1 Samuel 15:35
And to the day of his death, Samuel never again visited Saul. Samuel mourned for Saul, and the LORD regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.
Samuel a Man of SorrowsB. Dale 1 Samuel 15:35
Samuel's Withdrawal from SaulJ. C. Coghlan, D. D.1 Samuel 15:35
Separation of Samuel and SaulR. Steel.1 Samuel 15:35
A Melancholy PartingB. Dale 1 Samuel 15:34, 35

1 Samuel 15:35. (RAMAH.)
Nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul. There are many kinds of sorrow in the world. One is natural, such as is felt by men in temporal affliction. Another is spiritual, such as is felt by a penitent for his sin. A third is sympathetic, benevolent, Divine, such as is felt by a godly man over the ungodly. "I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved." Of this last Samuel had experience throughout his life (1 Samuel 3:15;. 4:11; 7:2; 8:3, 6), and more especially at the persistent transgression and irrevocable rejection of Saul. Observe of such sorrow, that -


1. Failing to fulfil the purpose for which it was made, and "coming short of the glory of God."

2. Falling into degradation, misery, and woe. A ruined temple! A wandering star! (Jude 1:13). A discrowned monarch! A despairing spirit! Oh, what a contrast between what it might have been and what it is here and will be hereafter!

3. Inciting others to pursue the same path.

II. IT IS AN EVIDENCE OF EXALTED PIETY, inasmuch as it shows -

1. Genuine zeal for the honour of God, whose law is "made void," whose goodness is despised, and whose claims are trampled in the dust.

2. Tender compassion toward men. "Charity to the soul is the soul of charity."

3. Intense sympathy with the noblest of men, with the Son of God, and with the eternal Father himself. "I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart," etc. (Romans 9:1-3). "O that thou hadst known," etc. (Luke 19:42). "O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments!" (Isaiah 48:18).


1. When it is mingled with feelings of personal disappointment and mortification, and of dissatisfaction with the ways of God.

2. When it is allowed to become a prolonged and all-absorbing emotion, to the exclusion of those considerations and feelings by which it ought to be modified and regulated.

3. When it produces despondency and fear (1 Samuel 16:2), weakens faith, and hinders exertion.


1. Gentle rebuke, indicating that it is useless, unreasonable, and reprehensible.

2. Clear and deep conviction of the over-ruling purpose of God, and unreserved submission to it. "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father," etc. (Matthew 11:25).

3. Renewed, benevolent, and hopeful activity. - D.

Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death.
Very few bad persons are without some "redeeming quality," as it is called; and "redeeming qualities" are usually precisely of that kind by which we are most fascinated. The "redeeming qualities" of a wicked man are, however, the very things which should cause us most to fear for these with whom he comes in contact.

1. Few — very few, avoid falling into the error of mistaking what are symptoms of possible good in the future for tokens of real good at the present time, and from at least occasionally thinking that their deliberately formed opinion of the entire character was after all incorrect, and that the persons in whom these good qualities are so clearly observable cannot be wicked at all. These, of course, will think and speak of the "redeeming qualities," not as redeeming qualities, but as the main features of the character, and try to persuade themselves that it is for the sake of these they continue intimacies which their consciences tell them require in some way to be defended.

2. Besides this proneness to self-deceit, which in greater or less force lurks in the best of us, there are two other causes which expose us to the danger of being injured by the "redeeming qualities" of godless men. One is the fact that there are undoubtedly blemishes in the characters of very good men.

3. The other source of danger is this. The very best of men are known to entertain an affection for bad men. From this it is argued that the men are not bad. Samuel had an affection for Saul. Saul had many "redeeming qualities" — qualities calculated to make him exceedingly popular. Nor was this all. He had a good deal about him to be liked, and Samuel did like him. A good man, then, may have an affection for a bad man, without being at all mistaken as to his character; nay, even after he had been, as in the case before us, the very persons who had himself pronounced the Divine condemnation. We must not, then, be led astray as to the real characters of those whom we should otherwise feel bound to regard as dangerous by the mere fact that they have awakened an affection in those whom we justly reverence. Had we known no more than "that there was a King of Israel named Saul," and that the holy Samuel mourned exceeding for him on his losing the kingdom, we should, I think, have taken for granted that Saul was a good man, and yet you see we should have been wrong.

4. This discontinuance of personal intercourse with Saul shows us also the limits of a good man's companionship with a bad man. So long as there is any reasonable hope of his "redeeming qualities" becoming so developed as to constitute the main features, instead of the exceptional points of his character — so long as the influence imperceptibly exercised by early companionship seems likely to be instrumental in bringing about this change, just so long familiar intercourse with one whose grave faults we perceive may be continued without breach of duty towards God: but so soon as that time has gone by — so soon as these hopes seem unreasonable, then, although the regard still linger, the familiar acquaintance must be abandoned. Every case will, of course, have its peculiarities calling for especial consideration. But still there are certain classes of cases in which we may reasonably suppose that our associating with bad men will be unlikely to benefit them, in which the probabilities are so much against it that we had better not make the attempt, in which we had better not so much look to the possibility of our improving another as to that of his injuring us, in which the foremost thought in our minds should be, "Evil communications corrupt good manners." Generally speaking, a good and a bad man cannot be much together without either being, however little or imperceptibly, changed by the other. Nor should it be forgotten that the companionship of a good man may be a positive injury to a bad man. He may deceive himself into the belief that his faults are not so great or dangerous as they really are, by the reflection that a good man and a sensible man would not like him if he were not in the main good also. Universally, on persons of about our own age and our own social position, who are obviously and ostentatiously opposing themselves to the precepts of the Gospel, our constant companionship is not likely to produce a good effect, except we be more than ordinarily religious and firm ourselves. Of all the instances you ever knew in which a woman entertained that wildest of notions that she would be able, after marriage, to reform the man over whom her influence was powerless before it — of all such instances — and there are numbers of them, how many are the successes you can recall? In how many do you know the result to have been intense and irremediable misery? No, there are those whose age or weight of character enables them without danger or misrepresentation to attempt the reformation of the wicked by being, to some extent, in their society. There are those who, perhaps, to both these qualifications have superadded the incentive of personal liking. Samuel was one of this sort, yet even to him the time came when ha, the old man, the good man, the minister of God, the man with a strong, affection towards Saul, felt it his duty to "see him no more."

(J. C. Coghlan, D. D.)

It was a final parting: "Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death." They had now nothing in common. Their views and principles were widely dissimilar. They sought not the same ends, and they used very different means. Samuel so closely followed the will and way of God that he could not have fellowship with a throne of iniquity. A lifetime's godliness had made Samuel very jealous of the glory of God. He would not compromise his principles for the sake of keeping the favour of a king; and lest he should be understood as approving of Saul's procedure be absented himself altogether from his court. His absence would be a constant reproof of Saul's wilful esteems significant token that he deemed his policy ungodly. There are circumstances in the history of the believer, and even of the Church when separation from those with whom there have been union and fellowship becomes a duty. When any one finds that by his station or character he is likely to influence others, if he openly unites with those whose policy he disapproves, he is bound to separate. When any one discovers that he cannot, without countenancing the sin of others, continue in their fellowship he is bound to withdraw. When any one learns that his soul is imperilled by remaining with the ungodly, he must separate. The sacrifice of the dearest ties, the richest gains, and the most cherished associations, must be made, when duty to Christ demands it. Our Lord has laid down the law of a Christian in such circumstances in the plainest terms: "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me," etc. You may be associated in relationships that forbid your separation. The law of Christ does not demand the believer to break up his nuptial tie, or his filial ties; but it demands his faithful witness bearing at home. There must be no compromise with truth — with Christ — to please any friend. The world is not to be met half-way. We are not to conciliate by compromise. In the sixteenth century, separation from Rome became the duty of all enlightened souls who protested against the errors and crimes of Modern Babylon. Samuel went away in sorrow. He mourned for Saul. He did not part with him because his heart was steeled against him, or because of any unkindly feeling towards him personally, he yearned after the king with all the affection of a broken-hearted parent. Samuel mourned for Saul, for he pitied the people. Saul was a king according to their mind, and it was to be feared that they would approve of his infatuated policy, and thus turn away from God. Perhaps this had an influence upon his determination to separate from Saul, that all Israel might see that he was no more a party to their monarch's ways. When so good a man as Samuel retired from fellowship with Saul, they might perhaps reflect upon their own safety. But people are blind, and require long discipline to correct their sins and reform their ways.

(R. Steel.).

Agag, Amalek, Amalekites, Havilah, Israelites, Kenites, Samuel, Saul
Amalek, Carmel, Edom, Egypt, Gibeah, Gilgal, Ramah, Shur Desert, Telaim
Added, Beheld, Caused, Death, Died, Grieved, Longer, Lord's, Mourned, Nevertheless, Pleasure, Regretted, Reign, Repented, Samuel, Saul, Sorrowing, Though, Till
1. Samuel sends Saul to destroy Amalek
6. Saul favors the Kenites
7. He spares Agag and the best of the spoil
10. Samuel denounces unto Saul God's rejection of him for his disobedience
24. Saul's humiliation
32. Samuel kills Agag
34. Samuel and Saul part

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Samuel 15:35

     1120   God, repentance of
     1135   God, suffering of
     1210   God, human descriptions
     5036   mind, of God
     5835   disappointment
     5970   unhappiness
     6227   regret

Saul Rejected
'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
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Letter iv to the Prior and Monks of the Grand Chartreuse
To the Prior and Monks of the Grand Chartreuse He commends himself to their prayers. To the very dear Lord and Reverend father Guigues, Prior of the Grande Chartreuse, and to the holy brethren who are with him, Brother Bernard of Clairvaux offers his humble service. In the first place, when lately I approached your parts, I was prevented by unfavourable circumstances from coming to see you and to make your acquaintance; and although my excuse may perhaps be satisfactory to you, I am not able, I confess,
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Confession of Sin --A Sermon with Seven Texts
The Hardened Sinner. PHARAOH--"I have sinned."--Exodus 9:27. I. The first case I shall bring before you is that of the HARDENED SINNER, who, when under terror, says, "I have sinned." And you will find the text in the book of Exodus, the 9th chap. and 27th verse: "And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked." But why this confession from the lips of the haughty tyrant? He was not often wont to
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

Take heed, and hearken, O Israel; this day thou art become the people of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the Lord thy God, and do his commandments.' Deut 27: 9, 10. What is the duty which God requireth of man? Obedience to his revealed will. It is not enough to hear God's voice, but we must obey. Obedience is a part of the honour we owe to God. If then I be a Father, where is my honour?' Mal 1: 6. Obedience carries in it the life-blood of religion. Obey the voice of the Lord
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

That the Ruler Should Be, through Humility, a Companion of Good Livers, But, through the Zeal of Righteousness, Rigid against the vices of Evildoers.
The ruler should be, through humility, a companion of good livers, and, through the zeal of righteousness, rigid against the vices of evil-doers; so that in nothing he prefer himself to the good, and yet, when the fault of the bad requires it, he be at once conscious of the power of his priority; to the end that, while among his subordinates who live well he waives his rank and accounts them as his equals, he may not fear to execute the laws of rectitude towards the perverse. For, as I remember to
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

The Truth of God
The next attribute is God's truth. A God of truth and without iniquity; just and right is he.' Deut 32:4. For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.' Psa 57:10. Plenteous in truth.' Psa 86:15. I. God is the truth. He is true in a physical sense; true in his being: he has a real subsistence, and gives a being to others. He is true in a moral sense; he is true sine errore, without errors; et sine fallacia, without deceit. God is prima veritas, the pattern and prototype
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Blessed are they that Mourn
Blessed are they that mourn. Matthew 5:4 Here are eight steps leading to true blessedness. They may be compared to Jacob's Ladder, the top whereof reached to heaven. We have already gone over one step, and now let us proceed to the second: Blessed are they that mourn'. We must go through the valley of tears to paradise. Mourning were a sad and unpleasant subject to treat on, were it not that it has blessedness going before, and comfort coming after. Mourning is put here for repentance. It implies
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

The New Covenant.
"Now in the things which we are saying the chief point is this: We have such a High-priest, Who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. For every high-priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is necessary that this High-priest also have somewhat to offer. Now if He were on earth, He would not be a Priest at all, seeing there are those who offer
Thomas Charles Edwards—The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews

How Christ is the Way in General, "I am the Way. "
We come now to speak more particularly to the words; and, first, Of his being a way. Our design being to point at the way of use-making of Christ in all our necessities, straits, and difficulties which are in our way to heaven; and particularly to point out the way how believers should make use of Christ in all their particular exigencies; and so live by faith in him, walk in him, grow up in him, advance and march forward toward glory in him. It will not be amiss to speak of this fulness of Christ
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book[1] of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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