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I Samuel 8:1-9

Victor M. Eskew


1.      Outline


i.                    THE SONS OF SAMUEL (I Sam. 8:1-3)

ii.                  THE SOLICITATION OF THE ELDERS (I Sam. 8:4-5)

iii.                THE SUPPLICATION OF SAMUEL (I Sam. 8:6)

iv.                THE SANCTION BY GOD (I Sam. 8:7-9)


2.      When did Samuel make his sons judges over Israel? (I Sam. 8:1)


And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.


A.    When Samuel was old.


B.      In nations, families usually like to keep their power structure in place by appointing the next generation to rule after them.

1.      There is a legacy.

2.      There is consistency.

3.      There is familiarity.


C.     NOTE:  They were not judges in the sense of being deliverers like their father and the 14 who preceded him.  They were officers of the court.  They would hear and rule over matters pertaining to the law.


3.      What were the names of his sons? (I Sam. 8:2)


Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah…


A.    Joel

1.      Joel was the firstborn.

2.      His name means:  “Jehovah is God.”

3.      He was the father of Heman the singer.


B.      Abiah

1.      The second born son of Samuel.

2.      His name means:  “Jehovah is my father” or “worhipper of Jehovah.”


4.      In what city did they reside as judges? (I Sam. 8:2)


…they were judges in Beer-sheba.


A.    Beer-sheba was the southern most city in Israel.


B.      It was located in the territory of Judah.


C.     It may have been recovered from the Philistines after the victory over them (See I Sam. 7:10, 14).


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5.      T – F    Samuel’s sons followed in his righteous ways. (I Sam. 8:3)


And his sons walked not in his ways…


A.    False


B.      This seems to be a common occurrence.  The parents are faithful, but the children stray.  It happens often to church leaders.


6.      What three evils did Samuel’s sons commit? (I Sam. 8:3)


…but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.


A.    Turned aside after lucre

1.      Lucre: 

a.      Strong (1215):  plunder, unjust gain

b.      BDB:  gain, unjust gain, profit acquired by violence

2.      We saw in chapter 2 how Eli’s son’s would take things from the people by force for their benefit (I Sam. 2:16).


B.      Took bribes


C.     Perverted judgment


7.      Who was it that gathered themselves together in order to approach Samuel? (I Sam. 8:4)


And all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel in Ramah.


A.    The elders of Israel


8.      What do we know about these men who are called “elders”? (I Sam. 8:4)


A.    The first reference to elders as leaders is found in Genesis 50:7.


B.      The first reference to the elders of Israel is in Exodus 3:16.


Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them…


C.     By Exodus 24, a team of 70 elders had been selected as the governing body of Israel under the leadership of Moses. In Numbers 11 we read of God’s specific call for this body of leaders to serve with Moses in the wilderness: “Bring me seventy of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you” (verse 16) (https://www.gotquestions.org/Old-Testament-elders.html).


D.    These men were:

1.      Older and experienced men.

2.      Men who were over their family, their clan, and were highly ranked in their tribes.

3.      They were part of the judicial system in their communities. 

4.      We often hear of the elders who were by the gate (Deut. 21:29; Prov. 31:23).  It was there that the elders rendered judgment about various cases that were brought to them (See Ruth 4:1).


9.      What request did they make of Samuel? (I Sam. 8:5)


And said unto him…now make us a king to judge us like all the nations


A.    They desired to have a king to rule over them.


B.      At this time, the nation of Israel was a theocracy.  They were under the rule of a heavenly King, God himself.  This is what they wished to thrust aside for a human king.


C.     God had foreseen this day long before it happened (Deut. 17:14).


When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me.


10.  What three reasons did they give for this request? (I Sam. 8:5)


And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways:  now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.


A.    Samuel was old


B.      His sons did not walk in his ways


C.     They wanted to be like the nations around them.

1.      LESSON:  This seems to be a problem for God’s people throughout the ages.

2.      Romans 12:2


And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.


a.      Our behavior

b.      Our worship

c.       Our dress

d.      Our language

e.       Our attitudes

f.        Our desires and lusts


11.  Samuel was ( pleased     displeased) by this request? (I Sam. 8:6)


But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, give us a king to judge us.


12.  Define:  displeased (I Sam. 8:6)


A.    Strong (5869):  to be broke up, fear, especially in the mental faculties


B.      BDB:  to quiver, tremble


C.     There were several factors involved in Samuel’s displeasure.

1.      He felt rejected.

2.      It was a change requested without the authorization of God.


13.  What did Samuel do after he heard the request for a king? (I Sam. 8:6)


And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.


A.    Samuel prayed.  It would be interesting to know the content of Samuel’s prayer.


B.      This is what all of us need to do when troubling times come our way. 


14.  T – F    God told Samuel to hearken unto the voice of the people. (I Sam. 8:7)


And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee…


A.    True


15.  Who did God say they had rejected? (I Sam. 8:7)


…for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.


A.    God said they have rejected Him.


B.      God reminds Samuel that it was not he who was being rejected.  Instead, the people were rejecting God.


C.     There has been debate as to the actual sin involved in this request.

1.      God knew and foretold of the time when a king would reign over Israel.

2.      The time of the judges was difficult.  Perhaps God would have appointed a king had the nation approached God about the matter, but they did not.

3.      Thus, it was more of a heart problem for the people.  They did not care about what God had to say with regard to this matter.


Calvin:  “They might, indeed, have reminded Samuel of his old age, which rendered him less able to attend to the duties of his office, and also of the avarice of his sons and the corruptness of the judges; or they might have complained that his sons did not walk in his footsteps, and have asked that God would choose suitable men to govern them, and thus have left the whole thing to His will. And if they had done this, there can be no doubt that they would have received a gracious and suitable answer. But they did not think of calling upon God; they demanded that a king should be given them, and brought forward the customs and institutions of other nations” (Keil & Delitzsch, e-sword).


16.  The children of Israel had forsaken God and served other gods for how long? (I Sam. 8:8)


According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.


A.    Since the day that the Lord brought them out of Egypt.


B.      Israel always had a difficult time honoring God and walking in His ways. 

1.      Their rebellion began at Mount Sinai when they built the golden calf (Exo. 32:1-4).

2.      During the period of the judges, their idolatrous ways persisted.

3.      Even when Samuel became a judge, he had to cleanse the nation of idolatry (I Sam. 7:3-4).


17.  “Now therefore hearken unto their voice:  howbeit protest solemnly unto them” (I Sam. 8:9).


A.    Why would God allow the Israelites a request which a clear rejection of His rule?

1.      Could God’s plans have included a king?  It was supposed to be a king of His choosing.

2.      God sometimes grants man his selfish requests in order to teach him a lesson.


18.  Define:  protest (I Sam. 8:9)


A.    Strong (5749):  to duplicate, repeat, protest, testify (as by reiteration)


B.      BDB:  to repeat, to protest, affirm solemnly, warn, exhort or enjoin solemnly, admonish, charge


19.  What was Samuel to show unto the people? (I Sam. 8:9)


…and show them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.


20.  Define:  manner (I Sam. 8:9)


A.    Strong (4941):  style


B.      BDB:  proper, fitting, measure, fitness, custom, manner, plan





I Samuel 8:10-22

Victor M. Eskew


1.      Outline


v.                  I Samuel 8:10-17

vi.                I Samuel 8:18

vii.              I Samuel 8:19-20

viii.            I Samuel 8:21-22


2.      T – F    “And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.”

(I Sam. 8:10).


3.      Who is the first group of people that Samuel tells will be taken by the king? (I Sam. 8:11).



4.      What are the three major positions the sons will be expected to fulfill? (I Sam. 8:11-12).



5.      What positions would they hold in the military? (I Sam. 8:11-12a).












6.      What two statements describe the sons’ becoming farmers? (I Sam. 8:12).






7.      What instruments would they be required to manufacture? (I Sam. 8:12)






8.      What is the second group that would be taken by the king? (I Sam. 8:13).



9.      What three positions would the daughters hold in the kingdom? (I Sam. 8:13)







10.  Samuel warns them that the king would take “the best” of three things and give them to his servants.  What are these three things? (I Sam. 8:14)








11.  What would the king take a tenth of and give to his officers and servants? (I Sam. 8:15)






12.  What four things would be taken and put to work? (I Sam. 8:16)










13.  “He will take a tenth of your ______________________” (I Sam. 8:17)


14.  What would be their position before the king? (I Sam. 8:17)



15.  Define:  servants (I Sam. 8:17)



16.  What would be the people’s reaction to the oppression of the king? (I Sam. 8:18).




17.  How would God respond to their cries? (I Sam. 8:18)



18.  T – F    This warning convinced the people that they did not want a king (I Sam. 8:19)



19.  What three reasons did they give for still desiring a king? (I Sam. 8:20)







20.  What did Samuel do with the reply by the people? (I Sam. 8:21)



21.  “And the Lord said unto Samuel, ________________ unto their voice, and make them a ________________” (I Sam. 8:22).



22.  What did Samuel exhort the men of Israel to do after this meeting? (I Sam. 8:22)