Esther’s Purim Part Three: Shaul & Amalek
Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: Next story, the next major battle in his life is the battle against Amalek. And he’s told like this, go and defeat Amalek, and you must destroy absolutely everything that belongs to Amalek, have no compassion, kill from man unto woman, from a baby to a nursing baby, from oxen to sheep, from camel to donkey, everything must be destroyed. So they go into battle and Shaul couldn’t kill the king, he killed everyman and every woman, child but couldn’t kill the king. And he couldn’t kill the animals, but everything else he killed.
And Hashem spoke to Shmuel saying, Boy do I regret ever making Shaul the king because he turned away form me and didn’t do what I told him to do. Shmuel came to Shaul, and Shaul said I’m so happy to see you I did exactly what God commanded me to do. And Shmuel says don’t I hear some animals, you didn’t bring those into war with you? And Shaul says no, they are Amaleki animals.
What does he have to do? He needs to explain why he has the Amaleki animals, the people really wanted to bring the best of the animals to God, but I killed the rest of the animals. Meaning that he didn’t kill the animals because of the people. And Samuel said be quite and I want you to hear what God said to me last night. And he said speak.
Shmuel said, if you are small in your own eyes, you’re the head of the tribe of Israel. What does it mean if he’s small in his own eyes, when he hid from the people and blamed it on the people. If you want to be small and sweet and the good person, that’s very nice in your eyes, but God made you a king.
Shaul says to Shmuel what do you mean? I did listen to God. I walked in the path that God told me. I have Agag the king of Amalek right here. The people did it, and they did it for good reason too, because they wanted to bring sacrifices to God.
And Shmuel says do you really think God wants sacrifices more than he wants you to listen. To listen to God is much better that and sacrifice, to pay attention to goes is better than the calf’s of rams. The sin of trying to predict the future is bitter and foolish, and you can look at idols but they’ll break you. You have despised the word of God and God despises you as king. Why is he talking about the sin of predicting the future?
So Shaul says to Shmuel oh I sinned. I did go against Gods will and yours. I was just listening t the people and doing what they wanted me to do.
The Gemara said he failed as king because he never sinned before he was king. So when he sinned he didn’t know who to fix it. And the reason that David was a successful king was because he had sinned all the time so he always knew what to do.
Shaul says please come back to me with the people and Shmuel says he couldn’t. Could you imagine this? All the Jews can see the conversation and tell that it’s not a good conversation. Shmuel says no, God is disgusted by you as king, and turns away.
So Shaul grabbed Shmuel by his coat and he ripped his coat off. It’s very unlike Shauls personality. And Shmuel turns to him and say, God is going to tear the kingdom of the Jewish people away from you the way you tore my coat and he is going to give it to your friend who is much better than you. And the eternal one of the Jewish people doesn’t lie or change his mind and he’s not a man to change his mind. Netzach- the eternal.
And Netzach is that God has a universal view of the universe and sees all time at once so he knows what is going to happen so everything can be predetermined, and how the attribute of Purim is netzach and so is Moshe’s. What does this have to do? God doesn’t change his mind?
Shaul says I sinned, can you please give me some honor so that the people see me getting honor. You’ve got to come back with me and I will bow down to God. and Shmuel says to him bring Agag out, and Agag came out and Agag said oh Mr. Death is here. Shmuel says just as your sword caused women to lose their children, so your mother will be missing women. And Shmuel tore apart Agag, chopped him up into pieces. Shmuel and Shaul went home and never saw each other again. Pretty sad.