1 Samuel 8:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah.

King James Bible
Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,

Darby Bible Translation
Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel to Ramah,

World English Bible
Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel to Ramah;

Young's Literal Translation
And all the elders of Israel gather themselves together, and come in unto Samuel to Ramath,

1 Samuel 8:4 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

His sons walked not in his ways - Their iniquity is pointed out in three words:

1. They turned aside after lucre; the original (בצע batsa) signifies to cut, clip, break off; and therefore Mr. Parkhurst thinks that it means nearly the same with our clipping of coin. It however expresses here the idea of avarice, of getting money by hook or by crook. The Targum says, "They looked after ממון דשקר mamon dishkar, the mammon of unrighteousness;" of which they did not make unto themselves friends but enemies; see the note on Matthew 6:24.

2. They took bribes; שחד shochad, gifts or presents, to blind their eyes.

3. They perverted judgment - they turned judgment aside; they put it out of its regular path; they sold it to the highest bidder: thus the wicked rich man had his cause, and the poor man was oppressed and deprived of his right.

This was the custom in our own country before Magna Charta was obtained; he that would speed in the king's court must bribe all the officers, and fee both the king and queen! I have found in our ancient records the most barefaced and shameful examples of this kind; but it was totally abolished, invito rege, by that provision in the above charter which states, Nulli vendemus, nulli negabimvs ant differemus rectum aut judicium; "To no man will we sell, to no man will we deny or defer, justice and right." It was customary in those inauspicious times, for judgment to be delayed in banco regis, in the king's court, as long as there was any hope that more money would be paid in order to bring it to issue. And there were cases, where the king did not like the party, in which he denied justice and judgment entirely! Magna Charta brought them to book, and brought the subject to his right.

Of those times it might well be said, as Homer did, Iliad xvi., ver. 387.

Οἱ βιῃ αγορη σκολιας κρινωσι θεμιστας,

Εκ δε δικην ελασωσι, θεων οπιν ουκ αλεγοντες.

"When guilty mortals break the eternal laws,

Or judges, bribed, betray the righteous cause."

"When the laws are perverted by force; when justice is expelled from her seat; when judges are swayed from the right, regardless of the vengeance of Heaven." Or, in other words, these were times in which the streams of justice were poisoned in their source, and judges neither feared God nor regarded man.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the elders

Exodus 3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac...

Exodus 24:1 And he said to Moses, Come up to the LORD, you, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel...

2 Samuel 5:3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD...

'Make us a King'
'Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel, onto Ramah, 5. And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. 7. And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Cross References
1 Samuel 7:17
But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also held court for Israel. And he built an altar there to the LORD.

1 Samuel 8:10
Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king.

1 Samuel 11:3
The elders of Jabesh said to him, "Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue us, we will surrender to you."

2 Samuel 3:17
Abner conferred with the elders of Israel and said, "For some time you have wanted to make David your king.

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