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1 Samuel 8 Living Bible (TLB)

In his old age, Samuel retired and appointed his sons as judges in his place. Joel and Abijah, his oldest sons, held court in Beersheba; but they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and were very corrupt in the administration of justice. Finally the leaders of Israel met in Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel. They told him that since his retirement things hadn’t been the same, for his sons were not good men.

“Give us a king like all the other nations have,” they pleaded. Samuel was terribly upset and went to the Lord for advice.

“Do as they say,” the Lord replied, “for I am the one they are rejecting, not you—they don’t want me to be their king any longer. Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually forsaken me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. Do as they ask, but warn them about what it will be like to have a king!”

10 So Samuel told the people what the Lord had said:

11 “If you insist on having a king, he will conscript your sons and make them run before his chariots; 12 some will be made to lead his troops into battle, while others will be slave laborers; they will be forced to plow in the royal fields and harvest his crops without pay, and make his weapons and chariot equipment. 13 He will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him. 14 He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his friends. 15 He will take a tenth of your harvest and distribute it to his favorites. 16 He will demand your slaves and the finest of your youth and will use your animals for his personal gain. 17 He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 You will shed bitter tears because of this king you are demanding, but the Lord will not help you.”

19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning.

“Even so, we still want a king,” they said, 20 “for we want to be like the nations around us. He will govern us and lead us to battle.”

21 So Samuel told the Lord what the people had said, 22 and the Lord replied again, “Then do as they say and give them a king.”

So Samuel agreed and sent the men home again.

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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