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Chapter Summary: 1 Samuel Chapter 8 Summary

Chapter 8 of first Samuel begins with Samuel’s sons becoming judges in Israel as Samuel aged. The prophet had two bad sons, Joel and Abiah.

Their hearts went after money, so they took bribes and perverted the judgment of God on the people. This made the people unhappy with the governing system and they complained about it to Samuel their seer.

1 Samuel Chapter 8 Summary

The people complained to Samuel in regard to his son’s behavior and then asked for one of the most foolish and disrespectful things this particular nation could ask for. They asked for a king like all the other nations.

The problem with this request is that Israel had an invisible yet all powerful King, the God of Israel (Jah/Yah or Yahweh/Jehovah). The request made Samuel feel bad because he knew what their request meant, but God told Samuel not to worry, they didn’t reject Samuel, they rejected God as their King.

God then commanded Samuel to explain to them all the manner of a “human” king (who is like all the other nation’s kings – this is what they asked for). Samuel told them the king they appoint over them will take their sons and put them in war and work his palace.

1 Samuel Chapter 8 Summary

The king they appoint will take their daughters to work his palace as cooks, bakers, and confectionaries, and he will slightly oppress the people. The king will take their land and give to his own servants, this is what the kings of other nations do.

After hearing all of this, the people still moved forward with their desire for a human king, like all the other nations. God told Samuel, so be it, give them a king. In all of this, God gave them what they wanted.


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