1When Samuel got to be an old man, he set his sons up as judges in Israel.2His firstborn son was named Joel, the name of his second, Abijah. They were assigned duty in Beersheba.3But his sons didn't take after him; they were out for what they could get for themselves, taking bribes, corrupting justice.4Fed up, all the elders of Israel got together and confronted Samuel at Ramah.5They presented their case: "Look, you're an old man, and your sons aren't following in your footsteps. Here's what we want you to do: Appoint a king to rule us, just like everybody else."6When Samuel heard their demand - "Give us a king to rule us!" - he was crushed. How awful! Samuel prayed to God.7God answered Samuel, "Go ahead and do what they're asking. They are not rejecting you. They've rejected me as their King.8From the day I brought them out of Egypt until this very day they've been behaving like this, leaving me for other gods. And now they're doing it to you.9So let them have their own way. But warn them of what they're in for. Tell them the way kings operate, just what they're likely to get from a king."10So Samuel told them, delivered God's warning to the people who were asking him to give them a king.
19But the people wouldn't listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We will have a king to rule us!20Then we'll be just like all the other nations. Our king will rule us and lead us and fight our battles."21Samuel took in what they said and rehearsed it with God.22God told Samuel, "Do what they say. Make them a king." Then Samuel dismissed the men of Israel: "Go home, each of you to your own city."