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Now therefore hearken unto their voice : howbeit, yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king,
And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you : he will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen, and some shall run before his chariots.
And he will appoint him captains ever thousands, and captains over fifties, and will set them to ear. his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
And he will take your fields and your vineyards, and your olive-yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
And he will take the tenth of your seeds, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers and to his servants.
And he will take your men-servants, and your maid. servants, and your goolliest young men, and your“ așses, and put them to his work.
He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chasen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
Nevertheless, the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel ; and they said, Nay, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.
And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city,
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS,
As Samuel was so good a man, there is no doubt but he had given his sons a religious education, and that he thought them fit for the employments he appointed them to'; but when they were at a distance from him, they did as young men are too apt to do, when they enter the world and act for themselves, they forgot the admonition of their pious parent, and suffered their minds to be allured from the straight path of duty by the desire of riches and pleasure : it does not appears however, that Samuel's sons. dishonoured God's holy worship as Eli's had done.
The people of Israel had not, at this time, a proper idea of God's peculiar sovereignty over them, that he was to them instead of a king ; and being inclined to war, and having no general, they set themselves to contriving what kind of leader would be best for them, instead of seeking to the Lord for direction.
The elders knew that Samuel was the prophet of the LORD, and that his administration of justice had ever been mild and equitable. The misconduct of his sons Samuel was till then ignorant of, or he would most likely have corrected it ; and if he was old, he had grown 'old in their service ; therefore they were guilty of great ingratitude to him. The venerable man shewed, however, very little concern for the indigaities they offered to himself, but he was distressed at finding they wished to make a change in their affairs, which would be so much to their disadvantage. They did not say,
give give us a king that is good and wise, that will judge us better than thy sons do, but a king like all the nations.
The Israelites, seem, however, to have retained some degree of reverence towards God; for we find that they returned peaceably to their houses, and left the choice of the person to Samuel, who they knew would act as the Lord should direct him ; and there is no doubt but that the prophet determined to proceed in this important: af. fair according to the instructions of Moses, before alluded to, which were as folloi ;
• When thou art come unto the land which the Lord, • thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt
dwell therein, and shalt say, I will' set a king over me,
like as all the nations that are about me; thou shalt • in anywise set him king er the whom the LORD • thy God shall choose ; one from among thy brethren
shalt thou set a king over thee"; thou mayest not set a
stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But • he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor
the people to return to Egypt; to the end that he • should multiply horses; forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no • more that way.
Neither shall he multiply wives to himself that his heart turn not away ; neither • shall he greatly, multiply to hiniself silver and gold. • And it shall be when he sitteth. upon the throne of • his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this • law in a book, out of that which is before the priests
the Levites and it shall be with him, and he shall • read therein all the days of his life ;' that he may • learn to fear the Lord his - God, to keep all the 6 words of this law and these statutes, to do them: 6 that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, 6 and that he turn not aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left ; to the end that he
may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his • children, in the midst of Israel*.'
The kings of the earth were despotic princes, and treated their subjects in the manner Samuel by the Lord's command described, yet the Israelites persisted in desiring to have a king like those who ruled the other nations. How great was their folly and wickedness, when the SUPREME BEING himself condescend. ed to be their King, and to make them perceive that He was in the midst of them, had appointed. a Tabernacle, which might properly be called the Palace of the Divine Presence! The Lord also led the Israelites forth to battle, and subdued their enemies before them; He -settled them in a pleasant and fruitful land, and gave them such laws as would, if properly observed, have infallibly secured the peace of society.. Could there possibly be a more happy government than that in whichthe fountain of all wisdom and power, justice, and goodness, presided ? Their demand of a king therefore, was both insolent and treasonable, as it was throwing off God, and subverting the government which He had established.
But as the Lord had designed that they should at his appointed time have a monarchial form of government, he commanded Saniuel to comply with their request and give them a king
* Deut. xvii. 14.
Now there was man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power.
And he had a son whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly, and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he ; from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.
And the asses of Kish, Saul's father, were lost : And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the abses.
And he passed through mount Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalisha; but they found them not : then they passed through the land of Shalim : and there they were not: and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they found them not.
And when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant that was with him, Come, and let ua return;
my father leave caring for the asses, and take thought for us.
And the servant said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable
all that he saith cometh surely to pass ; now let