1 Samuel 8 Commentary

Please choose a passage:

1 Samuel 8:1-3

In his old age, Samuel appoints his sons Joel and Abijah as judges, but they judge corruptly and take money to determine outcomes.

1 Samuel 8:4-5

The local leaders of Israel tell Samuel that his sons are dishonest judges, and that they want a king over the entire nation like all other countries.

1 Samuel 8:6-9

Samuel is unhappy that Israel wants a king, so he prays to God for guidance. God assures Samuel that Israel is rejecting Him, not Samuel. He explains that this is how the Israelites have always behaved. God will grant Israel a human king, but first they must be warned of the consequences that will bring.

1 Samuel 8:10-18

Samuel tells Israel the word of God. With a king, the people of Israel will lose their sons to fight his wars, to farm his fields, to make his weapons. Their daughters will become perfumers, cooks, and bakers for the king.

1 Samuel 8:19-22

Despite God’s warnings to the Israelites that a king will oppress them, they refuse to listen, and finalize their request for a human monarch. They wish to be like the other nations who all have kings.