When Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah. They were judges in Beersheba. His sons didn’t walk in his ways, but turned away after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.
Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together and came to Samuel to Ramah. They said to him, “Behold, you are old, and your sons don’t walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” Samuel prayed to Yahweh. Yahweh said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they tell you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me as the king over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, in that they have forsaken me and served other gods, so they also do to you. Now therefore, listen to their voice. However, you shall protest solemnly to them, and shall show them the way of the king who will reign over them.”
Samuel told all Yahweh’s words to the people who asked him for a king. He said, “This will be the way of the king who shall reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them as his servants, for his chariots and to be his horsemen; and they will run before his chariots. He will appoint them to him for captains of thousands and captains of fifties; and he will assign some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest; and to make his instruments of war and the instruments of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, to be cooks, and to be bakers. He will take your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, even your best, and give them to his servants. He will take one tenth of your seed and of your vineyards, and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants, your female servants, your best young men, and your donkeys, and assign them to his own work. He will take one tenth of your flocks; and you will be his servants. You will cry out in that day because of your king whom you will have chosen for yourselves; and Yahweh will not answer you in that day.”
But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, 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.” Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of Yahweh. Yahweh said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice, and make them a king.” Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Everyone go to your own city.”