1When Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. 2Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah. They were judges in Beersheba. 3His sons didn’t walk in his ways, but turned away after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.
4Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together and came to Samuel to Ramah. 5They said to him, “Behold, you are old, and your sons don’t walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” Samuel prayed to Yahweh.
7Yahweh said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they tell you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me as the king over them. 8According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, in that they have forsaken me and served other gods, so they also do to you. 9Now therefore, listen to their voice. However, you shall protest solemnly to them, and shall show them the way of the king who will reign over them.”
10Samuel told all Yahweh’s words to the people who asked him for a king. 11He said, “This will be the way of the king who shall reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them as his servants, for his chariots and to be his horsemen; and they will run before his chariots. 12He will appoint them to him for captains of thousands and captains of fifties; and he will assign some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest; and to make his instruments of war and the instruments of his chariots. 13He will take your daughters to be perfumers, to be cooks, and to be bakers. 14He will take your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, even your best, and give them to his servants. 15He will take one tenth of your seed and of your vineyards, and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16He will take your male servants, your female servants, your best young men, and your donkeys, and assign them to his own work. 17He will take one tenth of your flocks; and you will be his servants. 18You will cry out in that day because of your king whom you will have chosen for yourselves; and Yahweh will not answer you in that day.”
19But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, 20that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.”
21Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of Yahweh. 22Yahweh said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice, and make them a king.” Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Everyone go to your own city.”