1 Samuel 8:22

ESV And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”
NIV The LORD answered, 'Listen to them and give them a king.' Then Samuel said to the Israelites, 'Everyone go back to your own town.'
NASB And the Lord said to Samuel, 'Listen to their voice and appoint a king for them.' So Samuel said to the men of Israel, 'Go, every man to his city.'
CSB "Listen to them," the Lord told Samuel. "Appoint a king for them."Then Samuel told the men of Israel, "Each of you, go back to your city."
NLT and the Lord replied, 'Do as they say, and give them a king.' Then Samuel agreed and sent the people home.
KJV And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.

What does 1 Samuel 8:22 mean?

This chapter provides an example of conversation about a difficult subject, between the people of Israel and the Lord. The elders of Israel appropriately bring their request to God's representative. (1 Samuel 8:4–5). This man, Samuel, sees their request for a king as evil. He knows they are not seeking God's will; they are imitating the cultures around them. Yet Samuel properly takes it to the issue to God (1 Samuel 8:6). The Lord tells Samuel to listen to the people and tell them their request is granted. However, they first must hear about all the things human kings take from their people, including children, property, and freedom itself (1 Samuel 8:7–18).

The people listen to the warning but still insist on having a king, giving Samuel clear reasons why (1 Samuel 8:19–20). While those reasons are not bad, themselves, the people are not guiding their decision spiritually. They are looking at the world, not God, for their guidance. Samuel properly reports this to the Lord, who now instructs Samuel to follow the desire of the people and make a king for them.

Samuel returns to the elders gathered in Ramah to present this proposal. Samuel presumably tells them God's verdict and then tells them all to go home. Israel's first king is anointed in the following chapter (1 Samuel 9).

What is the Gospel?
Download the app: