12:1 And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have a hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.
(a) I have granted your petition. 12:2 And now, behold, the king walketh b before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons [are] with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.
(b) To govern you in peace and war. 12:3 Behold, here I [am]: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: c whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received [any] bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.
(c) God would have this confession be a pattern for all who have any charge or office. 12:5 And he said unto them, The LORD [is] witness against you, and his d anointed [is] witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, [He is] witness.
(d) Your King, who is anointed by the commandment of the Lord. 12:9 And when they forgat the LORD their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, e captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.
(e) Captain of Jabins host, king of Hazor. 12:11 And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, f and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.
(f) That is Samson, ( Judges 13:25 ). 12:12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, g Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God [was] your king.
(g) Leaving God to seek the help of man, ( 1 Samuel 8:5 ). 12:14 If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue h following the LORD your God:
(h) You shall be preserved as they that follow the Lords will. 12:15 But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as [it was] against your i fathers.
(i) Meaning, the governors. 12:17 [Is it] not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness [is] k great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.
(k) In that you have forsaken him, who has all power in his hand, for a mortal man. 12:19 And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto l all our sins [this] evil, to ask us a king.
(l) Not only at other times, but now chiefly. 12:20 And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: m yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;
(m) He shows that there is no sin so great, but it shall be forgiven, if the sinner turn again to God. 12:22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great names sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you n his people.
(n) Of his free mercy, and not of your merits, and therefore he will not forsake you. 12:24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your o heart: for consider how great [things] he hath done for you.
(o) Unfeignedly, and without hypocrisy.