1 Samuel 7-1 Samuel 8

Chapter 7

So the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim came for the ark of the Lord and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, appointing his son Eleazar as guardian of the ark of the Lord.

Samuel the Judge. From the day the ark came to rest in Kiriath-jearim, a long time, twenty years, elapsed, and the whole house of Israel turned to the LordThen Samuel addressed the whole house of Israel: “If you would return to the Lord with your whole heart, remove your foreign gods and your Astartes, fix your hearts on the Lord, and serve him alone, then the Lord will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” So the Israelites removed their Baals and Astartes,[a] and served the Lord alone. Samuel then gave orders, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, that I may pray to the Lord for you.” When they had gathered at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out[b] on the ground before the Lord, and they fasted that day, saying, “We have sinned against the Lord.” It was at Mizpah that Samuel began to judge the Israelites.

Rout of the Philistines. When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered at Mizpah, their leaders went up against Israel. Hearing this, the Israelites became afraid of the Philistines and appealed to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, to save us from the hand of the Philistines.” Samuel therefore took an unweaned lamb and offered it whole as a burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. 10 While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near for battle with Israel. That day, however, the Lord thundered loudly against the Philistines, and threw them into such confusion that they were defeated by Israel. 11 Thereupon the Israelites rushed out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, striking them down even beyond Beth-car. 12 Samuel then took a stone and placed it between Mizpah and Jeshanah; he named it Ebenezer,[c] explaining, “As far as this place the Lord has been our help.” 13 Thus were the Philistines subdued, never again to enter the territory of Israel, for the hand of the Lord was against them as long as Samuel lived. 14 The cities from Ekron to Gath which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to them. Israel also freed the territory of these cities from Philistine domination. There was also peace between Israel and the Amorites.[d]

15 Samuel judged Israel as long as he lived. 16 He made a yearly circuit, passing through Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpah[e] and judging Israel at each of these places. 17 Then he used to return to Ramah, for that was his home. There, too, he judged Israel and built an altar to the Lord.

II. Establishment of the Monarchy

Chapter 8

Request for a King. [a]In his old age Samuel appointed his sons judges over Israel. His firstborn was named Joel, his second son, Abijah; they judged at Beer-sheba. His sons did not follow his example, but looked to their own gain, accepting bribes and perverting justice. Therefore all the elders of Israel assembled and went to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Now that you are old, and your sons do not follow your example, appoint a king over us, like all the nations, to rule us.”

Samuel was displeased when they said, “Give us a king to rule us.” But he prayed to the LordThe Lord said: Listen to whatever the people say. You are not the one they are rejecting. They are rejecting me as their king. They are acting toward you just as they have acted from the day I brought them up from Egypt to this very day, deserting me to serve other gods. Now listen to them; but at the same time, give them a solemn warning and inform them of the rights of the king who will rule them.

The Governance of the King. 10 Samuel delivered the message of the Lord in full to those who were asking him for a king. 11 He told them: “The governance of the king who will rule you will be as follows: He will take your sons and assign them to his chariots and horses, and they will run before his chariot. 12 He will appoint from among them his commanders of thousands and of hundreds. He will make them do his plowing and harvesting and produce his weapons of war and chariotry. 13 He will use your daughters as perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 He will take your best fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15 He will tithe your crops and grape harvests to give to his officials[b] and his servants. 16 He will take your male and female slaves, as well as your best oxen and donkeys, and use them to do his work. 17 He will also tithe your flocks. As for you, you will become his slaves. 18 On that day you will cry out because of the king whom you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you on that day.”

Persistent Demand. 19 The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel’s warning and said, “No! There must be a king over us. 20 We too must be like all the nations, with a king to rule us, lead us in warfare, and fight our battles.” 21 Samuel listened to all the concerns of the people and then repeated them to the Lord22 The Lord said: Listen to them! Appoint a king to rule over them. Then Samuel said to the people of Israel, “Return, each one of you, to your own city.”[c]

2 Kudos


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