New International Version

1 Samuel 8

Israel Asks for a King

1When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders.[a] The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead[b] us, such as all the other nations have.”

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”

Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.”

Notas al pie

  1. 1 Samuel 8:1 Traditionally judges
  2. 1 Samuel 8:5 Traditionally judge; also in verses 6 and 20
  3. 1 Samuel 8:16 Septuagint; Hebrew young men

New International Reader's Version

1 Samuel 8

Israel Asks for a King

1When Samuel became old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. The name of his oldest son was Joel. The name of his second son was Abijah. They served as judges at Beersheba. But his sons didn’t live as he did. They were only interested in making money. They accepted money from people who wanted special favors. They made things that were wrong appear to be right.

So all the elders of Israel gathered together. They came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old. Your sons don’t live as you do. So appoint a king to lead us. We want a king just like the kings all the other nations have.”

Samuel wasn’t pleased when they said, “Give us a king to lead us.” So he prayed to the Lord. The Lord told him, “Listen to everything the people are saying to you. You are not the one they have turned their backs on. I am the one they do not want as their king. They are doing just as they have always done. They have deserted me and served other gods. They have done that from the time I brought them up out of Egypt until this day. Now they are deserting you too. Let them have what they want. But give them a strong warning. Let them know what the king who rules over them will expect to be done for him.”

10 Samuel told the people who were asking him for a king everything the Lord had said. 11 Samuel told them, “Here’s what the king who rules over you will expect to be done for him. He will take your sons. He’ll make them serve with his chariots and horses. They will run in front of his chariots. 12 He’ll choose some of your sons to be commanders of thousands of men. Some will be commanders of fifties. Others will have to plow his fields and gather his crops. Still others will have to make weapons of war and parts for his chariots. 13 He’ll also take your daughters. Some will have to make perfume. Others will be forced to cook and bake. 14 He will take away your best fields and vineyards and olive groves. He’ll give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and a tenth of your grapes. He’ll give it to his officials and attendants. 16 He will also take your male and female servants. He’ll take your best cattle and donkeys. He’ll use all of them any way he wants to. 17 He will take a tenth of your sheep and goats. You yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that time comes, you will cry out for help because of the king you have chosen. But the Lord won’t answer you at that time.”

19 In spite of what Samuel said, the people refused to listen to him. “No!” they said. “We want a king to rule over us. 20 Then we’ll be like all the other nations. We’ll have a king to lead us. He’ll go out at the head of our armies and fight our battles.”

21 Samuel heard everything the people said. He told the Lord about it. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them. Give them a king.”

Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Each of you go back to your own town.”