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The First Book of Samuel

also called the First Book of the Kings


Chapters 1-7 | 8-13 | 14-17 | 18-24 | 25-end | Next Book


The 8th Chapter

      When Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his eldest son was Joel, and the name of the second Abiath, which were judges in Bersabe. Nevertheless his sons followed not his steps: but turned aside after *lucre and took rewards, and perverted the right. Then all the elders of Israel gathered them together and came to Samuel unto Kamath and said unto him: behold, thou art old and thy sons follow not thy ways. Now therefore make us a king to judge us, as all other nations have. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Samuel, hear the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee. For they have not cast thee away, but me: that I should not reign over them. And as they have ever done (since I brought them out of Egypt unto this day, and have forsaken me and served other Gods) even so do they unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet, testify unto them and show them the duty of the king that shall reign over them. And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked a king of him, and he said: this shall be the *duty of the king that shall reign over you: he will take your sons and put them to his chariots and make his horsemen of them and they must run before his chariot, and will make him captains of them over thousands and over fifties, and set them to ear his ground, and to gather in his harvest, and to make instruments of war and apparel for his chariots. And he will take your daughters and make them the dressers of his ointments, and his cooks and bakers. And he shall take the best of your fields, and of your vineyards and of your olive trees, and give them to his servants. And he shall take the tenth of your seed and of your vines, and give it to his lords, and to his servants. And he shall take the best of your menservants and maidservants and young men, and of your asses, and do his work with them. And he shall take the tenth of your sheep, and ye shall be his servants. And when ye cry out at that time upon your king which ye shall have chosen you, the Lord will not hear you at that day.
      Nevertheless the people would not hear the voice of Samuel, but did say: nay not so: But there shall be a king over us, and we will be like all other nations. And our king shall judge us, and go out before us and fight our battles. And Samuel heard all the words of the people and rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel: hearken unto their voice and make them a king. Then said Samuel unto the men of Israel: go every man to his city.


*lucre: unearned profit, shameful gain. *duty: as in burden, tax, what he will require.




The 9th Chapter

      Now there was a man of Benjamin named Cis the son of Abiel, the son of Zeroz. the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a man that was a Jeminite, a man of might: the same had a son called Saul, a goodly young man, so that among the children of Israel, there was none goodlier than he, and was thereto from the shoulders upward higher than all the other people. And it chanced that the Asses of this Cis Sauls father were lost. Then said Cis to Saul his son: Take one of the lads with thee and up and go seek the Asses. And they went through mount Ephraim and through the land of Salisa, and found them not. Then they went through the land of Salim, and there they were not. Then they went also through the land of Jemini, and they found them not. Then when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to the young man that was with him: come let us return, lest my father leave caring for the Asses, and take thought for us. And he answered him: behold there is in this city a worshipful man of God, and all that he saith, cometh to pass. Now then let us go thither: peradventure he shall show us what way we may go. Then said Saul to his lad: if we go what shall we bring the man? For our bread is all spent out of our hampers and there is none other present to bring the man of God, what have we? And the young man answered Saul again and said: I have found about me the fourth part of a Sickle, that will we give the man of God to tell us our way.
      Before time in Israel when a man went to seek an answer of God, thus wise he spake, come and let us go to the Sear. For he that is now called a prophet, was in the old time called a Sear. Then said Saul to his young man: well said of thee: come let us go. And so they went unto the city where the man of God was. And as they were going up into the city, they met with damsels that came out to draw water, and said unto them: is there here a sear? And the maidens answered them, yee: behold, he goeth before you. Make haste now, for he came this day to the city, for the people must offer this day in the hill. When ye be come into the city, so shall you find him, before he go up to the hill to eat: for the people will not eat until he come, because he must bless the offering. And then eat they that be bidden to the feast. Now therefore get you up for even now shall ye find him. And they went up into the city. And when they were come into the midst of the city: behold, Samuel came out against them, for to go up to the hill. But the Lord had told Samuel a day before Saul came, saying: tomorrow this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, him shalt thou anoint to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines, for I have looked upon my people and their cry is come unto me. When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord answered him: see, this is the man whom I spake to thee of. This same shall reign over my people.
      Then went Saul to Samuel in the middle of the gate, and said: tell me I pray thee, where about the sears house is, and Samuel answered Saul and said: I am the sear, go up before me unto the hill, for ye shall eat with me to day. And tomorrow I will let thee go early, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart, and as for thine asses that were lost this day three days, care not for them, for they are found. And moreover whose shall the beautiful things of Israel be? belong they not unto thee, and unto all thy fathers house? But Saul answered and said: am not I the son of a Jeminite of the smallest tribe of Israel, and my kindred the least of all the kindreds of the tribe of Benjamin, wherefore then speakest thou so to me?
      And Samuel took Saul and his lad and brought them into the parlor and made them sit in the chiefest place among them that were bidden: which were upon a thirty persons. Then said Samuel unto the cook: bring forth the portion which I gave thee, and of which I said keep it with thee. And the cook took up the shoulder and brought it, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said: behold, that which is left: put it before thee and eat, for I kept it for thee of purpose, when I called the people. And so Saul did eat with Samuel that day. And when they were come down from the hill unto the city, Samuel communed with Saul upon the top of the house: and they arose early. And about the spring of the day Samuel called Saul upon the top of the house saying: up that I may send thee away. And Saul arose. And they went out at the doors both of them, both he and Samuel. And when they were come almost out of the town, Samuel said to Saul: bid the lad go before us, and he went, but stand thou still awhile even now, that I may show thee what God sayeth.




The 10th Chapter

      And then Samuel took a box of oil and poured it upon his head and kissed him and said: the Lord hath anointed thee to be a captain over his inheritance. And now when thou art departed from me, thou shalt meet two men by Rahels sepulcher in the borders of Benjamin even at Zalezah. And they will say unto thee, the asses which thou wentest to seek, are found see, thy father hath left the care of the Asses and sorroweth for you saying: what shall I do for my son? Then thou shalt go forth from thence and shalt come to the oak of Thabor. And there shalt thou meet three men going to God to Bethel: one carrying three kids: and another carrying three leaves of bread: and the third carrying a bottle of wine. And they will salute thee and give thee two leaves of bread: which thou shalt receive of their hands. After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where the Philistines keep their watch. And when thou art come thither to the city thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the hill, with a psalter, a timbrel, a pipe, and a harp before them, and they prophesying. And the spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. And when these signs are chanced thee, then do what thou hast to do, for God is with thee. And thou shalt also go before me to Galgal. And behold I will come unto thee to sacrifice burnt sacrifice and peace offerings. Tarry for me seven days till I come to thee and show thee what thou shalt do. And as soon as he had turned his shoulder to go from Samuel, God gave him another manner of heart, and all those tokens came to pass that same day. When they came to the hill: behold the company of prophets met him, and the spirit of God came upon him, and the prophesied among them. And all that knew him before, when they saw that he prophesied among the prophets, they said each to other: what is happened unto the son of Cis? Is Saul also among the prophets? And one of the same place answered and said: who is their father? And thereof sprang a proverb: what is Saul also among the prophets? And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the hill. Sauls fathers brother said unto him and his lad: whither went ye? And he answered: to seek the asses, and when we saw that they were nowhere, we went to Samuel. Then said Sauls uncle: tell me what Samuel said unto you? And Saul answered his uncle: he told us that the asses were found. But of the kingdom whereof Samuel spake told he him not. After that Samuel called the people together unto the Lord to Mazphah and said unto the children of Israel: thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought you out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hands of all kingdoms that oppressed you. And ye have this day cast away your God that help you out of all your adversities and tribulations. And ye have said unto him, make a king over us. Now therefore stand before the Lord by your tribes and your thousands. And when Samuel had brought all the tribes of Israel the tribe of Benjamin was caught. When he had brought the tribe of Benjamin by their kindreds, the kindred of Metri was caught: and Saul the son of Cis was caught. And they sought him: but he could not be found. Then they asked the Lord further: whither the man should come thither. And the Lord answered: behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff. And they ran and fetched him thence. And when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from the shoulders upward. And Samuel said to all the people: there see ye whom the Lord hath chosen and how there is none like him among all the company. And all the people shouted and said: God send the king life.
      Then Samuel told the people the duty of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord, and so sent all the people away, every man to his house. And Saul also went home to Gabaah. And there went with him an host, such as God hath touched their hearts. But the children of unthriftiness said: how shall he save us? and despised him and brought him not presents. And he made as though he had not heard it.




The 11th Chapter

      Then Nahas the Ammonite came and beseiged Jabes in Galaad. And all the people of Jabes said unto Nahas: make a covenant with us and we will be thy servants. And Nahas the Ammonite said: hereto will I make a covenant with you, even to thrust out all your right eyes, that I may bring that shame upon all Israel. Then said the elders of Jabes: give us seven days respite that we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel. And then if there come no man to help us, we will come out to thee. Then came the messengers to Gabaah where Saul dwelt, and told this tidings in the ears of the people. And all the people lifted up their voices and wept. And behold Saul came following his oxen out of the field, and asked what ailed the people to weep. And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabes. Then came the spirit of God upon Saul, when he heard those tidings, and he was exceeding angry. And took a yoke of oxen and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers saying: whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall his oxen be served. Then the fear of the Lord fell upon the people, and they came out as it had been but one man. And when they were numbered in Bezek the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Juda thirty thousand. And they said unto the messengers that came, so say unto the men of Jabes in Galaad: tomorrow by that time the *son be hot, ye shall have help. And the messengers came and showed the men of Jabes, and they were glad. And then the men of Jabes said: tomorrow we will come out unto you, that ye may do with us all that pleaseth you. And on the morrow Saul put the people in three parts. And they came in upon the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites, until the heat of the day. And they that remained, scattered: so that two of them were not left together. Then said the people to Samuel: what are they that said: shall Saul reign over us? bring them that we may slay them. But Saul said: there shall no man die this day, for today the Lord hath saved Israel.
      Then said Samuel unto the people: come and let us go to Galgal, and renew the kingdom there. And the people went to Galgal and made Saul King there, before the Lord in Galgal. And there they offered peace offerings before the Lord. And there Saul and all the people rejoiced exceedingly.


*son: sonne, this is exactly the way it appears, else where in the text is sun found as sunne.




The 12th Chapter

      Then said Samuel unto all Israel: behold I have obeyed your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made you a King. And see your king walketh before you. But I am old and gray headed: and behold my sons are with you and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold here I am: answer me before the Lord and before his anointed, whose ox have I taken, or whose Ass have I taken? whom have I done wrong to? or whom have I *pilled? And of whose hand have I received any bribe, to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you again. And they said thou hast done us no wrong, nor *pilled us, neither hast thou taken ought of any mans hand. Then said he to them: the Lord is witness unto you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have found nought in my hands. And they answered: we are witnesses. Then said Samuel unto the people it is the Lord that made Moses and Aaron, and which brought your fathers out of Egypt. Now therefore stand still, and let me reason with you before the Lord, of all the righteousnesses of the Lord which he showed both you and your fathers.
      After that Jacob was come into Egypt, your fathers cried unto the Lord, and the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, which brought your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place. Neverthelater they forgot the Lord their God. And he sold them into the hand of Sisara chief captain of Jabin king of Nazor, and into the hands of the philistines and into the hands of the King of Moab, which fought against them. Then they cried unto the Lord and said: we have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord and have served Baalim and Astharoth. But now deliver us out of the hands of our enemies and we will serve thee. And the Lord sent Jerobaal, Badan, Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hands of your enemies on every side, so that ye dwelled without fear. And for all that when you saw that Nahas the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me: not so, a king shall reign over us, when yet the Lord your God was your King. Now therefore behold the King, whom ye have chosen and whom ye have desired: see, the Lord hath given you a King, Oh that ye would fear the Lord and serve him and hear his voice and not disobey the mouth of the Lord: and that both ye and the King that reigneth over you would follow the Lord your God. For if ye shall not hearken unto the voice of the Lord, but shall disobey the Lords mouth: then shall the hand of the Lord be upon you and on your fathers. Now also stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes: is it not now wheat harvest. And yet for all that, I will call unto the Lord, and he shall send thunder and rain. Wherefore perceive and understand: how that your wickedness is great which ye have done in the sight of the Lord in asking you a King. And when Samuel called unto the Lord, the Lord sent thunder and rain the same day. And all the people feared the Lord and Samuel exceedingly. Then said all the people unto Samuel: pray for thy servants unto the Lord thy God, that we die not: for we have sinned in asking us a king, beside all the sins that ever we did.
      Then said Samuel unto the people: fear not. And though ye have done all this wickedness yet depart not from the Lord in any case. But serve him with all your hearts. Neither turn ye after vain things which cannot deliver you, for they are but vanities. But the Lord will not forsake his people, because of his great names sake: because the Lord hath begun to make you his people. Moreover God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in leaving praying for you and to show you the good and right way. Only fear you the Lord and serve him truly with all your hearts: for he hath done great things for you. But and if ye shall do wickedly: then shall both ye and your King thereto perish.


* pilled is to charge an excessive price for something, pilliage ie "whatever the market will bare"




The 13th Chapter

      Saul was as a child of a year old, when he began to reign. And when he had reigned two years over Israel, he chose him three thousand men out of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in Machmas and mount Bethel, and a thousand with Jonathas in Gabaah Benjamin. And the rest of the people he sent, every man to his own house. And Jonathas slew the Philistines in an hold they had in Gabaah, and it came to the Philistines ears. And Saul caused the trumpet to be blown throughout all the land saying: let the Hebrews hear. And all Israel heard say, how that Saul had destroyed an hold of the Philistines, and how that Israel stank unto the Philistines. And all the people cried after Saul to Galgal.
      Then the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and Six thousand horsemen with other people like the sand by the seas side in multitude and came up and pitched in Michmas eastward from Bethaven. And when the men of Israel saw themselves in a strait, and that the people were *acumbered, they hid themselves in caves, in privy holes, in rocks, dens and pits. And the Hebrews went over Jordan unto the land of Gad and Galaad. But Saul was yet in Galgal, and all the people that followed him were astounded. And he tarried seven days, as Samuel had appointed. But Samuel came not to Galgal, and the people scattered from him. Wherefore Saul said: bring burnt sacrifice to me and peace offerings. And he offered burnt sacrifice. And as soon as he had made an end of offering burnt offerings behold, Samuel came. And Saul went against him, to Salute him. Then said Samuel to Saul: what hast thou done? And Saul said, because I saw that the people scattered from me, and yet thou camest not within the days appointed and that the phlistines gathered themselves together to Machmas: then said I, the Philistines shall come down upon me to Galgal, before I have made supplication unto the Lord. And therefore I took a courage with me and offered burnt offerings. Then said Samuel to Saul: thou hast done foolishly and hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God which he commanded thee. For at this time would the lord have stablished thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue. The Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and hath commanded him to be a captain over his people: because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee. And Samuel arose and gat him from Galgal to Gabaah Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people that were found with him, about a six hundred men. And Saul and Jonathas his son and the people that were found with them, had their abiding in Gabaah Benjamin. But the Philistines had pitched in Machmas. And there came out of the host of the Philistines three companies, to destroy: one company turned unto the way that leadeth to Ephrah unto the land of Sual. And another company turned the way to Bethoron. And the third company turned to the way of the coast that turneth to the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness. But there was no smith throughout the land of Israel. For the Philistines thought that then the Hebrews might make them swords or spears. And therefore must all Israel go down to the Philistines, to mend every man his share, his mattock, his axe or his sickle: as oft as the edges of the sickles, mattocks, dung forks, and axes were blunt, and also to mend their goods. And so in time of battle there was neither sword nor spear found in the hands of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathas: save for Saul and Jonathas his son was there somewhat found. And the Garrison of the Philistines came out and stood on the other side before Machmas.


*acumbered, (encumbered or "in"cumbered RN)


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