1 Samuel 8:16
And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
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(16) And your goodliest young men.—The LXX. Greek Version here reads, “your best oxen,” which required only the change of one letter of similar sound in the Hebrew word here. This was, no doubt,. the reading of the original text, as the young men seem included among the sons in 1Samuel 8:11-12, and oxen would naturally precede the asses mentioned in the next clause of this verse.

1 Samuel 8:16-18. He will take your men-servants — By constraint, and without sufficient recompense. Your goodliest young men — The most beautiful and proper person she can find; and your asses, and put them to his work — Either at the plough, or for carriage, or any other employment wherein he shall think they will be useful. And ye shall be his servants — So subject to him, that if he please ye shall be no better than slaves, deprived of that liberty which you now enjoy. And ye shall cry out in that day — Ye shall bitterly mourn for the sad effects of this inordinate desire of a king. This shows that in the foregoing verses Samuel describes the uncontrollable power which the eastern princes exercised over their subjects, who were obliged patiently to bear whatever their kings imposed upon them, without any power to help themselves. The Lord will not hear you in that day — Because you will not hear nor obey his counsel in this day; but he will leave you under this heavy yoke.

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.See illustrations in marginal references; 1 Kings 5:13-18; 1 Kings 12:4. 14-18. he will take your fields, &c.—The circumstances mentioned here might be illustrated by exact analogies in the conduct of many Oriental monarchs in the present day. By constraint, and without sufficient recompense

And he will take your manservants, and your maidservants,.... Into his own family, for his own use and service, if he wants them, or likes them better than what he has:

and your goodliest young men: that are tall and lusty, comely and beautiful, of a proper stature and good aspect; and such in all countries used to be chosen for officers in courts, or attendants there; and so the Turks to this day pitch upon young men to attend on great personages, who are of a comely form, have admirable features, and are well shaped; see Gill on Daniel 1:4,

and your asses, and put them to his work; employ them in ploughing his fields, drawing his carriages, or bearing his burdens; and so any other cattle that would serve the same purposes, as oxen, camels, &c.

And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
16. your goodliest young men] “Young men” in the Heb. appears to be a copyist’s error, and we should probably adopt the Sept. reading “cattle.” Men-servants and maid-servants, cattle and asses, are then coupled together naturally. Cp. Exodus 20:17.

Verse 16. - He will... put them to his work. Again the hateful forced service, but here not, as in ver. 12, of themselves, but of their households. Instead of your goodliest young men the Septuagint reads, "your best oxen," which requires only the change of one letter, and is in agreement with the rest of the verse. Samuel would scarcely place their choicest young men between the female slaves and the asses. But while the ass was used chiefly for riding, the ox was, as he still continues to be upon the Continent, man's most faithful and valued friend and fellow labourer. 1 Samuel 8:16All their possessions he would also take to himself: the good (i.e., the best) fields, vineyards, and olive-gardens, he would take away, and give to his servants; he would tithe the sowings and vineyards (i.e., the produce which they yielded), and give them to his courtiers and servants. סריס, lit. the eunuch; here it is used in a wider sense for the royal chamberlains. Even their slaves (men-servants and maid-servants) and their beasts of draught and burden he would take and use for his own work, and raise the tithe of the flock. The word בּחוּריכם, between the slaves (men-servants and maid-servants) and the asses, is very striking and altogether unsuitable; and in all probability it is only an ancient copyist's error for בּקריכם, your oxen, as we may see from the lxx rendering, τὰ βουκόλια. The servants and maids, oxen and asses, answer in that case to one another; whilst the young men are included among the sons in 1 Samuel 8:11, 1 Samuel 8:12. In this way the king would make all the people into his servants or slaves. This is the meaning of the second clause of 1 Samuel 8:17; for the whole are evidently summed up in conclusion in the expression, "and ye shall be his servants."
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