1 Samuel 12:12

12 “But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to rule over us’—even though the LORD your God was your king.

Read 1 Samuel 12:12 Using Other Translations

And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king.
And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, 'No, but a king shall reign over us,'when the LORD your God was your king.
“But when you were afraid of Nahash, the king of Ammon, you came to me and said that you wanted a king to reign over you, even though the LORD your God was already your king.

What does 1 Samuel 12:12 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Samuel 12:12

And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon
came against you
Or "but yet" F11; however, notwithstanding though the Lord had been so kind and gracious to them, as to raise up judges one after another to deliver them, when they cried unto him, yet when they perceived that Nahash the Ammonite was preparing to make war with them, instead of applying to the Lord for his protection, they desired to have a king to go before them, and fight their battles, as follows: nay,

but a king shall reign over us;
though Samuel told them they had no need of one:

when the Lord your God was your King;
and would protect and defend them, if they applied to him, and would put their trust in him; and he himself Samuel was their judge, and would be their general and commander, and they had experience of success under him to the utter destruction of their enemies, ( 1 Samuel 7:10 ) and yet, notwithstanding all this, they insisted upon it to have a king. According to Abarbinel, this preparation of Nahash to war with them was after they had asked for a king, and was a punishment of them for their request; and yet they repented not of it, but in effect said, though Nahash, and all the enemies in the world come against us, we will not go back from our request, but insist on it, that we have a king to reign over us; such was their obstinacy and perverseness.


FOOTNOTES:

F11 (wartw) "videntes autem", V. L. "sed", Tigurine version; "et tamen", Vatablus, Piscator.
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