1 Samuel 8

Please or start a free trial to access this content.

1 Samuel 8

Israel Demands a King

1When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. 2The name of his first-born son was Jo'el, and the name of his second, Abi'jah; they were judges in Beer-sheba. 3Yet his sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice.

4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5and said to him, "Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint for us a king to govern us like all the nations." 6But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to govern us." And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7And the Lord said to Samuel, "Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8According to all the deeds which they have done to me,a from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9Now then, hearken to their voice; only, you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them."

10So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking a king from him. 11He said, "These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; 12and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16He will take your menservants and maidservants, and the best of your cattleb and your asses, and put them to his work. 17He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day."

Israel's Request for a King Granted

19But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said, "No! but we will have a king over us, 20that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles." 21And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. 22And the Lord said to Samuel, "Hearken to their voice, and make them a king." Samuel then said to the men of Israel, "Go every man to his city."