And they cried unto the Lord
When in the hands of their enemies, and in bondage to them, and cruelly oppressed by them:
and said, we have sinned;
the word for "said" is in the Cetib, or written text, singular, and in the Keri, or marginal reading, plural; and may signify, that everyone of them had a sense of their sin, and made acknowledgment of it; their confession was universal, as their sin was:
because we have forsaken the Lord;
the Word of the Lord, as the Targum:
but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve
they did not ask for a king to go before them, and fight their battles, as they did now, but applied to the Lord for deliverance, promising to serve him as their King and their God.