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I was wondering if there is any parallel between Saul's command by God (which he disobeyed):

Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” - 1 Samuel 15:3

and Saul's order later on against the city of Nob...

18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn around and attack the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned around and attacked the priests, and he killed that day eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 And he struck Nob the city of the priests with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and infants; also oxen, donkeys, and sheep he struck with the edge of the sword. - 1 Samuel 22:18, 19.

In both cases, the order was to kill men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys. Is this just a coincidence?

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There is a similarity between the two events:

  • Saul was involved in both - in the 1 Sam 15 he disobeyed God by not destroying the Amalekites; in the 1 Sam 22 Saul also disobeyed God by killing priests and their families

There are significant differences between the two events as well:

  • The order to destroy was given by God in 1 Sam 15 but in 1 Sam 22 the order to destroy was given by a crazed human
  • In 1 Sam 22 the priests had done nothing deserving of death; in 1 Sam 15 the Amalekites had had 400 years of God's patience and deserved to be destroyed
  • In 1 Sam 15 Saul is instructed to kill foreigners; in 1 Sam 22 Saul issues an order to destroy the priests of his own people!!
  • The order in 1 Sam 15 was given after much consideration (by God) but in 1 Sam 22 the order to destroy was given in a mad, unreasonable rage!

The incident is one in a series of very sad incidents in the second half of 1 Samuel that document the pathetic descent of king Saul into complete insanity culminating in his suicide.

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