Overview

1 Samuel 8 is a pivotal chapter in the history of Israel, as it marks the transition from theocratic rule by judges to a monarchy. This chapter details Israel's request for a king and Samuel's response, highlighting the tensions between divine governance and human political structures. Key aspects include:
Samuel’s Sons and Their Misconduct: The chapter opens with Samuel appointing his sons as judges over Israel. However, his sons do not walk in his ways; they are corrupt, taking bribes and perverting justice.
Israel’s Demand for a King: Displeased with Samuel's sons, the elders of Israel gather and ask Samuel to appoint a king to judge them like all the other nations.
Samuel’s Displeasure and God’s Response: Samuel is displeased with the request for a king and prays to the LORD. God tells Samuel to listen to the people but also to warn them about the ways of a king.
Samuel’s Warning to the People: Samuel conveys God's warning to the people, describing how a king will conscript their sons for his army and chariots, appoint them as commanders, take their daughters as perfumers and cooks, take the best of their fields and vineyards, take a tenth of their grain and vineyards for his officials and servants, take their male and female servants, and take a tenth of their flocks. He warns that the day will come when they will cry out because of the king they have chosen, but the LORD will not answer them.
The People’s Insistence: Despite Samuel's warnings, the people insist on having a king, saying they want to be like other nations, with a king to lead them and fight their battles.
God Instructs Samuel to Appoint a King: Samuel listens to the people and relays their request to the LORD. God instructs Samuel to appoint a king as they have requested.
1 Samuel 8 represents a turning point in Israel’s history, as the people’s desire for a king signifies a rejection of God's direct rule through judges. This chapter raises important questions about the nature of human leadership, the desire for conformity to surrounding nations, and the potential consequences of turning away from God’s intended path. Samuel's warnings serve as a prophetic voice outlining the challenges and burdens that a monarchy would bring.

1 Samuel 8

1  And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.

2  Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba.

3  And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

4  Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,

5  And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy 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 unto the LORD.

7  And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

8  According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.

9  Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

10  And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.

11  And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

12  And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and 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 confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.

14  And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, 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 to his officers, and to his servants.

16  And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.

17  He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

18  And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

19  Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;

20  That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and 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, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.


End of 1 Samuel 8


1 Year Plan:  Apr 25 - 1 Sa 8, 1 Sa 9,  John 14

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