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1 Samuel 8:10-22

Context

8:10 So Samuel spoke all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 8:11 He said, “Here are the policies of the king who will rule over you: He will conscript your sons and put them in his chariot forces and in his cavalry; they will run in front of his chariot. 8:12 He will appoint for himself leaders of thousands and leaders of fifties, 1  as well as those who plow his ground, reap his harvest, and make his weapons of war and his chariot equipment. 8:13 He will take your daughters to be ointment makers, cooks, and bakers. 8:14 He will take your best fields and vineyards and give them to his own servants. 8:15 He will demand a tenth of your seed and of the produce of your vineyards and give it to his administrators 2  and his servants. 8:16 He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best cattle and your donkeys, and assign them for his own use. 8:17 He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will be his servants. 8:18 In that day you will cry out because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord won’t answer you in that day.” 3 

8:19 But the people refused to heed Samuel’s warning. 4  Instead they said, “No! There will be a king over us! 8:20 We will be like all the other nations. Our king will judge us and lead us 5  and fight our battles.”

8:21 So Samuel listened to everything the people said and then reported it to the Lord. 6  8:22 The Lord said to Samuel, “Do as they say 7  and install a king over them.” Then Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Each of you go back to his own city.”

1 tc The numbers of v. 12 are confused in the Greek and Syriac versions. For “fifties” the LXX has “hundreds.” The Syriac Peshitta has “heads of thousands and heads of hundreds and heads of fifties and heads of tens,” perhaps reflecting influence from Deut 1:15.

2 tn Or “eunuchs” (so NAB); NIV “officials”; KJV, NASB, NRSV, NLT “officers.”

3 tc The LXX adds “because you have chosen for yourselves a king.”

4 tn Heb “and the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel.”

5 tn Heb “and go out before us.”

6 tn Heb “and Samuel heard all the words of the people and he spoke them into the ears of the Lord.”

7 tn Heb “listen to their voice.”



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