I'm a bit puzzled regarding King Sha'uls (Saul) conversation with Shmu'el (Samuel) upon his return from the war against Amalek. We know that Sha'ul didn't fulfill G-d's commandment to destroy everything from Amalek, and instead he took flocks and spared King Agag.
Citing Shmuel (Samuel I) 15:19-21: (English cited from mechon mamre (JPS)
19 Wherefore then didst thou not hearken to the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst that which was evil in the sight of the LORD?'
20 And Saul said unto Samuel: 'Yea, I have hearkened to 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 devoted things, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.'
It appears that there are a few problems happening in Sha'ul's answer. First, it seems he is convinced that he really didn't do anything wrong, because he starts by saying that he DID listen to G-d's command. He also says, "I have destroyed the Amalekites." No, not really, because he kept the king alive! That's not destroying ALL the Amelikites.. Is it not obvious in Sha'ul's own words that he is contradicting himself? And, was Sha'ul so clueless as to argue with Shmu'el, a prophet, who is relaying G-d's word, and who even explained to him before the battle, what to do?
Additionally, he seems to blame the taking of the sheep on the people, as it was the people's fault!
I'm a bit puzzled as to what Sha'ul was thinking. Did he think he really did nothing wrong at all, or was he so weak at the least minute that the people pressured him into taking the best of the sheep and cattle to offer sacrifices that this action alone blinded Sha'ul into thinking that this was the right thing to do? Essentially, what factors caused Sha'ul to forget what Shmu'el and G-d commanded him to do? Was it more his own personal blindness to the problem or being pressured by the people?