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.

12 And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.

And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.

Behold, here I am: witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.

And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man's hand.

And he said unto them, The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.

And Samuel said unto the people, It is the Lord that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.

Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord of all the righteous acts of the Lord, which he did to you and to your fathers.

When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place.

And when they forgat the Lord their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.

10 And they cried unto the Lord, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.

11 And the Lord sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.

12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the Lord your God was your king.

13 Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the Lord hath set a king over you.

14 If ye will fear the Lord, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God:

15 But if ye will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you, as it was against your fathers.

16 Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the Lord will do before your eyes.

17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the Lord, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking you a king.

18 So Samuel called unto the Lord; and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.

19 And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the Lord thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.

20 And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart;

21 And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.

22 For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people.

23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:

24 Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.

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