Daily Tanach Monday: Shmuel 1 Chapter 15: The battle against Amaleik

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 15: The battle against Amaleik

1.     The command to destroy Amaleik:

  • Shmuel told Shaul that he was sent by G-d to anoint him as king over His nation, the Jewish people, [and now that he saw that it has taken place[1]] he should listen to the voice of G-d [and not be bewildered that G-d would ask for an entire nation to be destroyed[2]].
  • Hashem says as follows: I have remembered all that Amaleik has done to the Jewish people, and that which they ambushed them on the road they took when they were ascending from Egypt. Now, you shall go and attack Amaleik, and you shall destroy all that is theirs, and have no mercy on them. You shall kill every man and woman, from child to nursing baby, from ox to sheep, from camel to donkey [as the Amaleikites were sorcerers and could change their form to that of an animal[3]].

2.     Shaul takes a census:

  • Shaul announced for the people to gather and counted the nation using sheep [by having every Jew take a sheep and then counting the sheep[4]], and there were 200,000 men. Ten thousand of them were from the tribe of Yehuda.

3.     Amaleik is destroyed:

  • Shaul arrived at the city of Amaleik, and they battled by the channel of water.
  • Shaul asks the Keinites to leave the land of Amaleik: Shaul told the people of Keini [i.e. the descendants of Yisro[5]]: Leave from the land of Amaleik [which is by Arad, in southern Israel[6]], lest we kill you together with them. You have done kindness with all the Jewish people when they ascended from Egypt [as your ancestor Yisro greeted us in the desert and rejoiced with us[7], and participated in the meal with Moshe and, Aaron, and all the elders of Israel[8]]. So, the Keini left the land of Amaleik.
  • The battle is won: So Shaul smote Amaleik from Chavila Boacha Shur which is opposite Egypt.
  • Agag is captured but let live: They captured Agag, the king of Amaleik, alive. The rest of the nation, however, was killed by the sword. Shaul and the nation had mercy on Agag and allowed him to live.
  • The animals are allowed to live: Shaul and the nation had mercy on all the good, fat and healthy sheep and cattle, and all the good of Amaleik, and they did not desire to destroy it. However, all of their low-quality items were destroyed.

4.     Hashem appears to Shmuel and tells him that he regrets appointing him king:

  • Hashem spoke to Shmuel as follows: I have regretted that I appointed Shaul as king, as he has distanced himself from Me and has not fulfilled My word.
  • Shmuel pleads to Hashem: Shmuel became filled with wrath and screamed to Hashem throughout the night.

[1] See Metzudos Dovid 15:1; Radak ibid

[2] Metzudos Dovid 15:1

[3] Rashi 15:3

[4] Rashi 15:4

[5] Rashi 15:6

[6] Rashi 15:6

[7] Ralbag 15:6

[8] Rashi 15:6

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