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1 Samuel 8 Modern English Version (MEV)

Israel Demands a King

And it came about when Samuel was old, that he installed his sons as judges for Israel. Now the name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second son was Abijah. They were judging in Beersheba. But his sons did not walk in his way, for they followed after unlawful gain, and they took bribes, and they perverted justice.

And all the elders of Israel gathered together and they came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now, install for us a king to govern us like all the nations.”

But the thing was evil in the eyes of Samuel, because they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in relation to all that they say to you. For it is not you they have rejected, but Me they have rejected from reigning over them. Just as all the deeds which they have done to Me, from the day I brought them up from Egypt even to this day, in that they have forsaken Me and have served other gods, so they are doing also to you now. Now then, obey their voice. Only you will testify against them and proclaim to them the judgment concerning the king who will reign over them.”

10 So Samuel said all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking from him a king. 11 And he said, “This will be the judgment concerning the king who will reign over you: Your sons he will take in order to place them for himself in his chariots and as his horsemen, and they will run before his chariot, 12 and in order to assign for himself captains of thousands and captains of fifties, and to plow his ground, and to gather in his harvest, and to make his weapons of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 And your daughters he will take for perfumers, and cooks, and bakers. 14 And your choicest fields, and vineyards, and olive groves he will take and give them to his servants. 15 And of your seed fields and your vineyards he will take a tenth of their harvest and will give it to his high officials and to his servants. 16 And your menservants and your maidservants, and the best of your young men and asses he will take and make do his work. 17 Your flocks he will take a tenth of, but you will be his for slaves. 18 And you will cry out in that day because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But surely a king will be over us! 20 So that we also will be like all the nations! And so that our king will govern us, and will go out before us, and will fight our battles.”

21 And after Samuel heard all the words of the people, he spoke them in the hearing of the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice, and make for them a king.”

So Samuel said to Israel’s fighting men, “Go every man to his city.”

Modern English Version (MEV)

The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

1 Samuel 8 New International Version (NIV)

Israel Asks for a King

When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders.[a] The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead[b] us, such as all the other nations have.”

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.

19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”

Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 8:1 Traditionally judges
  2. 1 Samuel 8:5 Traditionally judge; also in verses 6 and 20
  3. 1 Samuel 8:16 Septuagint; Hebrew young men
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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