1 Samuel 12
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Samuel’s Farewell Address

1Then Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listened to your voice in all that you have said to me, and I have set over you a king. 2Now here is the king walking before you, and I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day.

3Here I am. Bear witness against me before the LORD and before His anointed: Whose ox or donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated or oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe and closed my eyes? Tell me,a and I will restore it to you.”

4“You have not wronged us or oppressed us,” they replied, “nor have you taken anything from the hand of man.”

5Samuel said to them, “The LORD is a witness against you, and His anointed is a witness today, that you have not found anything in my hand.”

“He is a witness,” they replied.

6Then Samuel said to the people, “The LORD is the One whob appointed Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. 7Now present yourselves, so that I may confront you before the LORD with all the righteous acts He has done for you and your fathers.

8When Jacob went to Egypt,c your fathers cried out to the LORD, and He sent them Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place. 9But they forgot the LORD their God, and He sold them into the hand of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor,d and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, who fought against them.

10Then they cried out to the LORD and said, ‘We have sinned, for we have forsaken the LORD and served the Baals and Ashtoreths. Now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, that we may serve You.’

11So the LORD sent Jerubbaal,e Barak,f Jephthah, and Samuel,g and He delivered you from the hands of your enemies on every side, and you lived securely. 12But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we must have a king to rule over us’—even though the LORD your God was your king.

13Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you requested. Behold, the LORD has placed a king over you.

14If you fear the LORD and serve Him and obey His voice, and if you do not rebel against the command of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God, then all will be well.h 15But if you disobey the LORD and rebel against His command, then the hand of the LORD will be against you as it was against your fathers.i

16Now, therefore, stand and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes. 17Is it not the wheat harvest today? I will call on the LORD to send thunder and rain, so that you will know and see what a great evil you have committed in the sight of the LORD by asking for a king.”

18So Samuel called to the LORD, and on that day the LORD sent thunder and rain.

As a result, all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel. 19They pleaded with Samuel, “Pray to the LORD your God for your servants so that we will not die! For we have added to all our sins the evil of asking for a king.”

20“Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “Even though you have committed all this evil, do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 21Do not turn aside after worthless things that cannot profit you or deliver you, for they are empty. 22Indeed, for the sake of His great name the LORD will not abandon His people, because He was pleased to make you His own.

23As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you. And I will continue to teach you the good and right way.

24Above all, fear the LORD and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you. 25But if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”



Footnotes:

3 a Hebrew does not include Tell me; LXX Testify against me.
6 b Hebrew; LXX The Lord is the witness who
8 c Hebrew; LXX adds and the Egyptians oppressed them
9 d LXX the army of Jabin king of Hazor
11 e Jerubbaal is another name for Gideon and probably means let Baal contend; see Judges 6:32.
11 f LXX and Syriac; Hebrew Bedan
11 g LXX and Syriac Samson
14 h Then all will be well is implied, but not included in the Hebrew.
15 i Hebrew; LXX against your king


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1 Samuel 11
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