1 And Samuel said unto all Israel: 'Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.
2 And now, behold, the king walketh before you; and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you; and I have walked before you from my youth unto this day.
3 Here I am; witness against me before HaShem, and before His anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? or whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I taken a ransom to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.'
4 And they said: 'Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken aught of any man's hand.'
5 And he said unto them: 'The HaShem is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found aught in my hand.' And they said: 'He is witness.'
6 And Samuel said unto the people: 'It is HaShem that made Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.
7 Now therefore stand still, that I may plead with you before HaShem concerning all the righteous acts of HaShem, which He did to you and to your fathers.
8 When Jacob was come into Egypt, then your fathers cried unto HaShem, and HaShem sent Moses and Aaron, who brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and they were made to dwell in this place.
9 But they forgot HaShem their G-d, and He gave them over into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.
10 And they cried unto HaShem, and said: We have sinned, because we have forsaken HaShem, and have served the Baalim and the Ashtaroth; but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve Thee.
11 And HaShem sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelt in safety.
12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me: Nay, but a king shall reign over us; when HaShem your G-d was your king.
13 Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have asked for; and, behold, HaShem hath set a king over you.
14 If ye will fear HaShem, and serve Him, and hearken unto His voice, and not rebel against the commandment of HaShem, and both ye and also the king that reigneth over you be followers of HaShem your G-d--;
15 but if ye will not hearken unto the voice of HaShem, but rebel against the commandment of HaShem, then shall the hand of HaShem be against you, and against your fathers.
16 Now therefore stand still and see this great thing, which HaShem will do before your eyes.
17 Is it not wheat harvest to-day? I will call unto HaShem, that He may send thunder and rain; and ye shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of HaShem, in asking you a king.'
18 So Samuel called unto HaShem; and HaShem sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared HaShem and Samuel.
19 And all the people said unto Samuel: 'Pray for thy servants unto HaShem thy G-d, that we die not; for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.'
20 And Samuel said unto the people: 'Fear not; ye have indeed done all this evil; yet turn not aside from following HaShem, but serve HaShem with all your heart;
21 and turn ye not aside; for then should ye go after vain things which cannot profit nor deliver, for they are vain.
22 For HaShem will not forsake His people for His great name's sake; because it hath pleased HaShem to make you a people unto Himself.
23 Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against HaShem in ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and the right way.
24 Only fear HaShem, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things He hath done for you.
25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be swept away, both ye and your king.'
Sources: Portions copyright © 1997 by Benyamin Pilant, All Rights Reserved
JPS Electronic Edition Copyright © 1998 by Larry Nelson, All Rights Reserved