Israel Demands a King
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said to him, “Look, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint us a king to judge us [and rule over us] like all the other nations.” 6 But their demand [a]displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge and rule over us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being King over them. 8 Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have abandoned (rejected) Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9 So now listen to their voice; only solemnly warn them and tell them the ways of the king who will reign over them.”
Warning concerning a King
10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them for himself to his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. 12 He will appoint them for himself to be commanders over thousands and over fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his implements of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves shall be his servants. 18 Then you will cry out on that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you on that day [because you have rejected Him as King].”
19 Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20 so that we too may be like all the nations [around us], that our king may judge [and govern] us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 Samuel had heard all the words of the people and repeated them [b]to the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to their [c]request and appoint a king for them.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go, each man to his own city.”
- 1 Samuel 8:6 Lit was evil in the eyes of.
- 1 Samuel 8:21 Lit in the Lord’s hearing.
- 1 Samuel 8:22 Lit voice.