The First Book of Samuel

Chapter 12

Samuel testifies his integrity, 1-5. He reproves the people of ingratitude, 6-15. He terrifies them with thunder in harvest time, 16-19. He comforts them in God's mercy, 20-25.

1 And Samuel said to all Israel, "Behold, I have listened to your voice in all that you said to me and have made a king over you. 2 And now, behold, the king walks before you, but I am old and gray-headed, and behold, my sons are with you. And I have walked before you from my childhood to this day. 3 Behold, here I am. Witness against me before the LORD and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I received any bribe to blind my eyes with it? I will restore it to you." 4 And they said, "You have not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither have you taken anything from any man's hand." 5 And he said to them, "The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand." And they answered, "He is witness."

6 And Samuel said to the people, "It is the LORD who advanced Moses and Aaron and who brought your fathers out of the land of Egypt. 7 Now therefore, stand still so that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD which he did to you and to your fathers. 8 When Jacob had come into Egypt, and your fathers cried to the LORD, the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, who brought forth your fathers from Egypt and made them dwell in this place. 9 And when they forgot the LORD their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, who was captain of the host of Hazor, into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10 And they cried to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned because we have forsaken the LORD and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth. But now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve you.' 11 And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel and delivered you from the hand of your enemies on every side, and you dwelt safely.

12 "And when you saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, you said to me, 'No, but a king shall reign over us,' when the LORD your God was your king. 13 Now therefore, behold the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired! And behold, the LORD has set a king over you. 14 If you will fear the LORD, serve him, obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then both you and also the king who reigns over you shall continue following the LORD your God. 15 But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD shall be against you as it was against your fathers. 16 Now therefore, stand and see this great thing which the LORD will do before your eyes. 17 Is it not wheat-harvest today? I will call to the LORD, and he will send thunder and rain so that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the LORD in asking for yourselves a king." 18 So Samuel called to the LORD. And the LORD sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.

19 And all the people said to Samuel, "Pray for your servants to the LORD your God so that we do not die. For we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king." 20 And Samuel said to the people, "Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside, for then you would go after vain things which cannot profit nor deliver because they are vain. 22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake because it has pleased the LORD to make you his people. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you. But I will teach you the good and the right way. 24 Only fear the LORD and serve him in truth with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you will be consumed—both you and your king."


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Samuel, Chapter 12[➚]


[v.1] - "have made a king over you" - Reference, 1st Samuel 8:5, 9:17, 11:15.

[v.8a] - "When Jacob had come into Egypt" - Reference, Genesis 46:5-6.

[v.8b] - "and your fathers cried to the LORD" - Reference, Exodus 2:23.

[v.8c] - "the LORD sent Moses and Aaron" - Reference, Exodus 3:10, 4:14.

[v.8d] - "brought forth your fathers from Egypt" - Reference, Exodus 12:51.

[v.9a] - "when they forgot the LORD their God" - Reference, Judges 3:7.

[v.9b] - "he sold them into the hand of Sisera" - Reference, Judges 3:12.

[v.10] - Reference, Judges 2:13, 10:10, 15.

[v.11a] - "Jerubbaal" - Also known as, Gideon. Reference, Judges 6:11-18.

[v.11b] - "Bedan" - Not mentioned in the Scriptures, other than here and that he is the son of Ulam (1st Chronicles 7:17).

[v.11c] - "Jephthah" - Reference, Judges 11:29.

[v.11d] - "Samuel" - Reference, 1st Samuel 3:20.

[v.12] - "a king shall reign over us" - Reference, 1st Samuel 8:5, 7.

[v.13] - "the LORD has set a king over you" - Reference, 1st Samuel 9:17, 10:24, 11:15.

[v.15] - Reference, Leviticus, ch. 26; Deuteronomy, ch. 28; Joshua 24:20; Isaiah 1:19-20; Lamentations 1:18-22; Romans 2:1-11.

[v.22] - Reference, Deuteronomy 7:6, 31:6. See also, Psalm 94:14; 1st Peter 2:9.