1 Samuel 12

Samuel’s farewell speech

1Samuel said to all Israel, ‘I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you. 2Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and grey, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. 3Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the  Lord and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these things, I will make it right.’

4‘You have not cheated or oppressed us,’ they replied. ‘You have not taken anything from anyone’s hand.’

5Samuel said to them, ‘The  Lord is witness against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.’

‘He is witness,’ they said.

6Then Samuel said to the people, ‘It is the  Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your ancestors up out of Egypt. 7Now then, stand here, because I am going to confront you with evidence before the  Lord as to all the righteous acts performed by the  Lord for you and your ancestors.

8‘After Jacob entered Egypt, they cried to the  Lord for help, and the  Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.

9‘But they forgot the  Lord their God; so he sold them into the hands of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, who fought against them. 10They cried out to the  Lord and said, “We have sinned; we have forsaken the  Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths. But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.” 11Then the  Lord sent Jerub-Baal,
Also called Gideon
Some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac; Hebrew Bedan
Jephthah and Samuel,
Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac Samson
and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around you, so that you lived in safety.

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. 13Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the  Lord has set a king over you. 14If you fear the  Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the  Lord your God – good! 15But if you do not obey the  Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.

16‘Now then, stand still and see this great thing the  Lord is about to do before your eyes! 17Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call on the  Lord to send thunder and rain. And you will realise what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the  Lord when you asked for a king.’

18Then Samuel called on the  Lord, and that same day the  Lord sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the  Lord and of Samuel.

19The people all said to Samuel, ‘Pray to the  Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.’

20‘Do not be afraid,’ Samuel replied. ‘You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the  Lord, but serve the  Lord with all your heart. 21Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. 22For the sake of his great name the  Lord will not reject his people, because the  Lord was pleased to make you his own. 23As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the  Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 24But be sure to fear the  Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 25Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.’

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