Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the LORD and his anointed.1 Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey2 have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe3 to make me shut my eyes? If I have done4 any of these, I will make it right."54
"You have not cheated or oppressed us," they replied. "You have not taken anything from anyone's hand."
Samuel said to them, "The LORD is witness6 against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything7 in my hand.8" "He is witness," they said.
Then Samuel said to the people, "It is the LORD who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought9 your forefathers up out of Egypt.
Now then, stand10 here, because I am going to confront11 you with evidence before the LORD as to all the righteous acts12 performed by the LORD for you and your fathers.
"After Jacob13 entered Egypt, they cried14 to the LORD for help, and the LORD sent15 Moses and Aaron, who brought your forefathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place.
"But they forgot16 the LORD their God; so he sold them17 into the hand of Sisera,18 the commander of the army of Hazor,19 and into the hands of the Philistines20 and the king of Moab,21 who fought against them.
They cried22 out to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned; we have forsaken23 the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths.24 But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.'
Then the LORD sent Jerub-Baal,a25 Barak,b26 Jephthah27 and Samuel,c28 and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies on every side, so that you lived securely.
"But when you saw that Nahash29 king30 of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, 'No, we want a king to rule31 over us'--even though the LORD your God was your king.
Now here is the king32 you have chosen, the one you asked33 for; see, the LORD has set a king over you.
If you fear34 the LORD and serve and obey him and do not rebel35 against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God--good!
But if you do not obey the LORD, and if you rebel against36 his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
"Now then, stand still37 and see38 this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!
Is it not wheat harvest39 now? I will call40 upon the LORD to send thunder41 and rain.42 And you will realize what an evil43 thing you did in the eyes of the LORD when you asked for a king."
Then Samuel called upon the LORD,44 and that same day the LORD sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe45 of the LORD and of Samuel.
The people all said to Samuel, "Pray46 to the LORD your God for your servants so that we will not die,47 for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king."
"Do not be afraid," Samuel replied. "You have done all this evil;48 yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.
Do not turn away after useless49 idols.50 They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.
For the sake51 of his great name52 the LORD will not reject53 his people, because the LORD was pleased to make54 you his own.
As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray55 for you. And I will teach56 you the way that is good and right.