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12 Now Samuel said to all Israel: “Indeed I have 1heeded ayour voice in all that you said to me, and bhave made a king over you. 2 And now here is the king, cwalking before you; dand I am old and grayheaded, and look, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my childhood to this day. 3 Here I am. Witness against me before the Lord and before eHis anointed: fWhose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received any gbribe with which to hblind my eyes? I will restore it to you.”
4 And they said, i“You have not cheated us or oppressed us, nor have you taken anything from any man’s hand.”
And they answered, “He is witness.”
6 Then Samuel said to the people, l“It is the Lord who raised up Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt. 7 Now therefore, stand still, that I may mreason with you before the Lord concerning all the nrighteous acts of the Lord which He did to you and your fathers: 8 oWhen Jacob had gone into 2Egypt, and your fathers pcried out to the Lord, then the Lord qsent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place. 9 And when they rforgot the Lord their God, He sold them into the hand of sSisera, commander of the army of Hazor, into the hand of the tPhilistines, and into the hand of the king of uMoab; and they fought against them. 10 Then they cried out to the Lord, and said, v‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord wand served the Baals and 3Ashtoreths; but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve You.’ 11 And the Lord sent 4Jerubbaal, 5Bedan, xJephthah, and ySamuel, 6and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you dwelt in safety. 12 And when you saw that zNahash king of the Ammonites came against you, ayou said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ when bthe Lord your God was your king.
13 “Now therefore, chere is the king dwhom you have chosen and whom you have desired. And take note, ethe Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you ffear the Lord and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the Lord your God. 15 However, if you do gnot obey the voice of the Lord, but hrebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
16 “Now therefore, istand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes: 17 Is today not the jwheat harvest? kI will call to the Lord, and He will send thunder and lrain, that you may perceive and see that myour wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking a king for yourselves.”
18 So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and nall the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
19 And all the people said to Samuel, o“Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves.”
20 Then Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; pyet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And qdo not turn aside; rfor then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. 22 For sthe Lord will not forsake tHis people, ufor His great name’s sake, because vit has pleased the Lord to make you His people. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord win ceasing to pray for you; but xI will teach you the ygood and the right way. 24 zOnly fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for aconsider what bgreat things He has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, cyou shall be swept away, dboth you and your king.”
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The New King James Version is a total update of the 1611 King James Version, also known as the "Authorized Version." Every attempt has been made to maintain the beauty of the original version while updating the English grammar to contemporary style and usage. The result is much better "readability." It is noteworthy that the NKJV is one of the few modern translations still based on the "Western" or "Byzantine" manuscript tradition. This makes the New King James Version an invaluable aid to comparative English Bible study.
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