* - denotes footnote
1 Samuel 15
22 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.
23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,
and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.
So because you have rejected the command of the LORD,
he has rejected you as king."
Saul Pleads for Forgiveness
24 Then Saul admitted to Samuel, "Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the LORD's command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded.25 But now, please forgive my sin and come back with me so that I may worship the LORD."
26 But Samuel replied, "I will not go back with you! Since you have rejected the LORD's command, he has rejected you as king of Israel."
27 As Samuel turned to go, Saul tried to hold him back and tore the hem of his robe.28 And Samuel said to him, "The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to someone else—one who is better than you.29 And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!"
30 Then Saul pleaded again, "I know I have sinned. But please, at least honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel by coming back with me so that I may worship the LORD your God."31 So Samuel finally agreed and went back with him, and Saul worshiped the LORD.
Samuel Executes King Agag
32 Then Samuel said, "Bring King Agag to me." Agag arrived full of hope, for he thought, "Surely the worst is over, and I have been spared!"*33 But Samuel said, "As your sword has killed the sons of many mothers, now your mother will be childless." And Samuel cut Agag to pieces before the LORD at Gilgal.
34 Then Samuel went home to Ramah, and Saul returned to his house at Gibeah of Saul.35 Samuel never went to meet with Saul again, but he mourned constantly for him. And the LORD was sorry he had ever made Saul king of Israel.