The Amalekite (incomplete) genocide
Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king
over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of
the words of the LORD.
Thus saith the LORD
of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait
for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not;
but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and
Samuel said to Saul,
God made you king. Obey him.
This is what he says:
I remember what Amalek did to Israel. 
Now go smite the Amalekites.
Destroy everything that they have.
Kill them all: men, women, infants, sucklings, ox, sheep, camel, and ass.
And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two
hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.
And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.
And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the
Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the
children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed
from among the Amalekites.
So Saul sent 210,000 soldiers to kill the Amalekites.
And Saul smote the
Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over
And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all
the people with the edge of the sword.
But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the
oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would
not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that
they destroyed utterly.
Saul killed all the Amalekites, except for the king (Agag) and some of the more valuable animals. 
God rejects Saul as king (for not killing all the Amalekites)
Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,
It 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
And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told
Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and
is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.
God said to Samuel,
I regret making Saul king, since he disobeyed my commandment. 
And Samuel cried to God all night.
And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the
LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
The next day when Samuel and Saul met, Saul said,
I did what God commanded me to do.
And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine
ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
Oh really? Why do I hear sheep bleating and oxen lowing?
And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people
spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy
God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.
We kept the best sheep and oxen to sacrifice to God.
We killed everything else.
Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath
said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.
And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not
made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over
And the LORD sent thee
on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites,
and fight against them until they be consumed.
Wherefore then didst
thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst
evil in the sight of the LORD?
And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, 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.
But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things
which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and
sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better
than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
God commanded you too utterly destroy the Amalekite sinners.
Why didn't you obey him?
For 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
And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the
commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and
obeyed their voice.
Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I
may worship the LORD.
And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word
of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.
Because you rejected the word of God, God rejects you as king. 
And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his
mantle, and it rent.
And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from
thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better
Samuel said to Saul,
God has torn his kingdom from you today and has given it to a
neighbor that's better than you.
And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he
God is not a man; he doesn't lie or repent. 
Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the
elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may
worship the LORD thy God.
So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.
Samuel hacks Agag to death before the Lord
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 bitterness of death is past.
Bring Agag to me.
Agag said to Samuel,
Surely the bitterness of death has passed.
And Samuel said, As
the sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among
women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.
Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of
As the sword has made women childless, so your mother will be childless.
Then Samuel hacked Agag in pieces in front of God. 
And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death:
nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king
Samuel never saw Saul again. 
And God repented that he had made Saul king. 
- Thus saith the LORD of hosts ... go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare
them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. (vv.2-3)
God commands Saul to kill all of the Amalekites: men, women, infants, sucklings, ox, sheep, camels, and
asses. Why? Because God remembers what Amalek did hundreds of years ago.
What the Bible says about genocide,
family values, and
To kill or not to kill
Is God merciful?
DWB: 67. The Amalekite genocide
Here is Pat Robertson's rationalization for the genocide of the early Israelites
("The 700 Club" television program. May 6, 1985):
The wars of extermination have given a lot of people trouble unless
they know what was going on. The people in the land of Palestine were
very wicked. They were given over to idolatry; they sacrificed their
children; they had all kinds of abominable sex practices; they were
having sex, apparently, with animals; they were having sex men with
men, and women with women; they were committing adultery, fornication;
they were worshipping idols, offering their children up; and they were
God told the Israelites to kill them all - men, women
and children, to destroy them. And that seems to be a terrible thing to
do. Is it? Or isn't it?
Well, let us assume there were 2,000 of them,
or 10,000 of them living in the land, or whatever number there was of
them. I don't have the exact number. Pick a number. God said, 'Kill
them all.' Well, that would seem hard, wouldn't it? That would be
10,000 people who would probably go to Hell. But, if they stayed and
reproduced, in 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 or 100 more years, they could
conceivably be - 10,000 would go to a 100,000 - 100,000 could
conceivably go to a million. And then, there would be a million people
who would have to spend eternity in Hell! And it's far more merciful to
take away a few than to see in the future a 100 years down the road,
and say, 'Well, I have to take away a million people that would forever
be apart from God,' because the abomination was there like a contagium.
God saw that there was no cure for it. It wasn't going to change; their
hearts weren't going to change; and all they would do is cause trouble
for the Israelites, and pull the Israelites away from God, and prevent
the truth of God from reaching the Earth. So, God, in love, took away a
small number that he might not have to take away a large number.
- Saul smote the Amalekites ... utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
Did Saul and Samuel kill all the Amalekites?
- It 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. (v.10)
God is referring to his command to commit complete genocide on the Amalekites. (See v.2-3)
Does God repent?
- Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
God rejected Saul as king because he failed to commit complete genocide on the Amalekites (by keeping
the king and some animals alive).
Why did God reject Saul as king?
- The Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.
Does God repent?
Does God lie?
- Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal. (v.33)
Was Haman an Agagite?
Did Saul and Samuel kill all the Amalekites?
DWB: 68. Samuel hacks Agag to pieces before the Lord
- Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death. (v.35)
When was the last time that Samuel saw Saul?
- The LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel. (v.35)
Does God repent?
- Kill Amalekites (men, women, infants and sucklings, ox and sheep, camel and ass).
- Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek,
and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 15:2-3
- Dwindling in Unbelief
- God's 65th Killing:
The Amalekite Genocide (1 Samuel 15:1-3)
- America's favorite book
(1 Samuel 15:3)
- God on Trial: The Rabbi Speaks
(15:2-3, 6, 9, 23, 32)
- Holy War
and the Holy Father: the Bible vs the Quran (15:2-3)
- Forget Amalek: What the Bible really
says about terrorism (15:2-3)
- The Heroes of Faith (15:2-3,
- Suggested Bible stories for the
next Barna survey (15:2-3)
- Top 50 Bible stories for kids
- Saul has killed his thousands and
David his tens of thousands (15:2-3)
- Mr. Deity and the
Promised Land (The Annotated Version) (15:3)
- How many animals has God killed?
- God's 66th killing: Samuel hacks
Agag to pieces before the Lord (15:32-33)
- What if we could edit the Bible? (Opening Karl Giberson's can of worms) (15:2-3)
- American Humanist Association Videos
- Consider Humanism - Ambassador Carl Coon (15:3)
- YouTube: Theologikos
- Christians: Stop quoting the bible out of context!
- Slate Blogs the Bible by David Plotz
- Why God Picked Such an Incompetent Wretch as the Israelites' First Monarch
- Christian Responses
Annotated Skeptic's Annotated Bible
- The Agagite, the Jews enemy (1 Sam 15)
- SAB Author Answered