1 Samuel 8
Israel Demands a King
1And it came about when Samuel was old that he appointed his sons as judges over Israel. 2Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judging in Beersheba. 3His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.
4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5and said to him, “Look, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint us a king to judge us [and rule over us] like all the other nations.” 6But their demand displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge and rule over us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being King over them. 8Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have abandoned (rejected) Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9So now listen to their voice; only solemnly warn them and tell them the ways of the king who will reign over them.”
Warning concerning a King
10So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them for himself to his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. 12He will appoint them for himself to be commanders over thousands and over fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his implements of war and equipment for his chariots. 13He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14He will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it 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 use them for his work. 17He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves shall be his servants. 18Then you will cry out on that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you on that day [because you have rejected Him as King].”
19Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20so that we too may be like all the nations [around us], that our king may judge [and govern] us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21Samuel had heard all the words of the people and repeated them to the Lord. 22And the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to their request and appoint a king for them.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go, each man to his own city.”