1tn Heb “to the voice of the words of the Lord” (so KJV).

2tn Heb “what Amalek did to Israel, how he placed against him.”

3tn Heb “he”; the referent (Israel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4tn Or perhaps “don’t take pity on” (cf. CEV).

5tn Heb “caused the people to hear.”

6tn Heb “people.”

7tc The LXX has the plural here, “cities.”

8tc The translation follows the LXX and Vulgate which assume a reading וַיָּאָרֶב (vayyaarev, “and he set an ambush,” from the root ארב [’rv] with quiescence of alef) rather than the MT, which has וַיָּרֶב (vayyareb, “and he contended,” from the root ריב [ryv]).

9tn That is, “the dry stream bed.”

10tc The translation follows the Syriac Peshitta and Vulgate which assume a reading אֶסִפְךָ (’esf˙ka, “I sweep you away,” from the root ספה [sfh]) rather than the MT אֹסִפְךָ (’osif˙ka, “I am gathering you,” from the root אסף[’sf]).

11tn Heb “[as] you enter.”

12tn Heb “all the people.” For clarity “Agag’s” has been supplied in the translation.

13tn The Hebrew text is difficult here. We should probably read וְהַמַּשְׂמַנִּים (v˙hammasmannim, “the fat ones”) rather than the MT וְהַמִּשְׂנִים (v˙hammisnim, “the second ones”). However, if the MT is retained, the sense may be as the Jewish commentator Kimchi supposed: the second-born young, thought to be better than the firstlings. (For discussion see S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel, 123-24.)

14tn Heb “good.”

15tc The MT has here the very odd form נְמִבְזָה (n˙mivzah), but this is apparently due to a scribal error. The translation follows instead the Niphal participle נִבְזָה (nivzah).

16tn Heb “and look.”

17tn Heb “and he turned and crossed over.”

18tc At the end of v. 12 the LXX and one Old Latin ms include the following words not found in the MT: “to Saul. And behold, he was offering as a burnt offering to the Lord the best of the spoils that he had brought from the Amalekites.”

19tn Heb “to Saul.”

20tn The words “if that is the case” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

21tn Heb “they brought them.”

22tn Or perhaps “be quiet.”

23tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew mss in reading the singular (“he said”) rather than the plural (“they said”) of the Kethib.

tn Heb “he”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

24tn Heb “anointed.”

25tn Heb “journey.”

26tc The translation follows the LXX, the Syriac Peshitta, and the Targum in reading the second person singular suffix (“you”) rather than the third person plural suffix of the MT (“they”).

27tn Heb “listened to the voice of the Lord.”

28tn Heb “you have done what is evil in the eyes of the Lord.”

29tn Heb “listened to the voice of the Lord.”

30tn Heb “journey.”

31tn Heb “as [in] listening to the voice of the Lord.”

32tn Heb “look.”

33tn Heb “listening.”

34tn The expression “is better” is understood here by ellipsis (see the immediately preceding statement).

35tn Or “from [being].”

36tn Heb “the mouth of the Lord.”

37tn Heb “and your words.”

38tn Heb “and I listened to their voice.”

39tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose/result.

40tn Heb “he,” but Saul is clearly the referent. A Qumran ms and the LXX include the name “Saul” here.

41tn Heb “splendor,” used here by metonymy as a title for the Lord.

42tn Or perhaps “does not lie.”

43sn This observation marks the preceding statement (v. 28) as an unconditional, unalterable decree. When God makes such a decree he will not alter it or change his mind. This does not mean that God never deviates from his stated intentions or changes his mind. On the contrary, several passages describe him as changing his mind. In fact, his willingness to do so is one of his fundamental divine attributes (see Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2). For a fuller discussion see R. B. Chisholm, Jr., “Does God Change His Mind?” BSac 152 (1995): 387-99.

44tn Heb “he”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

45tn The MT reading מַעֲדַנֹּת (maadannot, literally, “bonds,” used here adverbially, “in bonds”) is difficult. The word is found only here and in Job 38:31. Part of the problem lies in determining the root of the word. Some scholars have taken it to be from the root ענד (’nd, “to bind around”), but this assumes a metathesis of two of the letters of the root. Others take it from the root עדן (’dn) with the meaning “voluptuously,” but this does not seem to fit the context. It seems better to understand the word to be from the root מעד (md, “to totter” or “shake”). In that case it describes the fear that Agag experienced in realizing the mortal danger that he faced as he approached Samuel. This is the way that the LXX translators understood the word, rendering it by the Greek participle τρέμον (tremon, “trembling”).

46tn Heb “and Agag said.”

47tc The text is difficult here. With the LXX, two Old Latin mss, and the Syriac Peshitta it is probably preferable to delete סָר (sar, “is past”) of the MT; it looks suspiciously like a dittograph of the following word מַר (mar, “bitter”). This further affects the interpretation of Agag’s comment. In the MT he comes to Samuel confidently assured that the danger is over (cf. KJV, NASB, NIV “Surely the bitterness of death is past,” along with NLT, CEV). However, it seems more likely that Agag realized that his fortunes had suddenly taken a turn for the worse and that the clemency he had enjoyed from Saul would not be his lot from Samuel. The present translation thus understands Agag to approach not confidently but in the stark realization that his death is imminent (“Surely death is bitter!”). Cf. NAB “So it is bitter death!”; NRSV “Surely this is the bitterness of death”; TEV “What a bitter thing it is to die!”

48tn That is, Samuel.