1 Samuel 12

1 Samuel said to all Israel: »I listened to everything you said to me and established a king over you.

2 »Now you have a king as your leader. I am old and gray and my sons are with you. I walked before you served as your leader from childhood until this day.

3 »Here I am! Testify against me before Jehovah and before his anointed one. Whose bull have I stolen? Whose donkey have I taken? Have I cheated anyone? Have I oppressed any? Have I ever taken a bribe? Tell me and I will make it right.«

4 The people answered: »You have not cheated us or oppressed us. You have not taken anything from anyone.«

5 Samuel replied: »Jehovah and the king he has chosen are witnesses today that you have found me to be completely innocent«. They answered: »That is right, Jehovah is our witness!«

6 Samuel continued: »Jehovah chose Moses and Aaron and brought your ancestors out of Egypt.

7 »Now stand where you are. I will judge you before Jehovah by reminding you of all the mighty actions Jehovah did to save you and your ancestors.

8 »When Jacob and his family went to Egypt the Egyptians oppressed them. Your ancestors cried to Jehovah for help. He sent Moses and Aaron, who brought them out of Egypt and settled them in this land.

9 »But the people forgot Jehovah their God. So he let the Philistines and the king of Moab and Sisera, commander of the army of the city of Hazor, fight against your ancestors and conquer them.

10 »Again they cried to Jehovah for help! They said: ‘We have sinned, because we turned away from you, Jehovah. We worshiped the idols of the Baals and the Ashtoreth Greek: Astarte. Rescue us from our enemies. We will worship you!’«

11 »Jehovah sent Gideon, Barak, Jephthah, and finally me. Each of us rescued you from your enemies. You lived in safety.

12 »But when you saw that King Nahash of Ammon was about to attack you, you rejected Jehovah as your king. You said to me: ‘We want a human king to rule us.’«

13 »Now here is the king you have chosen. You asked for him. Now Jehovah gives him to you.

14 »All will go well with you if you honor Jehovah your God, serve him, listen to him, and obey his commands. If you and your king follow Jehovah all will be well.

15 »But if you do not listen to Jehovah but disobey his commands, he will be against you and your king. He was against your fathers because they disobeyed.

16 »So then, stand where you are, and you will see the great thing that Jehovah will do.

17 »It is the dry season and the wheat harvest. I will pray and Jehovah will send thunder and rain. When this happens, you will realize that you committed a great sin against Jehovah when you asked him for a king.«

18 Samuel prayed. That same day Jehovah sent thunder and rain. Then all the people became afraid of Jehovah and of Samuel.

19 They said to Samuel: »Please pray to Jehovah your God for us, that we will not die. We now realize that we have added to all our sins the evil of asking for a human king.«

20 »Do not be afraid!« Samuel answered. »Even though you have done such an evil thing, do not turn away from Jehovah. Serve him with all your heart.

21 »Do not go after false gods and empty things. They cannot help you or save you. They are useless.

22 »Jehovah made a solemn promise. He will not abandon you. You are his people for his great name’s sake.

23 »As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against Jehovah by no longer praying for you. Instead, I will teach you what is good and right for you to do.

24 »Reverence Jehovah and serve him in truth with all your heart. Remember the great things he has done for you.

25 »If you continue to sin, you and your king will be destroyed.«