1 Finally Samuel said to all Israel: “Here I have done all that you asked of me, and I appointed a king to reign over you.
2 Now here is the king who is leading you! As for me, I have grown old and gray, and my sons are here with you, and I have led you from my youth until this day.
3 Here I am. Testify against me before Jehovah and before his anointed one: Whose bull or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded or crushed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me look the other way? If I have, I will restore it to you.”
4 To this they said: “You have not defrauded us or crushed us or accepted anything at all from anyone’s hand.”
5 So he said to them: “Jehovah is a witness against you, and his anointed one is a witness this day that you have found nothing to accuse me of.” To this they said: “He is a witness.”
6 So Samuel said to the people: “Jehovah, who used Moses and Aaron and who brought your forefathers up out of the land of Egypt, is a witness.
7 And now take your positions, and I will judge you before Jehovah in view of all the righteous acts that Jehovah has done for you and for your forefathers.
8 “As soon as Jacob had come into Egypt and your forefathers began calling to Jehovah for help, Jehovah sent Moses and Aaron to lead your forefathers out of Egypt and to cause them to dwell in this place.
9 But they forgot Jehovah their God, and he sold them into the hand of Sisʹera the chief of the army of Haʹzor and into the hand of the Philisʹtines and into the hand of the king of Moʹab, and they fought against them.
10 And they called to Jehovah for help and said, ‘We have sinned, for we have left Jehovah to serve the Baʹals and the Ashʹtoreth images; now rescue us out of the hand of our enemies so that we may serve you.’
11 Then Jehovah sent Jerubbaʹal and Beʹdan and Jephʹthah and Samuel and rescued you from the hand of the enemies all around you, so that you could live in security.
12 When you saw that Naʹhash, the king of the Amʹmonites, had come against you, you kept saying to me, ‘No, we are determined to have a king over us!’ even though Jehovah your God is your King.
13 Now here is the king whom you have chosen, the one you asked for. Look! Jehovah has appointed a king over you.
14 If you fear Jehovah and serve him and obey his voice and you do not rebel against the order of Jehovah, and both you and the king who reigns over you follow Jehovah your God, fine.
15 But if you do not obey the voice of Jehovah and you rebel against the order of Jehovah, the hand of Jehovah will be against you and your fathers.
16 Now take your positions and see this great thing that Jehovah is doing before your eyes.
17 Is it not the wheat harvest today? I will call on Jehovah to make it thunder and rain; then know and understand what an evil thing you have done in the eyes of Jehovah in asking for a king for yourselves.”
18 At that Samuel called to Jehovah, and Jehovah made it thunder and rain on that day, so that all the people were greatly in fear of Jehovah and of Samuel.
19 And all the people said to Samuel: “Pray to Jehovah your God for your servants, as we do not want to die, for we have added to all our sins another evil by asking for a king.”
20 So Samuel said to the people: “Do not be afraid. You have indeed done all this evil. Only do not turn away from following Jehovah, and serve Jehovah with all your heart.
21 Do not turn away to follow the empty things, which are of no benefit and cannot rescue, because they are empty.
22 For the sake of his great name, Jehovah will not abandon his people, for Jehovah has taken it upon himself to make you his people.
23 As for me, it is unthinkable for me to sin against Jehovah by ceasing to pray in your behalf, and I will continue to instruct you in the good and right way.
24 Only fear Jehovah, and serve him faithfully with all your heart, for see what great things he has done for you.
25 But if you flagrantly do what is bad, you will be swept away, both you and your king.”