Samuel Addresses Israel

1 Then Samuel said to all Israel, "Behold, 1I have listened to your voice in all that you said to me and I 2have appointed a king over you.
2 "Now, 3here is the king walking before you, but 4I am old and gray, and behold 5my sons are with you. And 6I have walked before you from my youth even to this day.
3 "Here I am; bear witness against me before the LORD and 7His anointed. 8Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed, or 9from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? I will restore it to you."
4 They said, "You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man's hand."
5 He said to them, "The LORD is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day that 10you have found nothing * 11in my hand." And they said, "He is witness."
6 Then Samuel said to the people, "It is the LORD who 12appointed Moses and Aaron and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt.
7 "So now, take your stand, 13that I may plead with you before the LORD concerning all the righteous acts of the LORD which He did for you and your fathers.
8 "14When Jacob went into Egypt and 15your fathers cried out to the LORD, then 16the LORD sent Moses and Aaron 17who brought your fathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place.
9 "But 18they forgot the LORD their God, so 19He sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, and 20into the hand of the Philistines and 21into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.
10 "22They cried out to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned because we have forsaken the LORD and have served 23the Baals and the Ashtaroth; but 24now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve You.'
11 "Then the LORD sent 25Jerubbaal and 26Bedan and 27Jephthah and 28Samuel, and delivered you from the hands of your enemies all * around, so that you lived in security.

The King Confirmed

12 "When you saw 29that Nahash the king of the sons of Ammon came against you, you said to me, '30No, but a king shall reign over us,' 31although the LORD your God was your king.
13 "Now therefore, 32here is the king whom you have chosen, 33whom you have asked for, and behold, the LORD has set a king over you.
14 "34If you will fear the LORD and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the LORD, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God.
15 "35If you will not listen to the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the command of the LORD, then 36the hand of the LORD will be against you, 37as it was against your fathers.
16 "Even now, 38take your stand and see this great thing which the LORD will do before your eyes.
17 "39Is it not the wheat harvest today? 40I will call to the LORD, that He may send thunder and rain. Then you will know and see that 41your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the LORD by asking for yourselves a king."
18 So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and 42all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
19 Then all the people said to Samuel, "43Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, so that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins 44this evil by asking for ourselves a king."
20 Samuel said to the people, "Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet 45do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.
21 "You must not turn aside, for then you would go after 46futile things which can not profit or deliver, because they are futile.
22 "For 47the LORD will not abandon His people 48on account of His great name, because the LORD 49has been pleased * to make you a people for Himself.
23 "Moreover, as for me, 50far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; but 51I will instruct you in the good and right way.
24 "52Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider 53what great things He has done for you.
25 "54But if you still do wickedly, 55both you and your king 56will be swept away."