Israel Demands a King
1Now it came about, when Samuel was old, that he appointed his sons as judges over Israel.
2The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judging in Beersheba.
3His sons, however, did not walk in his ways but turned aside after dishonest gain, and they took bribes and perverted justice.
4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah;
5and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
6But the matter was Or evildispleasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord.
7And the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people regarding all that they say to you, because they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being King over them.
8Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have abandoned Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you as well.
9Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall warn them strongly and tell them of the Lit custompractice of the king who will reign over them.”
Warning concerning a King
10So Samuel spoke all the words of the Lord to the people who had asked him for a king.
11And he said, “This will be the Lit custompractice of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and put them in his chariots for himself and among his horsemen, and they will run before his chariots.
12He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to Lit plow his plowingdo his plowing and to gather in his harvest, and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.
13He will also take your daughters and use them as perfumers, cooks, and bakers.
14He will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants.
15And he will take a tenth of your seed and your vineyards and give it to his high officials and his servants.
16He will also take your male servants and your female servants, and your best young men, and your donkeys, and Lit makeuse them for his work.
17He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants.
18Then you will cry out on that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you on that day.”
19Yet the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us,
20so that we also may be like all the nations, and our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
21Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he Lit spokerepeated them in the Lord’s hearing.
22And the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint a king for them.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go, every man to his city.”