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The New International Version

1 Samuel 12:1–25

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Samuel’s Farewell Speech

12 Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listenedm to everything you said to me and have set a kingn over you. Now you have a king as your leader.o As for me, I am old and gray, and my sonsp are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed.q Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkeyr have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribes to make me shut my eyes? If I have donet any of these things, I will make it right.”u

“You have not cheated or oppressed us,” they replied. “You have not taken anything from anyone’s hand.”

Samuel said to them, “The Lord is witnessv against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anythingw in my hand.x

“He is witness,” they said.

Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron and broughty your ancestors up out of Egypt. Now then, standz here, because I am going to confronta you with evidence before the Lord as to all the righteous actsb performed by the Lord for you and your ancestors.

“After Jacobc entered Egypt, they criedd to the Lord for help, and the Lord sente Moses and Aaron, who brought your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.

“But they forgotf the Lord their God; so he sold themg into the hand of Sisera,h the commander of the army of Hazor,i and into the hands of the Philistinesj and the king of Moab,k who fought against them. 10 They criedl out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned; we have forsakenm the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths.n But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.’ 11 Then the Lord sent Jerub-Baal,a o Barak,b p Jephthahq and Samuel,c r and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around you, so that you lived in safety.

12 “But when you saw that Nahashs kingt of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to ruleu over us’—even though the Lord your God was your king. 13 Now here is the kingv you have chosen, the one you askedw for; see, the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you fearx the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebely against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God—good! 15 But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel againstz his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.

16 “Now then, stand stilla and seeb this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes! 17 Is it not wheat harvestc now? I will calld on the Lord to send thundere and rain.f And you will realize what an evilg thing you did in the eyes of the Lord when you asked for a king.”

18 Then Samuel called on the Lord,h and that same day the Lord sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awei of the Lord and of Samuel.

19 The people all said to Samuel, “Prayj to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die,k for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”

20 “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil;l yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 Do not turn away after uselessm idols.n They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. 22 For the sakeo of his great namep the Lord will not rejectq his people, because the Lord was pleased to maker you his own. 23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to prays for you. And I will teacht you the way that is good and right. 24 But be sure to fearu the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart;v considerw what greatx things he has done for you. 25 Yet if you persisty in doing evil, both you and your kingz will perish.”a

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