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Samuel Speaks to Israel

12 Then Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, (A)I have listened to your voice in all that you said to me, and I (B)have [a]appointed a king over you. So now, (C)here is the king walking before you, but (D)I am old and gray, and behold, (E)my sons are with you. And (F)I have walked before you from my youth even to this day. Here I am; bear witness against me before Yahweh and (G)His anointed. (H)Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed, or (I)from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? I will restore it to you.” And they said, “You have not extorted us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man’s hand.” So he said to them, “Yahweh is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day that (J)you have found nothing (K)in my hand.” And they said, “He is witness.”

Then Samuel said to the people, “It is Yahweh who [b](L)appointed Moses and Aaron and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt. So now, take your stand, (M)that I may judge you before Yahweh concerning all the righteous acts of Yahweh which He did for you and your fathers. (N)When Jacob went into Egypt and (O)your fathers cried out to Yahweh, then (P)Yahweh sent Moses and Aaron [c](Q)who brought your fathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place. But (R)they forgot Yahweh their God, so (S)He sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, and (T)into the hand of the Philistines and (U)into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10 (V)And they cried out to Yahweh and said, ‘We have sinned because we have forsaken Yahweh and have served (W)the Baals and the Ashtaroth; but (X)now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve You.’ 11 Then Yahweh sent (Y)Jerubbaal and [d](Z)Bedan and (AA)Jephthah and (AB)Samuel, and He delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around, so that you lived in security. 12 But you saw (AC)that Nahash the king of the sons of Ammon came against you, and you said to me, ‘(AD)No, but a king shall reign over us,’ (AE)although Yahweh your God was your king. 13 So now, (AF)behold, the king whom you have chosen, (AG)whom you have asked for, and behold, Yahweh has set a king over you. 14 (AH)If you will fear Yahweh and serve Him and listen to His voice and not rebel against the [e]command of Yahweh, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow Yahweh your God. 15 (AI)But if you will not listen to the voice of Yahweh, but rebel against the [f]command of Yahweh, then (AJ)the hand of Yahweh will be against you, (AK)as it was against your fathers. 16 Even now, (AL)take your stand and see this great thing which Yahweh will do before your eyes. 17 (AM)Is it not the wheat harvest today? (AN)I will call to Yahweh, that He may send [g]thunder and rain. Then you will know and see that (AO)your wickedness is great which you have done in the eyes of Yahweh by asking for yourselves a king.” 18 So Samuel called to Yahweh, and Yahweh sent [h]thunder and rain that day; and (AP)all the people greatly feared Yahweh and Samuel.

19 Then all the people said to Samuel, “(AQ)Pray for your servants to Yahweh your God, so that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins (AR)this evil by asking for ourselves a king.” 20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet (AS)do not turn aside from following Yahweh, but serve Yahweh with all your heart. 21 And you must not turn aside, for then you would go after (AT)meaningless things which cannot profit and cannot deliver, because they are meaningless. 22 For (AU)Yahweh will not abandon His people (AV)on account of His great name, because Yahweh (AW)has been pleased to make you a people for Himself. 23 Moreover, as for me, (AX)far be it from me that I should sin against Yahweh by ceasing to pray for you; but (AY)I will instruct you in the good and upright way. 24 (AZ)Only [i]fear Yahweh and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for see (BA)what great things He has done for you. 25 (BB)But if you still do wickedly, (BC)both you and your king (BD)will be swept away.”


  1. 1 Samuel 12:1 Lit made
  2. 1 Samuel 12:6 Lit made
  3. 1 Samuel 12:8 Lit and they brought
  4. 1 Samuel 12:11 Gr and Syr Barak
  5. 1 Samuel 12:14 Lit mouth
  6. 1 Samuel 12:15 Lit mouth
  7. 1 Samuel 12:17 Lit sounds
  8. 1 Samuel 12:18 Lit sounds
  9. 1 Samuel 12:24 Or reverence