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1 Samuel 8 Good News Translation (GNT)

The People Ask for a King

When Samuel grew old, he made his sons judges in Israel. The older son was named Joel and the younger one Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. But they did not follow their father's example; they were interested only in making money, so they accepted bribes and did not decide cases honestly.

Then all the leaders of Israel met together, went to Samuel in Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are getting old and your sons don't follow your example. So then, appoint a king to rule over us, so that we will have a king, as other countries have.” Samuel was displeased with their request for a king; so he prayed to the Lord, and the Lord said, “Listen to everything the people say to you. You are not the one they have rejected; I am the one they have rejected as their king. Ever since I brought them out of Egypt, they have turned away from me and worshiped other gods; and now they are doing to you what they have always done to me. So then, listen to them, but give them strict warnings and explain how their kings will treat them.”

10 Samuel told the people who were asking him for a king everything that the Lord had said to him. 11 “This is how your king will treat you,” Samuel explained. “He will make soldiers of your sons; some of them will serve in his war chariots, others in his cavalry, and others will run before his chariots. 12 He will make some of them officers in charge of a thousand men, and others in charge of fifty men. Your sons will have to plow his fields, harvest his crops, and make his weapons and the equipment for his chariots. 13 Your daughters will have to make perfumes for him and work as his cooks and his bakers. 14 He will take your best fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his officials. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your grapes for his court officers and other officials. 16 He will take your servants and your best cattle[a] and donkeys, and make them work for him. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks. And you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that time comes, you will complain bitterly because of your king, whom you yourselves chose, but the Lord will not listen to your complaints.”

19 The people paid no attention to Samuel, but said, “No! We want a king, 20 so that we will be like other nations, with our own king to rule us and to lead us out to war and to fight our battles.” 21 Samuel listened to everything they said and then went and told it to the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Do what they want and give them a king.” Then Samuel told all the men of Israel to go back home.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 8:16 One ancient translation cattle; Hebrew young men.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

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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