The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The First Book of Kings
But Samuel protested before the whole assembly of Israel: I have granted all you asked, and given you a king,
who marches, now, at your head. I am an old man, and grey-haired, and you have sons of mine among you, and I am ready to answer for all my behaviour among you ever since my youth.
Tell me, here in the presence of the Lord, and of the king he has anointed, have I robbed any man of ox or ass? Have I wronged anyone, oppressed anyone? Have I allowed anyone to bribe me? I will make restitution, not counting the cost.
Never, they answered; never wert thou guilty of wrong or oppression; never didst thou take anything for thy own.
The Lord is my witness, said he, and the king he has anointed is my witness as you stand before me this day, that you can find no charge to bring against me. The Lord is thy witness, they said.
Then he said to the people, It was the Lord that gave you Moses and Aaron, and rescued your fathers from Egypt;
stand there now, in his presence, while I confront you with all the mercy the Lord has shewn to you and to your fathers,
from the time when Jacob removed to Egypt. When your fathers pleaded with the Lord, he sent Moses and Aaron to rescue them from Egypt, and gave them a home in the place where you stand.
But they forgot the Lord their God, till he put them at the mercy of Sisara, captain of Hazor’s army, and the Philistines, and the king of Moab, who waged war against them;
then they cried out to the Lord, We have sinned! We have forsaken the Lord, enslaved ourselves here to Baal, there to Astaroth! Deliver us now from the power of our enemies, and we will serve thee still.
So the Lord sent Jerobaal, and Badan, and Jepthe, and Samuel, to deliver you from the power of the enemies that surrounded you, and you lived safe in your homes.
Then, when you saw Naas king of the Ammonites levying war on you, nothing would serve but that I should appoint a king to command you; as if the Lord your God were not reigning among you as your king!
Here, then, at your pleasure is the king you asked for, the king you longed for; be content, the Lord has given you a king.
But on this condition, that you are to fear the Lord your God, and worship him, and listen to him, instead of defying his commands; both you and the king who governs you are to follow the guidance of the Lord your God.
If you rebel against him, if you defy his commands, the hand of the Lord will fall heavily on you and your race.✻
In token of it, here where you stand, you shall see the Lord do a wondrous thing before your eyes.
It is harvest-time for the wheat already; but when I call upon the Lord’s name, he will send thunder and rain, to give you visible proof of the great wrong you have done by defying him and asking for a king.
With that, Samuel cried out to the Lord, and the Lord sent down both thunder and rain that day,
till the whole people was smitten with a great fear of the Lord and of Samuel. The whole people cried out with one voice, Pray to the Lord thy God for us thy servants, that our lives may be spared! We had sinned enough already, and now we have done him further wrong, by asking for a king to rule us.
Do not be afraid, Samuel told them; you see how great is the wrong you have done; but now follow close where the Lord leads you, and serve him with all your hearts.
Do not desert him for false gods which will play you false, granting neither aid nor deliverance.
For his own renown, the Lord will not forsake his own people, and his people he has sworn you shall be.
Pray for you? Never may I offend the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and pointing you to the good paths, the right paths.
Fear the Lord, and serve him loyally with all your hearts; you have seen what marvellous deeds he can do in your midst,
and if you cling to wicked ways, you shall be swept away, you and your king.
The Holy Bible