1 Samuel 15:1-3, 8, 10-17, 24-25

1 Samuel 15:1-3, 8, 10-17, 24-25
A Women’s Lectionary – Proper 13


SamuelA said to Saul,B “The LordC sentD me

Notes on verse 1a

A “Samuel” = Shemuel. From shem (name, fame, renown; indicating something essential about a person; honor, authority, or character); {may be from sum (to put, place, set)} + el (God, a god) OR from shama (hear, call, consent, or consider; implies listening intelligently, giving attention; obedience and action are often implied) + el (God, a god).This is Samuel meaning either the “name of God” or “heard of God.”
B “Saul” = Shaul. From shaal (to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request; can also mean demand). This is Saul or Shaul, meaning “asked of the Lord.”
C “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
D “sent” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.

to anointE you kingF over his peopleG Israel;H

Notes on verse 1b

E “anoint” = mashach. This is smear, paint, spread, or paint. It can also be to rub with oil or, otherwise stated, to anoint. This implies a consecration. This root verb is where the word “messiah” comes from.
F “king” = melek. From malak (to be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned; by implication, to take counsel). This is king or royal.
G “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
H “Israel” = Yisrael. Related to “Samuel” in v1. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (see note A above). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

now therefore listenI to theJ wordsK of the Lord. 

Notes on verse 1c

I “listen” = shama. Related to “Samuel” in v1. See note A above.
J {untranslated} = qol. This is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.
K “words” = dabar. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.

Thus says the Lord of hosts:L I will punishM the AmalekitesN for what they didO

Notes on verse 2a

L “hosts” = tsaba. From tsaba (to wage war, serve, assemble, fight, perform, muster, wait on). This is a large group of persons (used figuratively for a group of things). It implies a campaign literally as with army, war, warfare, battle, company, soldiers. Can also be used figuratively for hardship or for worship.
M “punish” = paqad. This is to attend to or visit – can be used for a friendly or violent encounter. So, it can be to oversee, care for, avenge, or charge.
N “Amalekites” = Amaleq. From amal (to work – hard labor) OR from am (people or nation; a tribe, troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals); {from amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together)} + laqaq (to lap, lick) OR from am (see above) + malaq (to wring, nip; to remove a bird’s head). This is Amalek or Amalekite. It may mean “people that wring,” “people that lap,” “nippers,” or “lickers.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Amalekite.html & https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Amalek.html
O “did” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.

in opposingP theQ Israelites when they came upR out of Egypt.S 

Notes on verse 2b

P “opposing” = sum. Related to “Samuel” in v1. See note A above.
Q {untranslated} = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
R “came up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
S “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.

Now goT and attackU Amalek and utterly destroyV allW that they have; do not spareX them,

Notes on verse 3a

T “go” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
U “attack” = nakah. This is to hit whether lightly or severely. It can be used in a literal or figurative sense. So, this could be beat, punish, give wounds, kill, or slaughter.
V “utterly destroy” = charam. This is to ban, destroy, devote, seclude. It is to dedicate to a religious purpose, often for destruction.
W “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
X “spare” = chamal. This is to spare, commiserate, show compassion.

but killY both manZ and woman,AA childBB and infant,CC

Notes on verse 3b

Y “kill” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.
Z “man” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
AA “woman” = ishshah. Related to “man” in v3. From ish (see note Z above). This is woman, wife, or female.
BB “child” = olel. Perhaps from uwl (to nurse, suckle; can also be used of a suckling lamb). This is a child or infant.
CC “infant” = yanaq. This is to suckle or to nurse. In a causative sense, it can mean to give milk. So, this word can be used for a nursing mother or for her suckling child.

oxDD and sheep,EE camelFF and donkey.”GG

Notes on verse 3c

DD “ox” = shor. Perhaps from shur (to travel, turn, journey; travelling like a prostitute or a merchant). This is bull, ox, head of cattle, cow.
EE “sheep” = seh. Perhaps from sha’ah (to make a loud noise or crash, devastate, rush). This is a lamb, sheep, or goat – a part of a flock.
FF “camel” = gamal. From gamal (how one deals with someone whether positively or negatively – so to reward, requite; to wean or the work that goes into something ripening). This is a camel as an animal of labor or one that bears burdens. The English word “camel” is from a Semitic source, perhaps Hebrew or others.
GG “donkey” = chamor. From chamar (to be red, blush). This is a male donkey.

He tookHH King AgagII of the Amalekites aliveJJ but utterly destroyed all the people with the edgeKK of the sword.LL

Notes on verse 8

HH “took” = taphas. This is to catch, seize, wield, capture. It can also mean to use unwarrantably.
II “Agag” = Agag. 8x in OT. Form the same as Age (Age, Agee) OR from agag (to flame) OR from gag (rooftop). This is Agag, meaning “flame” or “blazing” or “rooftop” or “apex” or “violent” or “very sublime.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Agag.html
JJ “alive” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
KK “edge” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
LL “sword” = chereb. From charab (to attack, slay). This is any sharp instrument like a sword, dagger, axe, or mattock.

10 The word of the Lord cameMM to Samuel: 11 “I regretNN that I madeOO Saul king, for he has turned backPP from following me

Notes on verses 10-11a

MM “came” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1. See note C above.
NN “regret” = nacham. Properly, this is a strong breath or a sigh. This can be to be sorry, to pity, console. Comfort, or repent. But, one can also comfort oneself with less righteous thoughts, so this can also mean to avenge oneself.
OO “made” = malak. Related to “king” in v1. See note F above.
PP “turned back” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”

and has not carried outQQ my commands.”RR Samuel was angry,SS and he cried outTT to the Lord all night.UU 

Notes on verse 11b

QQ “carried out” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
RR “commands” = dabar. Same as “words” in v1. See note K above.
SS “was angry” = charah. Perhaps related to charar (to be hot, burn, glow, melt, be scorched; figuratively, to incite passion, be angry). This is to be displeased, burn with anger, glow, become warn. Figuratively it is a blaze of anger, zeal, or jealousy.
TT “cried out” = zaaq. This is to cry or call out. It can be a call to assemble or gather together. By analogy, this could refer to a herald who announces a public gathering. It could also be a shriek from pain or danger.
UU “night” = layil. Properly, this refers to light twisting away. It is used for night or midnight. Figuratively, this can mean adversity.

12 Samuel rose earlyVV in the morningWW to meetXX Saul, and Samuel was told,YY

Notes on verse 12a

VV “rose early” = shakam. This is leaning one’s shoulder into a burden or load, whether a person or an animal. Thus, it meant starting or rising early.
WW “morning” = boqer. From baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.
XX “meet” = qara. This is to meet, befall, happen upon. It can be to encounter by chance or for aggression.
YY “told” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.

“Saul wentZZ to Carmel,AAA whereBBB he set upCCC a monumentDDD for himself,

Notes on verse 12b

ZZ “went” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
AAA “Carmel” = Karmel. From the same as kerem (vineyard, garden, vines, or a vintage). This is Carmel, a city whose name means “fruitful plentiful field” or “plantation” or “orchard” or “garden.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Carmel.html
BBB {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
CCC “set up” = natsab. This is to station, appoint, establish, take a stand.
DDD “monument” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.

and on returningEEE he passed on downFFF to Gilgal.”GGG 

13 When Samuel cameHHH to Saul, Saul said to him, “May you be blessedIII by the Lord; I have carried out the command of the Lord.” 

Notes on verses 12c-13

EEE “returning” = sabab. This is turning around, going around; to surround, cast, walk, fetch. It is to revolve or border in a literal or figurative sense.
FFF “passed on down” = abar + yarad. Abar is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn. Yarad is to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense. It can be going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy.
GGG “Gilgal” = Gilgal. From galgal (wheel, wagon, whirl, whirlwind; something that rolls); from galal (to roll, roll away, wallow, commit, remove; rolling in a literal or figurative sense). This is Gilgal – perhaps circle of stones.
HHH “came” = bo. Same as “went” in v12. See note ZZ above.
III “blessed” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.

14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleatingJJJ of sheepKKK in my earsLLL and the lowingMMM of cattleNNN that I hear?”OOO 

Notes on verse 14

JJJ “bleating” = qol. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note J above.
KKK “sheep” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
LLL “ears” = ozen. This is ear, hearing, audience, show. Properly, it is broadness – applied to its ear in reference to its shape.
MMM “lowing” = qol. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note J above.
NNN “cattle” = baqar. Related to “morning” in v12. From baqar (see note WW above). This is cattle – an animal used for plowing.
OOO “hear” = shama. Same as “listen” in v1. See note I above.

15 Saul said, “They have broughtPPP them from the Amalekites,QQQ for the people spared the bestRRR of the sheepSSS

Notes on verse 15a

PPP “brought” = bo. Same as “went” in v12. See note ZZ above.
QQQ “Amalekites” = Amaleqi. Related to “Amalekites” in v2. 12x in OT. From Amaleq (see note N above). This is Amalekite, perhaps meaning “people that wring,” “people that lap,” “nippers,” or “lickers.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Amalekite.html & https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Amalek.html
RRR “best” = metab. 6x in OT. From yatab (to be good or pleasing, joyful; doing good in an ethical sense or to be beautiful, happy, successful, or right). This is the best part.
SSS “sheep” = tson. Same as “sheep” in v14. See note KKK above.

and the cattle to sacrificeTTT to the Lord your God,UUU but the restVVV we have utterly destroyed.” 

16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop!WWW I will tell you what the Lord saidXXX to me last night.”

He replied, “Speak.”

Notes on verses 15b-16

TTT “sacrifice” = zabach. This is slaughtering an animal, generally for the purpose of sacrifice. It can mean kill or offer.
UUU “God” = Elohim. Related to “Samuel” and “Israel” in v1. See note A above.
VVV “rest” = yathar. This is to jut over, remain behind, preserve, to excel. It can be to leave or to be in abundance.
WWW “stop” = raphah. This is to slacken in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could be to hang, be feeble, fail, drop, be helpless, relax, slink, subside, or wait.
XXX “said” = dabar. Related to “words” in v1. See note K above.

17 Samuel said, “Though you are littleYYY in your own eyes,ZZZ are you not the headAAAA of the tribesBBBB of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel.

Notes on verse 17

YYY “little” = qatan. From quwt (grieved, cut off, to detest). This is least, small, young, little one. It is literally smaller whether in amount or size. Figuratively it is smaller in the sense of younger or less important.
ZZZ “eyes” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
AAAA “head” = rosh. This may come a word that means to shake. It is the head, captain, or chief. It can also be excellent or the forefront. It can be first in position or in statue or in time (i.e. the beginning).
BBBB “tribes” = shebet. This is a rod, staff, club, scepter, dart, or tribe. Literally a stick that can be used for punishing, writing, fighting, walking, ruling; thus, used figuratively for a clan.

24 Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned,CCCC for I have transgressedDDDD the commandmentEEEE of the Lord and your words because I fearedFFFF the people and obeyedGGGG their voice.HHHH 

Notes on verse 24

CCCC “sinned” = chata. This is properly to miss, and so figuratively it is used for sinning, bearing the blame. It implies a forfeiture or loss of something.
DDDD “transgressed” = abar. Same as “passed on down” in v12. See note FFF above.
EEEE “commandment” = peh. Same as “edge” in v8. See note KK above.
FFFF “feared” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
GGGG “obeyed” = shama. Same as “listen” in v1. See note I above.
HHHH “voice” = qol. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note J above.

25 Now therefore, I pray,IIII pardonJJJJ my sin,KKKK and returnLLLL with me, so that I may worshipMMMM the Lord.”

Notes on verse 25

IIII “pray” = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
JJJJ “pardon” = nasa. This is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.
KKKK “sin” = chatta’ah. Related to “sinned” in v24. From chata (see note CCCC above). This is sin itself as well as punishment for sin. It is sometimes used specifically to refer to sin that is habitual.
LLLL “return” = shub. Same as “turned back” in v11. See note PP above.
MMMM “worship” = shachah. This is to bow down, make a humble entreaty, to do homage to royalty or to God.

Image credit: “King Saul Gains and Loses his Crown” by Jeff Anderson, Siku, and Richard Thomas of Edge Group – Lion Hudson.

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