As Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel.
Joel and Abijah, his oldest sons, held court in Beersheba.
But they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice.
Finally, the leaders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel.
"Look," they told him, "you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king like all the other nations have."
Samuel was very upset with their request and went to the LORD for advice.
"Do as they say," the LORD replied, "for it is me they are rejecting, not you. They don't want me to be their king any longer.
Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually forsaken me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment.
Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about how a king will treat them."
So Samuel passed on the LORD's warning to the people.