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1 Samuel 12:13-25 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Warnings for People and King. 13 “Now here is the king you chose. See! The Lord has given you a king. 14 If you fear and serve the Lord, if you listen to the voice of the Lord and do not rebel against the Lord’s command, if both you and the king, who rules over you, follow the Lord your God—well and good. 15 But if you do not listen to the voice of the Lord and if you rebel against the Lord’s command, the hand of the Lord will be against you and your king. 16 Now then, stand ready to witness the great marvel the Lord is about to accomplish before your eyes. 17 Are we not in the harvest time for wheat?[a] Yet I will call upon the Lord, and he will send thunder and rain. Thus you will see and understand how great an evil it is in the eyes of the Lord that you have asked for a king.” 18 Samuel called upon the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day.

Assistance Promised. Then all the people feared the Lord and Samuel. 19 They said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for us, your servants, that we may not die for having added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.” 20 “Do not fear,” Samuel answered them. “You have indeed committed all this evil! Yet do not turn from the Lord, but serve him with your whole heart. 21 Do not turn aside to gods who are nothing,[b] who cannot act and deliver. They are nothing. 22 For the sake of his own great name[c] the Lord will not abandon his people, since the Lord has decided to make you his people. 23 As for me, far be it from me to sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you and to teach you the good and right way. 24 But you must fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart, for you have seen the great things the Lord has done among you. 25 If instead you continue to do evil, both you and your king shall be swept away.”


  1. 12:17 Harvest time for wheat: in May–June. Since this is a period of little or no rainfall in Israel, the people will not mistake the sign for a natural phenomenon.
  2. 12:21 Gods who are nothing: Hebrew tohu, lit., “emptiness,” cf. Gn 1:2 (…webohu); here, idols without power or substance, as in Is 41:29.
  3. 12:22 His own great name: were the Lord to abandon his people, even if they abandon him, he would diminish his stature or reputation in the divine council or among the nations (e.g., Ez 20:9). Throughout the Old Testament the Lord is encouraged to deliver Israel, despite its evil, “for the sake of his name.”
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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