1 Samuel 12 International Standard Version (ISV)
12 Then Samuel told all Israel, “Take note! I’ve listened to you, to everything you have told me, and I’ve appointed a king over you. 2 Now here is the king walking before you,[a] while I’m old and gray, and my sons are with you. I’ve walked before you[b] from my youth until this day. 3 Here I am. Testify against me in the Lord’s presence and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken? Who have I cheated? Who have I oppressed? Who bribed me to look the other way?[c] I’ll restore it to you.”
4 They said, “You haven’t cheated us or oppressed us, and you haven’t taken anything from anyone’s hand.”
5 He told them, “Today the Lord is testifying, along with his anointed, that you haven’t found any bribes in my possession.”
They said, “He’s a witness.”
6 Then Samuel told the people, “It is the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron and who brought your ancestors up out of the land of Egypt. 7 Now stand up and I’ll pass judgment on you in light of the Lord’s righteous acts that he did for you and your ancestors. 8 After Jacob went to Egypt, and your ancestors cried out to the Lord, he sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place. 9 But they forgot the Lord their God, so he handed them over to the domination of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor, and into domination by the Philistines and by the king of Moab, and Israel fought against them.
10 “Then they cried out to the Lord: ‘We have sinned because we have forsaken the Lord and have served[d] the Baals[e] and the Ashtaroth.[f] Now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve[g] you.’ 11 Then the Lord sent Jerubbaal,[h] Barak,[i] Jephthah, and Samuel and he delivered you from the hand of your enemies on every side, so that you lived securely. 12 But when you saw that Nahash, king of the Ammonites, was coming to fight you, you told me, ‘No, let a king rule over us instead,’ even though the Lord your God was your king.
13 “Now, here is the king you have chosen, the one whom you asked for. See, the Lord has appointed a king over you. 14 If you fear the Lord, serve him, obey him, and don’t rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then both you and the king who rules over you will truly follow the Lord your God. 15 But if you don’t obey the Lord and rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the Lord will turn against you as he did against your ancestors.[j]
16 “Now then, stand up and see this great thing that the Lord is about to do before your eyes. 17 Is it not the wheat harvest today? I’ll call upon the Lord, and he will send thunder and rain. Then you will know and understand that you have done a great evil in the sight of the Lord by asking for a king for yourselves.” 18 Samuel called upon the Lord that same day, and the Lord sent thunder and rain. So all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
19 Then all the people told Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants, so that we don’t die, because we made all our sins worse by asking for a king for ourselves.”
20 Samuel told all the people, “Don’t be afraid. You have done all this evil. Yet don’t turn aside from following the Lord, but serve[k] the Lord with all your heart. 21 Don’t turn aside after useless things[l] that cannot profit or deliver because they’re useless. 22 Indeed, the Lord won’t abandon His people for the sake of His great name, for the Lord desires to make you a people for himself. 23 Now as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you. I’ll also instruct you in the way that is good and right. 24 Only, fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. Indeed, consider what great things he has done for you. 25 But if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”
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