Now therefore hearken unto their voice
And appoint them a king as they desire:
howbeit, yet protest solemnly unto them;
not against the thing itself, which was permitted, but against the evil of their request, as to the unseasonable time, ill manner, and unjustifiable reason, in and for which it was made; the Lord would have Samuel lay before them their evil in requesting it, and the evils that would follow upon it to them, and faithfully represent them to them, that they might be left without excuse, and have none to blame but themselves when they, should come upon them:
and show them the manner of the king that shall reign over them:
or the right or judgment F26; not a legal right or form of government, but an assumed, arbitrary, and despotic power, such as the kings of the east exercised over their subjects, a king like whom the Israelites desired to have; namely, what unbounded liberties he would take with them, what slaves he would make of them, and what of their property he would take to himself at pleasure, as is after related. The word signifies, not a divine law, according to which the king should govern, but a custom, or a custom he would introduce, as the word is rendered, ( 1 Samuel 2:13 ) and is different from that in ( 1 Samuel 10:25 ) .