Israel Asks for a King

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

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

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

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 8:1 Traditionally judges
  2. 1 Samuel 8:5 Traditionally judge; also in verses 6 and 20