Achish is convinced enough by Dovid's acting skill to let him do whatever he wants (see 21:10-15) except fight side by side with the Philistine (29:3-11), something Dovid doesn't want to do anyway, especially against his own people. Up to this point Dovid with his own private army seems to act like a sort of Jewish Robin Hood, even hiring himself out as a private police force. When a wealthy sheep owner Nabal (naval = "fool") rejects Dovid and messianic association with him and thereby proves himself a true "fool," his death opens the door for his widow to become Dovid's wife. This woman, Abigail, is carried off from Ziklag by Amalekites (30:2) along with "the women and all who were in” Ziklag. In a foreshadow of the coming rejected Moshiach, Dovid is almost stoned by his own people, very much like Moses (Ex. 17:4; I Sm. 30:6), both Dovid and Moshe being messianic types of the Servant of the L-rd" (Dt. 34:5; I Sm. 25:39; Isa. 53:11). Chapter 8:8 shows that G-d is a rejected G-d; therefore, we should not be surprised that the Moshiach is a rejected Moshiach (Isaiah 53). But notice that when Dovid the King is rejected by the Jewish people, he is accepted by the Gentiles, the Philistines (see Acts 28:28)! Then, after that, the Jewish people accept him and crown him king, as we shall see in II Shmuel. At the end of I Shmuel, signalling that the people of Israel once again have no king and need Dovid their King to be their deliverer, a horrible picture comes into view: Saul and Jonathan and all Saul's sons are killed by the Philistines at Mt Gilboa. 1Sm 3:7; 1Sm 2:12-17 contain ominous warnings against those who are dabbling in religion and have not had the new creation experience of the new birth.

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.
Used by permission.

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