1 Samuel 8
NET Bible

Israel Seeks a King

1In his old age Samuel appointed his sons as judges over Israel. 2The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second son was Abijah. They were judges in Beer Sheba. 3But his sons did not follow his ways. Instead, they made money dishonestly, accepted bribes, and perverted justice.

4So all the elders of Israel gathered together and approached Samuel at Ramah. 5They said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons don’t follow your ways. So now appoint over us a king to lead us, just like all the other nations have.”

6But this request displeased Samuel, for they said, “Give us a king to lead us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7The Lord said to Samuel, “Do everything the people request of you. For it is not you that they have rejected, but it is me that they have rejected as their king. 8Just as they have done from the day that I brought them up from Egypt until this very day, they have rejected me and have served other gods. This is what they are also doing to you. 9So now do as they say. But seriously warn them and make them aware of the policies of the king who will rule over them.”

10So Samuel spoke all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11He said, “Here are the policies of the king who will rule over you: He will conscript your sons and put them in his chariot forces and in his cavalry; they will run in front of his chariot. 12He 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. 13He will take your daughters to be ointment makers, cooks, and bakers. 14He will take your best fields and vineyards and give them to his own servants. 15He will demand a tenth of your seed and of the produce of your vineyards and give it to his administrators and his servants. 16He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best cattle and your donkeys, and assign them for his own use. 17He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will be his servants. 18In that day you will cry out because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord won’t answer you in that day.”

19But the people refused to heed Samuel’s warning. Instead they said, “No! There will be a king over us! 20We will be like all the other nations. Our king will judge us and lead us and fight our battles.”

21So Samuel listened to everything the people said and then reported it to the Lord. 22The Lord said to Samuel, “Do as they say and install a king over them.” Then Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Each of you go back to his own city.”

1 Samuel 7
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