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FIRST SAMUEL XV-SAUL SPARES AGAG

kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.

7 And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.

8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

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, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

10 ( Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying,

11 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 night.

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 on, and

gone down to Gilgal.

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

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

15 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.

16 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.

17 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 Israel ?

18 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.

19 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?

20 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.

21 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 in Gilgal. 22 And Sámuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offer

1The Revised Version says "monument" instead of “place."

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The Idols of Dan

BY J. JAMES TISSOT. REPRODUCED BY COURTESY OF

THE AMERICAN TISSOT SOCIETY OF NEW YORK.

A

And these went into Micah's house, and fetched the carven image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?Jud., 18, 18.

T THE end of the Book of Judges there are two stories which chronologically seem to belong to the

earlier portion of the book, the first days of Israel's power and victory. They illustrate the rapid degeneracy of the people, the falling away from the high faith of Moses and Joshua. The first story tells of the migration of six hundred men of the tribe of Dan, who, finding the conquest of the plains of Philistia too difficult, wandered to the extreme north of Palestine, and possessed themselves of the ancient city of Laish, renaming it Dan.

While on their march these men stumbled on the home of an Ephraimite named Micah. He had idols of silver made into the form of men and animals; for already the worship of such false gods had revived. Micah had even employed a priest for these idols, a Levite; and this priest, so wholly ignorant of the true teachings of God, seems to have been actually a grandson of the great Moses, the lawgiver. This astonishingly degenerate grandson preferred being priest for a tribe rather than for a single household, so after

very little protest he aided the men of Dan in stealing Micah's gods. The plunderers beat down all opposition and, in high glee at getting gods so cheaply, bore off the silver idols to be set up and

worshipped in their new city.

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