Samuel’s Charge to Israel
1Then Samuel said to all Israel, “Look, I have listened to your voice regarding all that you have said to me, so I have set a king over you. 2And so then here is the king walking about before you. Now I am old and gray, but my sons (look at them!) are with you; and I have walked about before you from my youth until this day. 3Here I am! Testify against me before Yahweh and before his anointed one! Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I exploited? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe, that I may shut my eyes regarding#Literally “with” him?–then I will restore it to you.” 4Then they said, “You have not exploited us or oppressed us, and you have not taken anything from the hand of anyone.” 5So he said to them, “Yahweh is witness against you, and his anointed one is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.” Then they said, “He is witness.” 6Then Samuel said to the people, “Yahweh is witness, who appointed Moses and Aaron, and who brought your ancestors#Or “fathers” up from the land of Egypt. 7So then take your stand, so that I may judge you before Yahweh with regard to all the deeds of justice#Or “righteous deeds” of Yahweh that he performed with both you and your ancestors.#Or “fathers”
8“When Jacob came to Egypt, your ancestors#Or “fathers” cried out to Yahweh, so he sent Moses and Aaron, and they brought your ancestors#Or “fathers” out from Egypt and settled them in this place. 9But they forgot Yahweh their God, so he sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the hosts of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10So they cried out to Yahweh and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken Yahweh and have served the Baals#Hebrew plural “Be’alim” (Ba’al was a major Canaanite deity) and the Ashtoreths.#Hebrew plural “Ashtoroth” (Ashtoreth was the female consort of Ba’al) But now deliver us from the hand of our enemies and we will serve you!’ 11So Yahweh sent Jerub-Baal and Bedan#Many English translations follow the LXX here and read “Barak” and Jephthah and Samuel. Then he delivered you from the hand of your enemies all around, and you lived in security.
12“And when you saw that Nahash, the king of the Ammonites,#Literally “sons/children of Ammon” was coming against you, you said to me, ‘No! A king shall reign over us,’ although Yahweh your God is your king. 13So then look! Here is the king you have chosen, for whom you have asked! Look, Yahweh has placed a king over you! 14If you will fear Yahweh, and serve him, and listen to his voice, and not be rebellious against what Yahweh says,#Literally “the mouth of Yahweh” and both you and the king who rules over you will follow after Yahweh your God, all will be well. 15But, if you do not listen to the voice of Yahweh, and you rebel against what Yahweh says,#Literally “the mouth of Yahweh” then the hand of Yahweh will be against you#Here LXX reads “against you and against your king” as it was against your ancestors.#Or “fathers” 16So then take your stand again and see this great thing that Yahweh is going to do before your eyes. 17Is the wheat harvest not today? I will call out to Yahweh so that he still sends thunder and rain, so that you will know and will see that your wickedness is great that you have done in the eyes of Yahweh by asking for a king for yourselves.”
18So Samuel called out to Yahweh, and Yahweh brought thunder and rain that same day, so all the people feared Yahweh and Samuel greatly. 19Then all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to Yahweh your God so that we will not die, because we have added to all our sins by requesting a king for ourselves.” 20And Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear! You have done all this evil; only do not turn aside from following#Literally “after” Yahweh. But you must serve Yahweh with all your heart. 21And do not turn aside after the triviality,#That is, the triviality of lifeless idols. The same Hebrew word, tohu, is used in Genesis 1:2 to describe the pre-created state of the earth. which have no value and cannot deliver, for they are triviality. 22For Yahweh will not forsake his people for the sake of his great name, because Yahweh has decided to make you his own people. 23Also, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin#Literally “from sinning” against Yahweh by ceasing to pray for you! I will instruct you in the good and righteous way. 24Only fear Yahweh and serve him faithfully with all of your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.#Literally “what he made great with you” 25But if you continue to do wickedness, both you and your king will be swept away.”