The First Book of Samuel

Chapter 8

By occasion of the ill government of Samuel's sons, the Israelites ask for a king, 1-5. Samuel, praying in grief, is comforted by God, 6-9. He describes the manner of a king, 10-18. God tells Samuel to yield to the importunity of the people, 19-22.

1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 Now the name of his first-born was Joel and the name of his second was Abiah. They were judges in Beer-sheba. 3 And his sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, took bribes, and perverted judgment.

4 Then all the elders of Israel assembled and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5 And said to him, "Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations." 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." And Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you. For they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me so that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them out of Egypt even to this day, by which they have forsaken me and served other gods, so they also do to you. 9 Now therefore, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly testify to them and show them the manner of the king who will reign over them."

10 And Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who asked of him a king. 11 And he said, "This will be the manner of the king who shall reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for himself and for his chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint for himself captains over thousands and captains over fifties and will set them to till his ground, to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war and instruments of his chariots. 13 And he will take your daughters to be confectioners, to be cooks, and to be bakers. 14 And he will take your fields, your vineyards, and your olive-groves, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 15 And he will take the tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 And he will take your men-servants, your women-servants, your most choice young men, and your donkeys and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. 18 And you shall cry out in that day because of your king which you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day."

19 Nevertheless, the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, "No, but we will have a king over us, 20 So that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us, go out before us, and fight our battles." 21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD. 22 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Listen to their voice and make them a king." And Samuel said to the men of Israel, "Every man go to his city."


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Samuel, Chapter 8[➚]


[v.5] - "make us a king to judge us like all the nations" - This was said by the Lord to come to pass at the mouth of Moses. Reference, Deuteronomy 17:14-15.