What does 1 Samuel 8:9 mean?
ESV: Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”
NIV: Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.'
NASB: Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall warn them strongly and tell them of the practice of the king who will reign over them.'
CSB: Listen to them, but solemnly warn them and tell them about the customary rights of the king who will reign over them."
NLT: Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.'
KJV: Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
NKJV: Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”
Verse Commentary:
The Lord once more tells Samuel to do as the people have requested in giving them a king. He does give Samuel one condition, though: warn them about how a king will rule over them. The words translated as "solemnly warn them" form a legal expression in the original Hebrew. The idea is much like the legal disclaimer included in a contract. The Lord is saying Israel may have a king, but only after they are thoroughly and formally told what having a king will cost them. The price will be high.

Samuel will go into great detail about what the Israelites should expect from a king in the loss of rights and land and money and even children (1 Samuel 8:10–18).
Verse Context:
First Samuel 8:1–9 jumps forward in time, likely several decades, from the events of the previous chapter. Samuel is now old and his sons, also judges, are corrupt. The elders of Israel gather in Ramah to ask Samuel to appoint a king for the nation. Samuel is concerned but takes their proposal to the Lord. The Lord says that the people are rejecting Him as king. Still, the Lord tells Samuel to do as the people say after he gives them fair warning about how a king will treat them.
Chapter Summary:
Samuel is old, and his sons are corrupt. The elders of Israel gather in Ramah to ask Samuel to appoint a king over them. Samuel resists, but the Lord tells the prophet to do as the people have said after warning them about what a king will take from them. The list includes their children, property, fields, crops, and freedom. The Lord will not save them from their king, Samuel warns. The elders insist they still want a king like all the other nations. The Lord agrees and tells Samuel to provide them one.
Chapter Context:
First Samuel 8 jumps forward in time perhaps thirty years from the events of the previous chapter. Samuel is now old and his sons, also judges, are corrupt. The elders of Israel gather to ask Samuel to appoint a king for them. Samuel doesn't like it, but he takes the request to the Lord. The Lord tells Samuel to do it, even though the people are rejecting Him as their king. Samuel warns the elders of all the things a king will take from them to serve himself. The elders still insist, and the Lord grants their request.
Book Summary:
First Samuel introduces the key figures who led Israel after the era of the judges. The books of 1 and 2 Samuel were originally part of a single text, split in certain translations shortly before the birth of Christ. Some of the Bible’s most famous characters are depicted in this book. These including the prophet Samuel, Israel’s first king, Saul, her greatest king, David, and other famous names such as Goliath and Jonathan. By the end of this book, Saul has fallen; the book of 2 Samuel begins with David’s ascension to the throne.
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