1 Samuel 8
International Standard Version Par ▾ 

Israel Demands a King

1When Samuel became old, he appointed his sons judges over Israel. 2The name of his firstborn son was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah. They were judges in Beer-sheba. 3His sons did not follow Samuel’s example.a Instead, they pursuedb dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.c

4All the elders of Israel gathered together, and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5They told him, “Look, you’re old, and your sons don’t follow your example.d So appoint a king to govern us like all the othere nations.” 6Samuel was displeasedf when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” So Samuel prayed to the LORD.

7The LORD told Samuel, “Listen to the peopleg in all that they say to you. In fact, it’s not you they have rejected, but rather they have rejected me from being their king. 8Like all the things they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this very day, they have forsaken me and followed other gods. They’re also doing the same thing to you. 9Now, listen to them, but you are to clearly warn them and inform them about how the king who rules over them will operate.”h

10Samuel reported everything the LORD told him to the people who were asking him for a king. 11He said, “This is how the king who rules over you will operate: He will conscript your sons and assign themi to his chariots. He will conscript themj as his horsemen, and they’ll run in front of his chariots. 12He will appoint his officers over thousands and officers over fifties—some will plow his fields,k reap his harvest, and craft his war implements and equipment for his chariots. 13He will take your daughters for perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14He will take the best products of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves and give them to his servants.l 15He will take a tenth of your seed and your vineyards and give it to his officers and servants.m 16He will take your male and female servants, your best young men, and your donkeys to do his work. 17He will take a tenth of your flock, and you will become his servants. 18When all of this comes about, you will cry out because of your king whom you chose for yourselves, but the LORD won’t answer you at that time.”

19The people refused to listen to Samuel.n Instead, they insisted, “No! Let a king rule over us instead! 20We, too, will be like all the nations! Our king will govern us and go out before us to fight our battles.”

21So Samuel listened to all the words of the people, and he repeated them directly too the LORD. 22The LORD told Samuel, “Listen to them, and appoint a king for them.”

Then Samuel told the men of Israel, “Each of you go to his own town.”

a 8:3 Lit. not walk in his ways
b 8:3 Lit. turned after
c 8:3 Lit. caused justice to be turned aside
d 8:5 Lit. not walk in his ways
e 8:5 The Heb. lacks other
f 8:6 Lit. the thing was bad in the eyes of
g 8:7 Lit. the voice of the people
h 8:9 Lit. the practice of the king
i 8:11 Lit. them for himself
j 8:11 The Heb. lacks conscripting them
k 8:12 Lit. and to plow his plowing
l 8:14 Or officials
m 8:15 Or officials
n 8:19 Lit. to the voice of Samuel
o 8:21 Lit. them in the ears of

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
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