1 Samuel 12
Samuel’s Farewell Address
1 Then Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listened to your voice in all that you have said to me, and I have set over you a king. 2 Now here is the king walking before you, and I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day.
3 Here I am. Bear witness against me before the LORD and before His anointed: Whose ox or donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated or oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe and closed my eyes? Tell me, and I will restore it a to you.”
4 “You have not wronged us or oppressed us,” they replied, “nor have you taken anything from the hand of man.”
5 Samuel said to them, “The LORD is a witness against you, and His anointed is a witness today, that you have not found anything in my hand.”
“He is a witness,” they replied.
6 Then Samuel said to the people, “The LORD is the One who b appointed Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. 7 Now present yourselves, so that I may confront you before the LORD with all the righteous acts He has done for you and your fathers.
8 When Jacob went to Egypt, c your fathers cried out to the LORD, and He sent them Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place. 9 But they forgot the LORD their God, and He sold them into the hand of Sisera the commander of the army of Hazor, d and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, who fought against them.
10 Then they cried out to the LORD and said, ‘We have sinned, for we have forsaken the LORD and served the Baals and Ashtoreths. Now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, that we may serve You.’
11 So the LORD sent Jerubbaal, e Barak, f Jephthah, and Samuel, g and He delivered you from the hands of your enemies on every side, and you dwelt securely. 12 But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we must have a king to rule over us’—even though the LORD your God was your king.
13 Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you requested. Behold, the LORD has placed a king over you.
14 If you fear the LORD and serve Him and obey His voice, and if you do not rebel against the command of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God, then all will be well. h 15 But if you disobey the LORD and rebel against His command, then the hand of the LORD will be against you as it was against your fathers. i
16 Now, therefore, stand and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes. 17 Is it not the wheat harvest today? I will call on the LORD to send thunder and rain, so that you will know and see what a great evil you have committed in the sight of the LORD by asking for a king.”
18 So Samuel called to the LORD, and on that day the LORD sent thunder and rain.
As a result, all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel. 19 They pleaded with Samuel, “Pray to the LORD your God for your servants so that we will not die! For we have added to all our sins the evil of asking for a king.”
20 “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “Even though you have committed all this evil, do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 21 Do not turn aside after worthless things that cannot profit you or deliver you, for they are empty. 22 Indeed, for the sake of His great name, the LORD will not abandon His people, because He was pleased to make you His own.
23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you. And I will continue to teach you the good and right way.
24 Above all, fear the LORD and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you. 25 But if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”
3 a Hebrew And I will restore it ; LXX Testify against me, and I will restore it
6 b Hebrew; LXX The LORD is the witness who
8 c Hebrew; LXX includes and the Egyptians oppressed them
9 d LXX the army of Jabin king of Hazor
11 e Jerubbaal is another name for Gideon and probably means let Baal contend ; see Judges 6:32.
11 f LXX and Syriac; Hebrew Bedan
11 g LXX and Syriac Samson
14 h then all will be well is implied;Literally If you fear the LORD and serve Him and obey His voice, and if you do not rebel against the command of the LORD, (then) both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God.
15 i Hebrew; LXX against your king