1 Samuel 12 Good News Translation (GNT)
Samuel Addresses the People
12 Then Samuel said to the people of Israel, “I have done what you asked me to do. I have given you a king to rule you, 2 and now you have him to lead you. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are with you. I have been your leader from my youth until now. 3 Here I am. If I have done anything wrong, accuse me now in the presence of the Lord and the king he has chosen. Have I taken anybody's cow or anybody's donkey? Have I cheated or oppressed anyone? Have I accepted a bribe from anyone? If I have done any of these things, I will pay back what I have taken.”
4 The people answered, “No, you have not cheated us or oppressed us; you have not taken anything from anyone.”
5 Samuel replied, “The Lord and the king he has chosen are witnesses today that you have found me to be completely innocent.”
“Yes, the Lord is our witness,” they answered.
6 Samuel continued, “The Lord is the one who chose Moses and Aaron and who brought your ancestors out of Egypt. 7 Now stand where you are, and I will accuse you before the Lord by reminding you[a] of all the mighty actions the Lord did to save you and your ancestors. 8 When Jacob and his family went to Egypt and the Egyptians oppressed them,[b] your ancestors cried to the Lord for help, and he sent Moses and Aaron, who brought them out of Egypt and settled them in this land. 9 But the people forgot the Lord their God, and so he let the Philistines and the king of Moab and Sisera, commander of the army of the city of Hazor, fight against your ancestors and conquer them. 10 Then they cried to the Lord for help and said, ‘We have sinned, because we turned away from you, Lord, and worshiped the idols of Baal and Astarte. Rescue us from our enemies, and we will worship you!’ 11 And the Lord sent Gideon, Barak,[c] Jephthah, and finally me. Each of us rescued you from your enemies, and you lived in safety. 12 But when you saw that King Nahash of Ammon was about to attack you, you rejected the Lord as your king and said to me, ‘We want a king to rule us.’
13 “Now here is the king you chose; you asked for him, and now the Lord has given him to you. 14 All will go well with you if you honor the Lord your God, serve him, listen to him, and obey his commands, and if you and your king follow him. 15 But if you do not listen to the Lord but disobey his commands, he will be against you and your king.[d] 16 So then, stand where you are, and you will see the great thing which the Lord is going to do. 17 It's the dry season, isn't it? But I will pray, and the Lord will send thunder and rain. When this happens, you will realize that you committed a great sin against the Lord when you asked him for a king.”
18 So Samuel prayed, and on that same day the Lord sent thunder and rain. Then all the people became afraid of the Lord and of Samuel, 19 and they said to Samuel, “Please, sir, pray to the Lord your God for us, so that we won't die. We now realize that, besides all our other sins, we have sinned by asking for a king.”
20 “Don't be afraid,” Samuel answered. “Even though you have done such an evil thing, do not turn away from the Lord, but serve him with all your heart. 21 Don't go after[e] false gods; they cannot help you or save you, for they are not real. 22 The Lord has made a solemn promise, and he will not abandon you, for he has decided to make you his own people. 23 As for me, the Lord forbid that I should sin against him by no longer praying for you. Instead, I will teach you what is good and right for you to do. 24 Obey the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. Remember the great things he has done for you. 25 But if you continue to sin, you and your king will be destroyed.”
1 Samuel 12 New International Version (NIV)
Samuel’s Farewell Speech
12 Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you. 2 Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. 3 Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these things, I will make it right.”
4 “You have not cheated or oppressed us,” they replied. “You have not taken anything from anyone’s hand.”
5 Samuel said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.”
“He is witness,” they said.
6 Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your ancestors up out of Egypt. 7 Now then, stand here, because I am going to confront you with evidence before the Lord as to all the righteous acts performed by the Lord for you and your ancestors.
8 “After Jacob entered Egypt, they cried to the Lord for help, and the Lord 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 sold them into the hand of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, who fought against them. 10 They cried out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned; we have forsaken the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths. But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.’ 11 Then the Lord sent Jerub-Baal,[a] Barak,[b] Jephthah and Samuel,[c] and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around you, so that you lived in safety.
12 “But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to rule over us’—even though the Lord your God was your king. 13 Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God—good! 15 But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.
16 “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes! 17 Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call on the Lord to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the Lord when you asked for a king.”
18 Then Samuel called on the Lord, and that same day the Lord sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the Lord and of Samuel.
19 The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”
20 “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. 22 For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. 23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 25 Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.”