1 Samuel 15 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of 1 Samuel 15)
15:1 Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee [to be] king over his people, over Israel: now therefore a hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD.

(a) Because he has preferred you to this honour, you are bound to obey him.

15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but b slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

(b) That this might be an example of God's vengeance against those who deal cruelly with his people.

15:6 And Saul said unto the c Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed d kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.

(c) Which were the posterity of Jethro, Moses father in law.
(d) For Jethro came to visit them, and gave them good counsel, (
Exodus 18:19).

15:11 It e repenteth me that I have set up Saul [to be] king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

(e) God in his eternal counsel never changes or repents, as in (
1 Samuel 15:29), though he seems to us to repent when anything goes contrary to his temporal election.

15:13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed [be] thou of the LORD: I have performed the f commandment of the LORD.

(f) This is the nature of hypocrites to be impudent against the truth, to condemn others, and justify themselves.

15:17 And Samuel said, When thou [wast] g little in thine own sight, [wast] thou not [made] the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?

(g) Meaning, of base condition as in (
1 Samuel 9:21).

15:20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, h I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

(i) He stands most impudently in his own defence both against God and his own conscience.

15:23 For i rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king.

(i) God hates nothing more than the disobedience of his commandment, even though the intent seems good to man.

15:25 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.

15:28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a l neighbour of thine, [that is] better than thou.

(l) That is, to David.

15:29 And also the m Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he [is] not a man, that he should repent.

(m) Meaning God, who maintains and prefers his own.

15:32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the n bitterness of death is past.

(n) He expected nothing less than death, or as some write, he passed not for death.

15:34 Then Samuel went to o Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.

(o) Where his house was.

15:35 And Samuel came no more to p see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD q repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

(p) Though Saul came where Samuel was, (
1 Samuel 19:22).
(q) As in (1 Samuel 15:11).