Samuel said to all Israel, "I have listened1 to everything you said to me and have set a king2 over you.
Now you have a king as your leader.3 As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons4 are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day.
Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the LORD and his anointed.5 Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey6 have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe7 to make me shut my eyes? If I have done8 any of these things, I will make it right."94
"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 witness10 against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything11 in my hand.12" "We agree," they said.
Then Samuel said to the people, "It is the LORD who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought13 your ancestors up out of Egypt.
Now then, stand14 here, because I am going to confront15 you with evidence before the LORD as to all the righteous acts16 performed by the LORD for you and your ancestors.
"After Jacob17 entered Egypt, they cried18 to the LORD for help, and the LORD sent19 Moses and Aaron, who brought your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.
"But they forgot20 the LORD their God; so he sold them21 into the hand of Sisera,22 the commander of the army of Hazor,23 and into the hands of the Philistines24 and the king of Moab,25 who fought against them.
They cried26 out to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned; we have forsaken27 the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths.28 But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.'
Then the LORD sent Jerub-Baal,a29 Barak,b30 Jephthah31 and Samuel,c32 and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around you, so that you lived in safety.
"But when you saw that Nahash33 king34 of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, 'No, we want a king to rule35 over us'--even though the LORD your God was your king.
Now here is the king36 you have chosen, the one you asked37 for; see, the LORD has set a king over you.
If you fear38 the LORD and serve and obey him and do not rebel39 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 against40 his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.
"Now then, stand still41 and see42 this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!
Is it not wheat harvest43 now? I will call44 on the LORD to send thunder45 and rain.46 And you will realize what an evil47 thing you did in the eyes of the LORD when you asked for a king."
Then Samuel called on the LORD,48 and that same day the LORD sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe49 of the LORD and of Samuel.
The people all said to Samuel, "Pray50 to the LORD your God for your servants so that we will not die,51 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;52 yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.
Do not turn away after useless53 idols.54 They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.
For the sake55 of his great name56 the LORD will not reject57 his people, because the LORD was pleased to make58 you his own.
As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray59 for you. And I will teach60 you the way that is good and right.
But be sure to fear61 the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart;62 consider63 what great64 things he has done for you.
Yet if you persist65 in doing evil, both you and your king66 will perish."67