Gustave Doré 1832 – 1883

The Death of Agag

engraving — 1865

Gustave Doré biography

This work is linked to 1 Samuel 15:32

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Tags: Saul

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The Amalekites were long-time enemies of the Israelites. King Saul managed to defeat them and to capture their king, Agag. Saul kept him alive. He also picked the best animals from the Amalekites' herds, in order to sacrifice them before God.

By doing so, Saul went against God's command, given through Samuel in 1 Samuel 15:3: "spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."

God then told Samuel that he regretted having made Saul king of Israel. Samuel speaks to Saul, who asks for forgiveness. Samuel is strict: who rejects the word of God, rejects God and is not fit to be king. Saul then leaves.

Samuel has Agag brought before him. For a while Agag thinks he will be released, but Saul is persistent in executing the word of God. "And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal."

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