1 Kings 12:7
New International Version
They replied, "If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants."

New Living Translation
The older counselors replied, “If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”

English Standard Version
And they said to him, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever.”

Berean Study Bible
They replied, “If you will be a servant to these people and serve them this day, and if you will respond by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever.”

King James Bible
And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.

New King James Version
And they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”

New American Standard Bible
Then they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their request, and speak pleasant words to them, then they will be your servants always.”

NASB 1995
Then they spoke to him, saying, "If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever."

NASB 1977
Then they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to this people today, will serve them, grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”

Amplified Bible
They spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant their request, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”

Christian Standard Bible
They replied, “Today if you will be a servant to this people and serve them, and if you respond to them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever.”

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They replied, "Today if you will be a servant to these people and serve them, and if you respond to them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever."

American Standard Version
And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And they spoke to him, saying, If thou wilt this day be a servant to this people, and wilt serve them, and wilt speak to them good words, then will they be thy servants continually.

Contemporary English Version
They answered, "If you want them to serve and obey you, then you should do what they ask today. Tell them you will make their work easier."

Douay-Rheims Bible
They said to him: If thou wilt yield to this people to day, and condescend to them, and grant their petition, and wilt speak gentle words to them, they will be thy servants always.

English Revised Version
And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.

Good News Translation
They replied, "If you want to serve this people well, give a favorable answer to their request, and they will always serve you loyally."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They told him, "If you will serve these people today, humble yourself, and speak gently, then they will always be your servants."

International Standard Version
They advised him, "If today you are a servant, you will serve this people by answering them and speaking kindly to them. Then they will serve you forever."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And they spoke unto him, saying: 'If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.'

Literal Standard Version
And they speak to him, saying, “If, today, you are a servant of this people, and have served them, and answered them, and spoken good words to them, then they have been servants to you [for] all the days.”

NET Bible
They said to him, "Today if you show a willingness to help these people and grant their request, they will be your servants from this time forward."

New Heart English Bible
They spoke to him, saying, "If you will be a servant to this people this day, and will serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever."

World English Bible
They spoke to him, saying, "If you will be a servant to this people this day, and will serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever."

Young's Literal Translation
And they speak unto him, saying, 'If, to-day, thou art servant to this people, and hast served them, and answered them, and spoken unto them good words, then they have been to thee servants all the days.'

Additional Translations ...
Study Bible
Rebellion Against Rehoboam
6Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How do you advise me to respond to these people?” he asked. 7They replied, “If you will be a servant to these people and serve them this day, and if you will respond by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever.” 8But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders; instead, he consulted the young men who had grown up with him and served him.…

Cross References
1 Kings 12:8
But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders; instead, he consulted the young men who had grown up with him and served him.

2 Chronicles 10:7
They replied, "If you will be kind to these people and please them by speaking kind words to them, they will be your servants forever."

Proverbs 15:1
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.


Treasury of Scripture

And they spoke to him, saying, If you will be a servant to this people this day, and will serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants for ever.

If thou wilt

2 Chronicles 10:6,7
And king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give ye me to return answer to this people? …

Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Mark 10:43,44
But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: …

speak good

1 Kings 12:13
And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave him;

2 Samuel 15:3-6
And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee…

Ecclesiastes 10:4
If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.









(7) If thou wilt be a servant.--Both the policies suggested show how corrupt and cynical the government of Israel had become. For the advice of the old counsellors has no largeness of policy or depth of wisdom. It is simply the characteristic advice of experienced and crafty politicians--who had seen the gradual development of despotic power, and had still remembrance of the comparative freedom of earlier days--understanding at once the dangerous vehemence of popular excitement, and the facility with which it may be satisfied by temporary concessions, and perhaps desiring to defeat that private ambition, which was making use for its own purposes of the natural sense of grievance. It is to give "good words," and to be for the moment "a servant to the people," with, perhaps, the intention of abolishing certain excessive grievances, but by no means of yielding up substantial power. Whether it was in itself more than superficially prudent, would depend on the seriousness of the grievances, and the social and political condition of the people.

Verse 7. - And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them [Keil questions the propriety and expediency of this advice. He says, "The king could not become the עֶבֶד of the people without prejudicing the authority entrusted to him by God." But they do not propose that he should become their servant, except for one clay, and then only in the sense of making reasonable concessions. What they mean is this: "If thou wilt brook for once to accede to their terms instead of dictating thine own," etc. The form of their answer was probably suggested by the temper of the king. They saw what was passing in his mind, viz., that he would fain play the autocrat, and that he resented it exceedingly that his subjects, just as he had begun to taste the sweets of royalty, should presume to parley with him; and they say in effect, "You think that they are reversing your relations, that they are making you, their sovereign, their servant. Be it so. It is but for one day. Then they will be your slaves forever"], and answer them [i.e., favourably; grant their request; cf. Psalm 22:22; Psalm 65:6], and speak good words to them, then will they be thy servants forever. ["Thy servants," in opposition to "a servant" above; "forever" in opposition to "this day."]

Parallel Commentaries ...


Lexicon
They replied,
וַיְדַבְּר֨וּ‪‬ (way·ḏab·bə·rū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Piel - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1696: To arrange, to speak, to subdue

“If
אִם־ (’im-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 518: Lo!, whether?, if, although, Oh that!, when, not

you will be
תִּֽהְיֶה־ (tih·yeh-)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

a servant
עֶ֜בֶד (‘e·ḇeḏ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5650: Slave, servant

to these
הַזֶּה֙ (haz·zeh)
Article | Pronoun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2088: This, that

people
לָעָ֤ם (lā·‘ām)
Preposition-l, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5971: A people, a tribe, troops, attendants, a flock

and serve them
וַֽעֲבַדְתָּ֔ם (wa·‘ă·ḇaḏ·tām)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - second person masculine singular | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5647: To work, to serve, till, enslave

this day,
הַ֠יּוֹם (hay·yō·wm)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3117: A day

and if you will respond
וַעֲנִיתָ֕ם (wa·‘ă·nî·ṯām)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - second person masculine singular | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6030: To answer, respond

by speaking
וְדִבַּרְתָּ֥ (wə·ḏib·bar·tā)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Piel - Conjunctive perfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1696: To arrange, to speak, to subdue

kind
טוֹבִ֑ים (ṭō·w·ḇîm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 2896: Pleasant, agreeable, good

words
דְּבָרִ֣ים (də·ḇā·rîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1697: A word, a matter, thing, a cause

to them,
אֲלֵיהֶ֖ם (’ă·lê·hem)
Preposition | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 413: Near, with, among, to

they will be
וְהָי֥וּ (wə·hā·yū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

your servants
עֲבָדִ֖ים (‘ă·ḇā·ḏîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5650: Slave, servant

forever.”
כָּל־ (kāl-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3605: The whole, all, any, every


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OT History: 1 Kings 12:7 They spoke to him saying If you (1Ki iKi i Ki 1 Kg 1kg)
1 Kings 12:6
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