1. When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges of Israel.
2. His eldest son was called Joel and his second one, Abijah; they were judges at Beersheba.
3. His sons did not follow his example but, seduced by the love of money, took bribes and gave biased verdicts.
4. The elders of Israel all assembled, went back to Samuel at Ramah, and said,
5. 'Look, you are old, and your sons are not following your example. So give us a king to judge us, like the other nations.'
6. Samuel thought that it was wrong of them to say, 'Let us have a king to judge us,' so he prayed to Yahweh.
7. But Yahweh said to Samuel, 'Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you: it is not you they have rejected
8. but me, not wishing me to reign over them any more. They are now doing to you exactly what they have done to me since the day I brought them out of Egypt until now, deserting me and serving other gods.
9. So, do what they ask; only, you must give them a solemn warning, and must tell them what the king who is to reign over them will do.'
10. Everything that Yahweh had said, Samuel then repeated to the people who were asking him for a king.
11. He said, 'This is what the king who is to reign over you will do. He will take your sons and direct them to his chariotry and cavalry, and they will run in front of his chariot.
12. He will use them as leaders of a thousand and leaders of fifty; he will make them plough his fields and gather in his harvest and make his weapons of war and the gear for his chariots.
13. He will take your daughters as perfumers, cooks and bakers.
14. He will take the best of your fields, your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his officials.
15. He will tithe your crops and vineyards to provide for his courtiers and his officials.
16. He will take the best of your servants, men and women, of your oxen and your donkeys, and make them work for him.
17. He will tithe your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.
18. When that day comes, you will cry aloud because of the king you have chosen for yourselves, but on that day Yahweh will not hear you.'
19. The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel. They said, 'No! We are determined to have a king,
20. so that we can be like the other nations, with our own king to rule us and lead us and fight our battles.'
21. Samuel listened to all that the people had to say and repeated it in Yahweh's ear.
22. Yahweh then said to Samuel, 'Do as they ask and give them a king.' Samuel then said to the Israelites, 'Go home, each of you, to his own town.'