Samuel’s Farewell Speech

12 Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listened(A) to everything you said to me and have set a king(B) over you. Now you have a king as your leader.(C) As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons(D) are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed.(E) Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey(F) have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe(G) to make me shut my eyes? If I have done(H) any of these things, I will make it right.”(I)

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

Samuel said to them, “The Lord is witness(J) against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything(K) in my hand.(L)

“He is witness,” they said.

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

“After Jacob(Q) entered Egypt, they cried(R) to the Lord for help, and the Lord sent(S) Moses and Aaron, who brought your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.

“But they forgot(T) the Lord their God; so he sold them(U) into the hand of Sisera,(V) the commander of the army of Hazor,(W) and into the hands of the Philistines(X) and the king of Moab,(Y) who fought against them. 10 They cried(Z) out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned; we have forsaken(AA) the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths.(AB) But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.’ 11 Then the Lord sent Jerub-Baal,[a](AC) Barak,[b](AD) Jephthah(AE) and Samuel,[c](AF) 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(AG) king(AH) of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to rule(AI) over us’—even though the Lord your God was your king. 13 Now here is the king(AJ) you have chosen, the one you asked(AK) for; see, the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you fear(AL) the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel(AM) against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God—good! 15 But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against(AN) his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.

16 “Now then, stand still(AO) and see(AP) this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes! 17 Is it not wheat harvest(AQ) now? I will call(AR) on the Lord to send thunder(AS) and rain.(AT) And you will realize what an evil(AU) thing you did in the eyes of the Lord when you asked for a king.”

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

19 The people all said to Samuel, “Pray(AX) to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die,(AY) 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;(AZ) yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 Do not turn away after useless(BA) idols.(BB) They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. 22 For the sake(BC) of his great name(BD) the Lord will not reject(BE) his people, because the Lord was pleased to make(BF) you his own. 23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray(BG) for you. And I will teach(BH) you the way that is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear(BI) the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart;(BJ) consider(BK) what great(BL) things he has done for you. 25 Yet if you persist(BM) in doing evil, both you and your king(BN) will perish.”(BO)

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 12:11 Also called Gideon
  2. 1 Samuel 12:11 Some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac; Hebrew Bedan
  3. 1 Samuel 12:11 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac Samson
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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