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1 And it came to passe, when Samuel was old, that he made his sonnes Iudges ouer Israel.

2 Now the name of his first borne was Ioel, and the name of his second, Abiah: they were Iudges in Beer-sheba.

3 And his sonnes walked not in his wayes, but turned aside after lucre, and tooke bribes, & peruerted iudgement.

4 Then all the Elders of Israel gathered themselues together, and came to Samuel vnto Ramah,

5 And said vnto him, Behold, thou art olde, and thy sonnes walke not in thy wayes: now make vs a King to iudge vs, like all the nations.

6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Giue vs a King to iudge vs: and Samuel prayed vnto the Lord.

7 And the Lord said vnto Samuel, Hearken vnto the voyce of the people in all that they say vnto thee: for they haue not reiected thee, but they haue reiected mee, that I should not reigne ouer them.

8 According to all the works which they haue done since the day that I brought them vp out of Egypt euen vnto this day, wherewith they haue forsaken me, and serued other gods: so doe they also vnto thee.

9 Nowe therefore hearken vnto their voyce: howbeit, yet protest solemnly vnto them, and shew them the maner of the King that shall reigne ouer them.

10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord vnto the people, that asked of him a King.

11 And hee sayd, This will be the maner of the king that shall reigne ouer you: Hee will take your sonnes, and appoint them for himselfe for his charets, and to bee his horsemen, and some shall runne before his charets.

12 And hee will appoint him Captaines ouer thousands, and captaines ouer fifties, and will set them to eare his ground, and to reape his haruest, and to make his instruments of warre, and instruments of his charets.

13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cookes, and to be bakers.

14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliue-yards, euen the best of them, and giue them to his seruants.

15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and giue to his officers, and to his seruants.

16 And hee will take your men seruants, and your mayd seruants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his worke.

17 Hee will take the tenth of your sheepe, and ye shall be his seruants.

18 And ye shall cry out in that day, because of your king which ye shall haue chosen you; and the Lord will not heare you in that day.

19 Neuerthelesse, the people refused to obey the voyce of Samuel; and they said, Nay, but we will haue a King ouer vs:

20 That we also may be like all the nations, and that our King may iudge vs, and goe out before vs, and fight our battels.

21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the eares of the Lord.

22 And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken vnto their voyce, and make them a King. And Samuel said vnto the men of Israel, Goe yee euery man vnto his citie.

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Commentary for 1 Samuel 8

The evil government of Samuel's sons. (1-3) The Israelites ask for a king. (4-9) The manner of a king. (10-22)1-3 It does not appear that Samuel's sons were so profane and vicious as Eli's sons; but they were corrupt judges, they turned aside after lucre. Samuel took no bribes, but his sons did, and then they perverted judgment. What added to the grievance of the people was, that they were threatened by an invasion from Nahash, king of the Ammonites.

4-9 Samuel was displeased; he could patiently bear what reflected on himself, and his own family; but it displeased him when they said, Give us a king to judge us, because that reflected upon God. It drove him to his knees. When any thing disturbs us, it is our interest, as well as our duty, to show our trouble before God. Samuel is to tell them that they shall have a king. Not that God was pleased with their request, but as sometimes he opposes us from loving-kindness, so at other times he gratifies us in wrath; he did so here. God knows how to bring glory to himself, and serves his own wise purposes, even by men's foolish counsels.

10-22 If they would have a king to rule them, as the eastern kings ruled their subjects, they would find the yoke exceedingly heavy. Those that submit to the government of the world and the flesh, are told plainly, what hard masters they are, and what tyranny the dominion of sin is. The law of God and the manner of men widely differ from each other; the former should be our rule in the several relations of life; the latter should be the measure of our expectations from others. These would be their grievances, and, when they complained to God, he would not hear them. When we bring ourselves into distress by our own wrong desires and projects, we justly forfeit the comfort of prayer, and the benefit of Divine aid. The people were obstinate and urgent in their demand. Sudden resolves and hasty desires make work for long and leisurely repentance. Our wisdom is, to be thankful for the advantages, and patient under the disadvantages of the government we may live under; and to pray continually for our rulers, that they may govern us in the fear of God, and that we may live under them in all godliness and honesty. And it is a hopeful symptom when our desires of worldly objects can brook delay; and when we can refer the time and manner of their being granted to God's providence.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for 1 Samuel 8

  • Riki
    There is a great lesson to learn in this passage. The people are not trust God. The Israelite rejected God they are bored of His stuffs they needed different stuffs. Hence, comes a great problem, they are been warned but so adamant to listen to the call. As the Word of God says "those who trust in God are like mountain Zion ..." We should learn to trust and believe in God alone.
  • BSP
    Verse 3: Even though Samuel set a good example as a parent, his sons did not follow his example. Each individual has the free will to decide which course he or she will take.
  • April
    The eal trouble began oit of Egypht,verse8 this ch,father explains that it wasn't just now,they have been coming and foing as they please,crying out when in trouble,and he Hearkend,but here we are now and still they are not satisfied,they so easily said no big deal when told what would happen to them all,and once in this grave peril,they WILL care,wowsers how often are WE like this :-O,be with us.
  • Peter A. Okebukola
    Not allowing God to be their king is the beginning of trouble for the Israelites.
  • Ms.Butler
    The bible say warning comes before destruction and they was warned trying to be like other nations going against what God has already established u pay a price
  • Ira
    Israel was discontent with GOD, so they sought pleasure elsewhere, we are still doing that today we tend to lean more on our own will, instead of GOD 's DEVINE WILL.

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