As Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel.
Joel and Abijah, his oldest sons, held court in Beersheba.
But they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice.
Finally, all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel.
“Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.”
Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the LORD for guidance.
“Do everything they say to you,” the LORD replied, “for they are rejecting me, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer.
Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment.
Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.”
So Samuel passed on the LORD ’s warning to the people who were asking him for a king.
“This is how a king will reign over you,” Samuel said. “The king will draft your sons and assign them to his chariots and his charioteers, making them run before his chariots.
Some will be generals and captains in his army, some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, and some will make his weapons and chariot equipment.
The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him.
He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own officials.
He will take a tenth of your grain and your grape harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants.