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1 Samuel - Chapter 15

1 Samuel Chapters

1 Samuel said to Saul, 'I am the man whom Yahweh sent to anoint you as king of his people Israel, so now listen to the words of Yahweh.

2 This is what Yahweh Sabaoth says, "I intend to punish what Amalek did to Israel -- laying a trap for him on the way as he was coming up from Egypt.

3 Now, go and crush Amalek; put him under the curse of destruction with all that he possesses. Do not spare him, but kill man and woman, babe and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." '

4 Saul summoned the people and reviewed them at Telaim: two hundred thousand foot soldiers (and ten thousand men of Judah).

5 Saul advanced on the town of Amalek and lay in ambush in the river bed.

6 Saul said to the Kenites, 'Go away, leave your homes among the Amalekites, in case I destroy you with them -- you acted with faithful love towards all the Israelites when they were coming up from Egypt.' So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.

7 Saul then crushed the Amalekites, beginning at Havilah in the direction of Shur, which is to the east of Egypt.

8 He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive and, executing the curse of destruction, put all the people to the sword.

9 But Saul and the army spared Agag with the best of the sheep and cattle, the fatlings and lambs and all that was good. They did not want to consign these to the curse of destruction; they consigned only what was poor and worthless.

10 The word of Yahweh came to Samuel,

11 'I regret having made Saul king, since he has broken his allegiance to me and not carried out my orders.' Samuel was appalled and cried to Yahweh all night long.

12 In the morning, Samuel set off to find Saul. Samuel was told, 'Saul has been to Carmel, to raise himself a monument there, but now has turned about, moved on and gone down to Gilgal.'

13 When Samuel reached Saul, Saul said, 'May you be blessed by Yahweh! I have carried out Yahweh's orders.'

14 Samuel replied, 'Then what is this bleating of sheep in my ears and the lowing of cattle that I hear?'

15 Saul said, 'They have been brought from Amalek, the people having spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice them to Yahweh, your God; the rest we have consigned to the curse of destruction.'

16 Samuel then said to Saul, 'Stop! Let me tell you what Yahweh said to me last night.' He said, 'Go on.'

17 Samuel said, 'Small as you may be in your own eyes, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? Yahweh has anointed you as king of Israel.

18 When Yahweh sent you on a mission he said to you, "Go and put those sinners, the Amalekites, under the curse of destruction and make war on them until they are exterminated."

19 Why then did you not obey Yahweh's voice? Why did you fall on the booty and do what is wrong in Yahweh's eyes?'

20 Saul replied to Samuel, 'But I did obey Yahweh's voice. I went on the mission which Yahweh gave me; I brought back Agag king of the Amalekites; I put Amalek under the curse of destruction;

21 and from the booty the people have taken the best sheep and cattle of what was under the curse of destruction only to sacrifice them to Yahweh your God in Gilgal.'

22 To which, Samuel said: Is Yahweh pleased by burnt offerings and sacrifices or by obedience to Yahweh's voice? Truly, obedience is better than sacrifice, submissiveness than the fat of rams.

23 Rebellion is a sin of sorcery, presumption a crime of idolatry! 'Since you have rejected Yahweh's word, he has rejected you as king.'

24 Saul then said to Samuel, 'I have sinned, having broken Yahweh's order and your instructions because I was afraid of the people and yielded to their demands.

25 Now, please forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I can worship Yahweh.'

26 Samuel said to Saul, 'I will not come back with you, since you have rejected Yahweh's word and Yahweh has rejected you as king of Israel.'

27 As Samuel turned away to leave, Saul caught at the hem of his cloak and it tore,

28 and Samuel said to him, 'Today Yahweh has torn the kingdom of Israel from you and given it to a neighbour of yours who is better than you.'

29 (The Glory of Israel, however, does not lie or go back on his word, not being human and liable to go back on his word.)

30 'I have sinned,' Saul said, 'but please still show me respect in front of my people's elders and in front of Israel, and come back with me, so that I can worship Yahweh your God.'

31 Samuel followed Saul back and Saul worshipped Yahweh.

32 Samuel then said, 'Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites!' Agag came towards him unsteadily saying, 'Truly death is bitter!'

33 Samuel said: As your sword has left women childless, so will your mother be left childless among women! Samuel then butchered Agag before Yahweh at Gilgal.

34 Samuel left for Ramah, and Saul went up home to Gibeah of Saul.

35 Samuel did not see Saul again till his dying day. Samuel indeed mourned over Saul, but Yahweh regretted having made Saul king of Israel.


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Daily Readings

December 17th, 2017

Reading 1, Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11
Responsorial Psalm, Luke 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54
Gospel, John 1:6-8, 19-28
Reading 2, First Thessalonians 5:16-24

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