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1 Samuel 8

See commentary, Different Perspectives: Samuel and Saul, 1 Samuel 8-11     |     See Bible Dictionary

By occasion of the ill government of Samuel's sons, the Israelites ask a king.

8:1 It happened, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.

8:2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abijah: they were judges in Beersheba.

8:3 His sons didnít walk in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted justice.

8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel to Ramah;

8:5 and they said to him,

"Behold, you are old, and your sons donít walk in your ways:
now make us a king to judge us like all the nations."

Samuel praying in grief, is comforted by God.

8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said,

"Give us a king to judge us."
Samuel prayed to Yahweh.

8:7 Yahweh said to Samuel,

"Listen to the voice of the people in all that they tell you;
for they have not rejected you,
but they have rejected me,
that I should not be king over them.

8:8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, in that they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also to you.

8:9 Now therefore listen to their voice: however you shall protest solemnly to them, and shall show them the manner of the king who shall reign over them."

He tells the manner of a king.

8:10 Samuel told all the words of Yahweh to the people who asked of him a king.

8:11 He said,

"This will be the manner of the king who shall reign over you:
he will take your sons, and appoint them to him, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen;
and they shall run before his chariots;

8:12 and he will appoint them to him for captains of thousands, and captains of fifties;
and he will set some to plow his ground, and to reap his harvest,
and to make his instruments of war, and the instruments of his chariots.

8:13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.

8:14 He will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your olive groves,
even the best of them, and give them to his servants.

8:15 He will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards,
and give to his officers, and to his servants.

8:16 He will take your male servants, and your female servants,
and your best young men, and your donkeys,
and put them to his work.

8:17 He will take the tenth of your flocks: and you shall be his servants.

8:18 You shall cry out in that day because of your king whom you shall have chosen you;
and Yahweh will not answer you in that day."

God wills Samuel to yield unto the importunity of the people.

8:19 But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said,

"No; but we will have a king over us,
8:20 that we also may be like all the nations,
and that our king may judge us,
and go out before us, and fight our battles."
8:21 Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of Yahweh.

8:22 Yahweh said to Samuel,

"Listen to their voice, and make them a king."
Samuel said to the men of Israel,
"Every man go to his city."

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