The people ask for a king
1 When Samuel grew old, he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 His elder son was Joel and the second was Abijah, and both of them were judges in Beersheba. 3 But they were not like their father; they had their vested interests, taking bribes and perverting justice.
4 Because of this, all the chiefs of Is ra el gathered together and went to Sam uel in Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are already old and your sons are not following your ways. Give us a king to rule over us as in all the other nations.”
6 Samuel was very displeased with what they said, “Give us a king to rule us,” and he prayed to Yah weh. 7 And Yahweh told him, “Give to this people all that they ask for. 8 They are not rejecting you but they have rejected me as their king. They are now doing to you what they did to me from the day I brought them out of Egypt until now, forsaking me and serving other gods. 9 Neverthe less, listen to them, and give them a serious warning. Tell them how they will be treated by their king.”
10 So Samuel answered those who were asking him for a king, 11 and he told them all that Yahweh said to him, “Look, these will be the de mands of your king: he will take your sons and assign them to his chariot and his horses and have them run before his chariot. 12 Some he will assign as commanders over a thousand men and com manders over fifty. Others will till his ground and reap his harvest, make his im ple ments of war and the equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daugh ters as well to prepare perfumes, to cook and to bake for him. 14 He will take the best of your fields, your vineyards and your olive or chards and give them to his officials. 15 He will take a tenth portion of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his offi cers and to his servants. 16 He will take your men servants and maidservants, the best of your cattle and your asses for his own work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks and you yourselves will be come his slaves. 18 When these things happen, you will cry out be cause of the king whom you have chosen for yourselves. But by then, Yahweh will not answer you.”
19 The people paid no attention to all that Samuel said. They insisted, “No! We want a king to govern us as in all the other nations. 20 Our king shall govern us, lead us and go ahead of us in our battles.” 21 Upon hearing all that his people said, Samuel repeated it to Yah weh. 22 But Yahweh said to him, “Listen to them and give them a king.” Sa muel then said to the Israelites, “Go back, all of you, to your own cities.”