Shmuel 1-Chapter 12: Shmuel resigns from his position as judge and gives parting messages

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Chapter 12: Shmuel resigns from his position as judge and gives parting messages

1. Shmuel resigns:

  • Shmuel spoke to the entire Jewish people and told them “I have heard your requests and everything that you said to me and have now crowned for you a king. Now, behold the King is walking in front of you and I have gotten old and my sons are with you, and I have walked with you from my younger days until today.”

2. Shmuel asks the nation if he has ever cheated them:

  • Now answer me opposite G-d and opposite his chosen one, whose ox have a taken, and whose donkey have I taken, and who have I cheated and scanned. from whom have I taken bribery and swerved the judgment due to it? Let me know and I will respond.
  • The nation answered that no, you have not cheated us, and you have not scammed us, and you have taken anything from any man.
  • Shmuel then replied to them “Let G-d testify before you and let his anointed one testify before that you have found nothing in my hands.”

3. Shmuel reviews the history of G-d saving the Jewish people:

  • Shmuel then said to the nation: G-d which has appointed Moshe and Aaron and took your forefathers out of Egypt. Now stand up and I will judge you before G-d all the righteous things that G-d has done for you and for your ancestors.
  • When Yaakov arrived from Egypt, your forefathers shouted to G-d, and God sent Moshe and Aaron to take your ancestors out from Egypt, and they settled them in this place. They forgot their G-d and [in retribution] He thus sold them to Sisra the general of Chatzor and to the Philistines, and the king of Moab, and they fought against you.
  • They shouted to G-d and they said that we have sinned, as we have left G-d and served the Baalim and Ashtoros, and now please save us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve You. So G-d sent Yerubal Ben Bidan and Yiftach and Shmuel and they saved you from your enemies that surrounded you, and you were able to settle securely.
  • You saw that Nachash the king of Amon came upon you [in battle] and you told me that you want a king to rule over you, [when in truth] G-d is your king. Now, the king that you have chosen and asked for, Hashem has placed over you as king.

4. Shmuel warns the nation to follow G-d:

  • If you are careful to fear G-d and serve Him and heed his voice and not rebel against Him, then both you and the king will live long years. However, if you are not careful to heed his voice and rebel against him, then G-d will fight against you.

5. Shmuel makes an open miracle for the people and makes it rain and thunder:

  • Shmuel continued and stated: Now, stand and look this great miracle that G-d will do before your eyes. Do you not see that today is the time of the harvest of wheat [i.e. summer in which the rain is damaging to the crop, and thereby G-d does not normally make it rain then[1]]? I will cry to G-d and He will send thunder and rain. This shall be a sign for you that you did a great sin in the eyes of G-d in asking for a king for yourselves [as I, Shmuel, could have remained your leader and led you in war[2]].
  • So Shmuel called on to G-d and He sent thunder and rain on that day. The entire nation feared G-d and Shmuel very much. The entire nation said to Shmuel that he should pray to G-d on their behalf in order so they do not die, as they have truly regretted their sinful request to have a king.

6. Shmuel continues to encourage the nation to follow the ways of G-d:

  • Shmuel replied to the nation that they should not worry despite the fact that they have indeed committed all this evil, as so long as they do not swerve away from G-d and serve him with all their heart [they will be safe]. Do not swerve after the nonsense [i.e. Tohu] which will not assist you at all, as they are nothingness. G-d will not leave His nation, as He has made you into His nation. I too will not sin by stopping to pray on your behalf, and will continue to direct you. You shall fear G-d and serve Him with truth with all your heart, as He has done much kindness for you. However, if you and your king do evil, then you and your king will perish.


[1] Rashi 12:17

[2] Rashi 12:15

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