And the Lord said unto Samuel
He appeared to him in a vision or dream, and by an articulate voice delivered to him what follows:
hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee;
not as approving of what they said, but permitting and allowing what they asked, as a punishment of them for their disloyalty and ingratitude, and as resenting their ill behaviour to him; for it was in anger he assented to their request, ( Hosea 13:11 )
for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me that I
should not reign over them;
most interpreters supply the word "only", as if the sense was, that they had not only rejected Samuel from judging them, but the Lord also from reigning over them; and which is spoken to comfort Samuel, and to alleviate the pressure on his mind for the ill treatment he had met with; for since they had served the Lord after this manner, it was no wonder he should be ill used, and might bear it with great patience: but I see no reason why the word may not be taken absolutely, that they had not rejected Samuel from all share in the government, at least from judging the people; for so he continued all the days of his life, even after they had a king over them; but they entirely rejected the sole and peculiar government of God over them.