World English Bible
Israel Demands a King
1It happened, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. 2Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abijah: they were judges in Beersheba. 3His sons didn't walk in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted justice.
4Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel to Ramah; 5and they said to him, "Behold, you are old, and your sons don't walk in your ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations." 6But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." Samuel prayed to Yahweh. 7Yahweh said to Samuel, "Listen to the voice of the people in all that they tell you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not be king over them. 8According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, in that they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also to you. 9Now therefore listen to their voice: however you shall protest solemnly to them, and shall show them the way of the king who shall reign over them."
Samuel's Warning About Kings
10Samuel told all the words of Yahweh to the people who asked of him a king. 11He said, "This will be the way of the king who shall reign over you: he will take your sons, and appoint them to him, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and they shall run before his chariots; 12and he will appoint them to him for captains of thousands, and captains of fifties; and [he will set some] to plow his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and the instruments of his chariots. 13He will take your daughters to be perfumers, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. 14He will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your olive groves, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 15He will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. 16He will take your male servants, and your female servants, and your best young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17He will take the tenth of your flocks: and you shall be his servants. 18You shall cry out in that day because of your king whom you shall have chosen you; and Yahweh will not answer you in that day."
God Grants the Request
19But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said, "No; but we will have a king over us, 20that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles." 21Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of Yahweh. 22Yahweh said to Samuel, "Listen to their voice, and make them a king." Samuel said to the men of Israel, "Every man go to his city."
The World English Bible is a 1997 revision of the American Standard Version of the Holy Bible, first published in 1901. It is in the Public Domain. Please feel free to copy and distribute it freely. Thank you to Michael Paul Johnson for making this work available. For the latest information, to report corrections, or for other correspondence, visit www.ebible.org.
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