1 Samuel 8:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.

New Living Translation
Some will be generals and captains in his army, some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, and some will make his weapons and chariot equipment.

English Standard Version
And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots.

New American Standard Bible
"He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.

King James Bible
And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He can appoint them for his use as commanders of thousands or commanders of fifties, to plow his ground or reap his harvest, or to make his weapons of war or the equipment for his chariots.

International Standard Version
He will appoint his officers over thousands and officers over fifties—some will plow his fields, reap his harvest, and craft his war implements and equipment for his chariots.

NET Bible
He will appoint for himself leaders of thousands and leaders of fifties, as well as those who plow his ground, reap his harvest, and make his weapons of war and his chariot equipment.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He will appoint them to be his officers over 1,000 or over 50 soldiers, to plow his ground and harvest his crops, and to make weapons and equipment for his chariots.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he will appoint captains over thousands and captains over fifties and will set them to plough his ground and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and the munitions of his chariots.

King James 2000 Bible
And he will appoint himself captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to plow his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his weapons of war, and equipment for his chariots.

American King James Version
And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

American Standard Version
and he will appoint them unto 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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he will appoint of them to be his tribunes, and centurions, and to plough his fields, and to reap his corn, and to make him arms and chariots.

Darby Bible Translation
and [he will take them] that he may appoint for himself captains over thousands, and captains over fifties, and that they may plough his ground, and reap his harvest, and make his instruments of war and instruments of his chariots.

English Revised Version
and he will appoint them unto 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.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to till his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

World English Bible
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.

Young's Literal Translation
also to appoint for himself heads of thousands, and heads of fifties; also to plow his plowing, and to reap his reaping; and to make instruments of his war, and instruments of his charioteer.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

8:10-22 If they would have a king to rule them, as the eastern kings ruled their subjects, they would find the yoke exceedingly heavy. Those that submit to the government of the world and the flesh, are told plainly, what hard masters they are, and what tyranny the dominion of sin is. The law of God and the manner of men widely differ from each other; the former should be our rule in the several relations of life; the latter should be the measure of our expectations from others. These would be their grievances, and, when they complained to God, he would not hear them. When we bring ourselves into distress by our own wrong desires and projects, we justly forfeit the comfort of prayer, and the benefit of Divine aid. The people were obstinate and urgent in their demand. Sudden resolves and hasty desires make work for long and leisurely repentance. Our wisdom is, to be thankful for the advantages, and patient under the disadvantages of the government we may live under; and to pray continually for our rulers, that they may govern us in the fear of God, and that we may live under them in all godliness and honesty. And it is a hopeful symptom when our desires of worldly objects can brook delay; and when we can refer the time and manner of their being granted to God's providence.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - Captains over thousands, and captains over fifties. The largest and smallest divisions respectively of an Israelite, army. However objectionable the king's personal state might be, this would fall in with the people's wishes, for it would give them the promise of a well organised army. Not so the next clause, to ear i.e. to plough - his ground. Forced labour was one of the most unjust, oppressive, and wasteful exactions of absolute governments, and was the chief cause of the revolt of the ten tribes from Rehoboam (comp. 1 Kings 5:13-16; 1 Kings 12:4). And yet it was the universal rule in ancient times, and in some countries it has continued even to the present day to be the law that the peasants must at certain seasons give their labour unpaid either to the proprietors or to the state. Naturally, for a nation of agriculturists to have to leave their own fields just when their presence at home was most needed to plough the king's ground and reap his harvest would be a bitter annoyance, because to the loss would be added a sense of wrong. How determinately a high-spirited nation like the Jews did resist this injustice we gather not merely from the indignation felt against Solomon's levies, but also from the reproach cast in Jehoiakim's teeth by Jeremiah, that "he used his neighbour's service without wages, and gave him not for his work" (Jeremiah 22:13). To make his instruments of war. Such work must be done; but in well organised states it is paid for by means of taxes, i.e. by a money compensation in place of personal service. In semi-barbarous states forced labour is used, and the national arsenals furnished at the greatest possible expense and vexation to those compelled to labour, and loss to the national resources.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties,.... Which though posts of honour, yet when they are not matter of choice, and especially being precarious, and depending on the arbitrary will of a prince, are not eligible, and less so to persons that choose another sort of life:

and will set them to ear his ground; to plough it; not the same persons made captains of thousands and fifties, but others, whom he will employ in tilling and manuring his fields, and oblige them to it:

and to reap his harvest; when it is ripe, and gather it in, and bring it home into his barns and garners:

and to make his instruments of war: as swords, spears, bows and arrows, most commonly used in those times:

and instruments of chariots; which seem to design chariots of war, and the iron spikes and scythes which were joined to them, to cut down the foot soldiers, when driven among them in battle, which are commonly called chariots of iron; see Joshua 17:16.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. he will appoint him captains—In the East, a person must accept any office to which he may be nominated by the king, however irksome it may be to his taste or ruinous to his interests.

1 Samuel 8:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
Samuel's Warning About Kings
11He said, "This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. 12"He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13"He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers.…
Cross References
Numbers 31:14
Moses was angry with the officers of the army--the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds--who returned from the battle.

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

1 Samuel 22:7
He said to them, "Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds?
Treasury of Scripture

And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

appoint

1 Chronicles 27:1-22 Now the children of Israel after their number, to wit, the chief …

and will set

1 Kings 4:7,22,23,27,28 And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals …

2 Chronicles 32:28,29 Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and …

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OT History: 1 Samuel 8:12 And he will appoint them to him (1Sa iSam 1 Sam i sa) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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