1 Samuel 12:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day.

New Living Translation
Your king is now your leader. I stand here before you--an old, gray-haired man--and my sons serve you. I have served as your leader from the time I was a boy to this very day.

English Standard Version
And now, behold, the king walks before you, and I am old and gray; and behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day.

New American Standard Bible
"Now, here is the king walking before you, but I am old and gray, and behold my sons are with you. And I have walked before you from my youth even to this day.

King James Bible
And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now you can see that the king is leading you. As for me, I'm old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have led you from my youth until today.

International Standard Version
Now here is the king walking before you, while I'm old and gray, and my sons are with you. I've walked before you from my youth until this day.

NET Bible
Now look! This king walks before you. As for me, I am old and gray, though my sons are here with you. I have walked before you from the time of my youth till the present day.

New Heart English Bible
Now, look, the king walks before you; and I am old and gray-headed; and look, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my youth to this day.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
And now, here is the king who will lead you. I am old and gray, but my sons are with you. I have led you from my youth until this day.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And now, behold, the king walketh before you; and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you; and I have walked before you from my youth unto this day.

New American Standard 1977
“And now, here is the king walking before you, but I am old and gray, and behold my sons are with you. And I have walked before you from my youth even to this day.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And now, behold, your king walks before you. I am old and grayheaded, and, behold, my sons are with you, and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.

King James 2000 Bible
And now, behold, the king walks before you: and I am old and gray headed; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.

American King James Version
And now, behold, the king walks before you: and I am old and gray headed; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood to this day.

American Standard Version
And now, behold, the king walketh before you; and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my youth unto this day.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And now the king goeth before you: but I am old and greyheaded: and my sons are with you: having then conversed with you from my youth unto this day, behold here I am.

Darby Bible Translation
And now behold, the king walks before you; and I am old and grey-headed; and behold, my sons are with you; and I have walked before you from my youth up to this day.

English Revised Version
And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and gray-headed; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my youth unto this day.

Webster's Bible Translation
And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and gray-headed; and behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood to this day.

World English Bible
Now, behold, the king walks before you; and I am old and gray-headed; and behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my youth to this day.

Young's Literal Translation
and now, lo, the king is walking habitually before you, and I have become aged and gray-headed, and my sons, lo, they are with you, and I have walked habitually before you from my youth till this day.
Study Bible
Samuel's Farewell Address
1Then Samuel said to all Israel, "Behold, I have listened to your voice in all that you said to me and I have appointed a king over you. 2"Now, here is the king walking before you, but I am old and gray, and behold my sons are with you. And I have walked before you from my youth even to this day. 3"Here I am; bear witness against me before the LORD and His anointed. Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? I will restore it to you."…
Cross References
1 Samuel 3:10
Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for Your servant is listening."

1 Samuel 3:19
Thus Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail.

1 Samuel 8:1
And it came about when Samuel was old that he appointed his sons judges over Israel.

1 Samuel 8:3
His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice.

1 Samuel 8:5
and they said to him, "Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations."

1 Samuel 8:20
that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles."
Treasury of Scripture

And now, behold, the king walks before you: and I am old and gray headed; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood to this day.

walketh

1 Samuel 8:20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge …

Numbers 27:17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and …

I am old

1 Samuel 8:1,5 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges …

Psalm 71:18 Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, forsake me not; until …

Isaiah 46:3,4 Listen to me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house …

2 Timothy 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

2 Peter 1:14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our …

my sons

1 Samuel 2:22,29 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did to all Israel…

1 Samuel 3:13,16 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the …

1 Samuel 8:3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, …

I have walked

1 Samuel 3:19,20 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his …

(2) And now, behold, the king walketh before you.--No doubt, here pointing to Saul by his side. The term "walketh before you implied generally that the kingly office included the guiding and governing the people, as well as the especial duty of leading them in war; from henceforth they must accept his authority on all occasions, not merely in great emergencies. Both king and people must understand that the days when Saul could quietly betake himself to his old pursuits on the farm of the Ephraim hills were now past for ever. He must lead, and they must follow. The metaphor is taken from the usual place of a shepherd in the East, where he goes before his flock. Compare the words of our Lord, who uses the same image of a shepherd walking before his sheep (John 10:27): "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."

And I am old and grayheaded.--Here the prophet, with some pathos, refers to the elders' own words at Ramah (chap 8:5). Yes, said the seer, I am old--grown grey in your service; listen to me while I ask you what manner of service that has been. Can any one find in it a flaw? has it not been pure and disinterested throughout?

My sons are with you.--Yes, old indeed, for my offspring are numbered now among the grown men of the people. Possibly, however, a tinge of mortified feeling at the rejection of himself and his family, mixed with a desire to recommend his sons to the favour and goodwill of the nation, is at the bottom of this mention of them.--Speaker's Commentary. It is evident that these sons, whose conduct as Samuel's deputies had excited the severest criticism on the part of the elders (1Samuel 8:5), had been reduced--with the full consent, of course, of their father, who up to this period exercised evidently supreme power in all the coasts of Israel--to the condition of mere private citizens.

From my childhood unto this day.--Samuel's life had in truth been constantly before the public observation from very early days; well known to all were the details of his career--his early consecration under peculiar and exceptional circumstances to the sanctuary service, the fact of the "word of the Lord" coming directly to him when still a boy, his recognition by the people directly afterwards as a prophet, then his restless, unwearied work during the dark days which followed the fall of Shiloh. It was indeed a public life. He would have Israel, now they had virtually rejected his rule, think over that long busy life of his for a moment, and then pronounce a judgment on it.

Verse 2. - The king walketh before you. I.e. you have now one to protect and lead the nation, whereas my business was to raise its religious and moral life. The metaphor is taken from the position of the shepherd in the East, where he goes before his flock to guide and guard them. On this account the word shepherd or pastor is used in the Bible of the temporal ruler (Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 23:4, etc.), and not, as with us, of the spiritual guide. My sons are with you. This is no mere confirmation of the fact just stated that he was old, but a direct challenge of their dissatisfaction with his sons' conduct, as far at least as concerns any connivance on his part, or support of them in their covetousness. Samuel says, You know all about my sons; I do not profess to be ignorant that charges have been brought against them. Give full weight to them, and to everything said against them and me, and then give judgment. And now, behold, the king walketh before you,.... He invested with his office, and in the exercise of it, and goes in and out as the captain, commander, and leader of the people; it is expressive of his being in the full possession of regal power and authority, and therefore Samuel might speak the more freely, as he could not be thought to have any hope and expectation of being reinstated in his government, or to have parted with it with any regret; and he wisely took this opportunity of reproving the people for their sin of desiring a king, when Saul was settled and established in his kingdom, and when they were in the midst of all their mirth and jollity, who might, from the success that had attended this first adventure of their king, conclude that they had done a right and good thing in requesting to have one:

and I am old, and grey headed; and so unfit for government, and very willing to be eased of the burden of it: he must surely be more than fifty two years of age, as the Jews generally say he was, since it is not usual at such an age to be grey headed; see Gill on 1 Samuel 8:1; however, on this account he merited reverence and respect, and demanded attention:

and, behold, my sons are with you; as private persons in the condition of subjects, making no pretension to government; and if they had committed anything criminal, they were open to the law, and might be charged, and tried, and treated according to their deserts; and there they were, and might be asked what questions they thought proper with respect to what they knew of his conduct; and to be hostages or bail for him, if they could prove anything against him; or to be taken to make satisfaction for any injuries committed by him:

and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day; his manner of and conversation from his infancy to this time was well known to them, and he had spent all his days in the service of God, and for the good of Israel. 12:1-5 Samuel not only cleared his own character, but set an example before Saul, while he showed the people their ingratitude to God and to himself. There is a just debt which all men to their own good name, especially men in public stations, which is, to guard it against unjust blame and suspicions, that they may finish their course with honour, as well as with joy. And that we have in our places lived honestly, will be our comfort, under any slights and contempt that may be put upon us.
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