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I Samuel 15:1-15

Victor M. Eskew


1.      Outline the section:


i.                    THE CHARGE TO DESTROY (I Sam. 15:1-3)

ii.                  THE COMMAND TO DEPART (I Sam. 15:4-7)

iii.                THE COMPROMISE IN DESTRUCTION (I Sam. 15:8-9)

iv.                THE COMPLAINT OF DEITY (I Sam. 15:10-11)

v.                  THE CALMNESS OF DISOBEDIENCE (I Sam. 15:12-15)


2.      Who had sent Samuel to anoint Saul as king over Israel? (I Sam. 15:1)


Samuel also said unto Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel…


A.    The Lord


B.      This was a divine appointment. 

1.      Think of this:  Saul was the very first king of the nation of Israel.

2.      It was not a position to be treated lightly.


3.      What was Saul exhorted to hearken unto? (I Sam. 15:1)


…now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord.


A.    Hearken unto the voice of the words of the Lord.


B.      If it were God who had put Saul into the office of monarch, then Saul was supposed to be subject to Him.  Saul was the inferior.  God was the superior. 


4.      What evil had Amalek done to Israel in the past?  (I Sam. 15:2)


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.


A.    He had laid wait for Israel in the way during the wilderness wanderings.


B.      The account is found in Exodus 17:8-16.

1.      This was Israel’s first battle after leaving Egypt.

2.      This was the day that Moses was assisted by Aaron and Hur in order to win the battle.

3.      “And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword’ (v. 13).

4.      “And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua:  for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven” (v. 14).


C.     Who are the Amalekites?  BDB:  son of Eliphaz by his concubine Timnah, grandson of Esau, and progenitor of a tribe of people in southern Canaan


D.    LESSON:  God will hold those who oppose Him and His people accountable.



5.      What words of I Samuel 15:3 speak of how Saul was to treat the Amalekites?


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.


A.    Smite

1.      Strong (5221):  to strike

2.      BDB:  to strike, smite, hit, beat, slay, kill,


B.      Utterly destroy

1.      Strong (2763):  to seclude

2.      BDB:  to ban, devote, destroy utterly, completely destroy, dedicate for destruction, exterminate


C.     Spare them not

1.      Strong (2550): to have no compassion

2.      BDB:  do not spare, do not show pity, do not have compassion on


D.    Slay

1.      Strong (4191):  to die, to kill

2.      BDB:  to die, kill, put to death, execute


6.      “…but slay both man and womaninfant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass” (I Sam. 15:3).


7.      Where did Saul number the people? (I Sam. 15:4)


And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim…


A.    Telaim (2923) 

1.      One of the uttermost cities of Judah.

2.      Probably the same as Telem (Josh. 15:24).

3.      The name means “lambs” probably because of the large number of herds there.



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8.      How many troops did he have? (I Sam. 15:4)


…two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.


A.    200,000 footmen


B.      10,000 men of Judah


C.     210,000 men


9.      T – F    And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley (I Sam. 15:5)


And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.


A.    True


10.  Who did Saul tell to depart from the Amalekites? (I Sam. 15:6)


And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them…


A.    Kenites


B.      Who are the Kenites?  (7017)      BDB:  “the tribe from which the father-in-law of Moses was a member and which lived in the area between southern Palestine and the mountains of Sinai


11.  Why did he allow them to depart? (I Sam. 15:6)


…for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came out of Egypt.


A.    They had shown kindness to Israel when they came out of Egypt.


B.      Exodus 18:9-10


12.  T – F    The Kenites wanted to stay and fight with the Amalekites. (I Sam. 15:6)


…So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.


A.    False


13.  “And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.” (I Sam. 15:7)


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14.  Who was the only person of the Amalekites that was spared (I Sam. 15:8)


And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive…


A.    Agag


B.      This was the title of the Amalekitish kings.  It is similar to Pharaoh or Ceasar.


C.     NOTE:  We are not given the reason why Saul desired to spare Agag.

1.      Some believe it was to humiliate this ruler of the enemy.

2.      Others say that Saul may have wanted to put Agag on display as a royal slave.


15.  T- F      Except for the king, Israel utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword (I

Sam. 15:8).


…and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.


A.    True


16.  In addition to the king, what else did Israel spare? (I Sam. 15:9)


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…


A.    The best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings, lambs, and all that was good.


B.      Question:  If you are a people who is acquainted with herds, would it be difficult to slay hundreds of animals you knew were useful and profitable?


17.  What type of animals were utterly destroyed by Saul and the people” (I Sam. 15:9)


…but every thing that was vile and refuse that they destroyed utterly.


A.    Vile

1.      Strong (5240):  despised

2.      BDB:  vile, despised, disdained, held in contempt


B.      Refuse

1.      Strong (4549):  to liquefy, to waste

2.      Thayer:  wasted, worthless


18.  In I Samuel 15:10, whose word came to Samuel?


Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying…


A.    The word of the Lord


19.  “It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king…”(I Sam. 15:11)


20.  Define:  repenteth


A.    Strong (5162):  to sigh, to be sorry

B.      BDB:  to be sorry, to repent, regret, suffer grief


C.     See I Samuel 15:29


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


1.      In the realm of immorality, God will never have to repent.  He will never sin.  Thus, repentance will never be necessary.

2.      In the realm of His works, He has “changed his mind,” with regard to His actions to do certain things for man. 

a.      See Gen. 6:5-6


And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of his heart was only evil continually.  And it repented the Lord that he had made man, and it grieved him at his heart.


b.      Here, God changes His mind about Saul being king of Israel. 


21.  What two things did God say Saul had done? (I Sam. 15:11)


…for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments.


A.    He turned back from following God.


B.      He had not performed the Lord’s commandments.


22.  “And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night” (I Sam. 15:11).


23.  Define:  grieved


A.    Strong (2734):  to grow warm, to blaze up, of anger, zeal


B.      BDB:  to be hot, furious, burn, become angry, be kindled


C.     LESSON:  It is not wrong for righteous men to get angry about sin.  Even Jesus was angered by the things that He saw happening within the temple (John 2:12-17).


24.  Where was Samuel going to find Saul? (I Sam. 15:12)


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 one, and gone down to Gilgal.


A.    Gilgal


25.  What did Saul say to Samuel when Samuel came to him? (I Sam. 15:13)


And Samuel came to Saul:  and Saul said unto Samuel, Blessed be thou of the Lord:  I have performed the commandment of the Lord.


A.    He blessed the prophet, then said he had performed the commandment of the Lord.


B.      Performed:

1.      Strong (6965):  to rise

2.      BDB:  to fulfill


C.     LESSON:  It is easy for man to fool himself into thinking that his partial obedience is complete obedience to God.  In reality, partial obedience is not obedience at all.


26.  How did Samuel respond to Saul? (I Sam. 15:14)


And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?


A.    Samuel immediately points to the evidence of disobedience. 

1.      Had Saul obeyed, there would be no sounds of animals at all.

2.      The fact that he could hear them was evidence that they had not been utterly destroyed as God commanded.


B.     LESSON:  Partial obedience means that something has been left unfulfilled.  The unfulfilled portion is proof of our disobedience.


27.  Who did Saul blame for sparing the best of the sheep and oxen? (I Sam. 15:15).


And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites:  for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen…


A.    Saul said it was the people who had spared the flocks.


B.      What he does not say that since he was the king, he, too, was the one responsible for the living flocks.  As the king, he could have ordered the slaughter of the animals, but he did not.  He was just as guilty as the people.


C.     LESSON:  For some reason, it is easy for us to pass blame for disobedience on to others.  It has happened since the beginning of time (See Gen. 3:12-13).


28.  What did Saul say they intended to do with the sheep and oxen? (I Sam. 15:15)


…to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God…


A.    He noted that the best of the animals had been spared so they could be sacrificed to God.


B.     LESSON:  Good intentions do not justify disobedience.

1.      We will live together first so we can see if we are compatible.

2.      I did not give this week because I had to pay the cable bill.

3.      We do not withdraw from the disorderly because it will hurt the church.

4.      We use instruments of music to help our singing and to draw more people.


29.  “…and the rest we have utterly  destoyed” (I Sam. 15:15)


A.    Saul was also quick to point out where they had followed the command of God.


B.      It is interesting that the words “utterly destroy” are in the original command (See v. 3).


C.     LESSON:  Man is not free to rewrite the definitions of terms in order to bring his actions into harmony with God’s will.  “Utterly destroy all” was the command.  This included the best.  Utterly destroy all did not refer to just the vile and refuse.

1.      Example: 

a.      Command:  Attend every Wednesday night Bible study hour.

b.      Partial obedience:  I go to every Wednesday night Bible study except singing nights.

c.       Rationalization:  I do not go to singing nights because we do not study the Bible.

d.      Justification:  I admit I do not go to singing night, but I go to every other Wednesday night Bible study hour.













































I Samuel 15:16-35


Victor M. Eskew


1.      Outline the section:


i.                    I Samuel 15:16-19

ii.                  I Samuel 15:20-21

iii.                I Samuel 15:22-23

iv.                I Samuel 15:24-31

v.                  I Samuel 15:32-33

vi.                I Samuel 15:34-35


2.      T – F    Samuel was afraid to tell Saul what the Lord said to him. (I Sam. 15:16)


3.      When Samuel told Saul he had a word from the Lord, what did Samuel tell him to do? (I Sam. 15:16)


4.      When did God make Saul the head of the tribes of Israel? (I Sam. 15:17)


5.      What journey was Saul sent upon? (I Sam. 15:18)


6.      How are the Amalekites describe in I Samuel 15:18?


7.      In what way had Saul failed to obey the voice of the Lord? (I Sam. 15:19).


8.      How is his disobedience described? (I Sam. 15:19)


9.      Define:  evil (I Sam. 15:19)


10.  T – F    Saul denied what Samuel said to him. (I Sam. 15:20)


11.  T – F    In the same sentence Saul said he obeyed God, and he admitted his disobedience. (I

Sam. 15:20)


12.  Who did Saul bring back with him? (I Sam. 15:20)


13.  Who did Saul say brought the sheep and oxen back? (I Sam. 15:21)


14.  T – F    Saul admits the sheep and oxen should have been utterly destroyed. (I Sam. 15:21)


15.  Which does God prefer?  ( burnt offerings and sacrifices   obeying the voice of the Lord ) (I Sam. 15:22)


16.  “Behold, to obey is _______________ than _____________, and to ____________ than the fat of rams” (I Sam. 15:22)


17.  Rebellion is equal to what sin? (I Sam. 15:23)


18.  Define:  rebellion (I Sam. 15:23)


19.  Stubbornness is like unto what two things? (I Sam. 15:23)


20.  Define:  stubbornness (I Sam. 15:23)


21.  Because Saul had rejected the word of the Lord, what did God do to Saul? (I Sam. 15:23)


22.  T- F      Saul never admitted to having sinned (I Sam. 15:24)


23.  What reason did Saul give for his transgression? (I Sam. 15:24)


24.  What two things did Saul want Samuel to do for him? (I Sam. 15:25)


A.                                                                    B.


25.  How did Samuel respond to Saul’s request? (I Sam. 15:26)


26.  When Samuel turned to leave Saul, what did Saul do? (I Sam. 15:27)


27.  What did Samuel say this action was a sign of? (I Sam. 15:28)


28.  In what two ways does Samuel describe the one to whom the kingdom would be given? (I Sam. 15:28)


A.                                                                    B.


29.  God is referred to as the ____________________ of Israel (I Sam. 15:29)


30.  God will not _____________ nor _________________ (I Sam. 15:29)


31.  T – F    God is not like man that he should repent. (I Sam. 15:29)


32.  Explain what happens in I Samuel 15:30-31.


33.  Who did Samuel ask to be brought before him? (I Sam. 15:32)


34.  How did Agag come into Samuel’s presence? (I Sam. 15:32)


35.  “And Agag said, Surely the ______________ of ____________ is past.” (I Sam. 15:32)

36.  What did Samuel do to Agag? (I Sam. 15:33)


37.  When Samuel and Saul departed where did each one of them go? (I Sam. 15:34)


A.    Samuel:  ________________________


B.      Saul:  ___________________________


38.  T – F    Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death. (I Sam. 15:35)


39.  T – F    Samuel never did mourn for Saul. (I Sam. 15:35)


40.  “…and the Lord __________________ that he had made Saul king over Israel” (I Sam. 15:35)