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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 12

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Text Commentary

Samuel's Integrity. 1Samuel addressed all Israel: “I have granted your request in every respect,” he said. “I have set a king over you c 1 Sm 8, 7. 9. 22 . 2and now the king is your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and have sons among you. I have lived with you from my youth to the present day. 3Here I stand! Answer me in the presence of the LORD and of his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose ass have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whom have I accepted a bribe and overlooked his guilt? I will make restitution to you.” d Ex 20, 17; 23, 8; Nm 16, 15; Dt 16, 19; Sir 46, 19 . 4They replied, “You have neither cheated us, nor oppressed us, nor accepted anything from anyone.” 5So he said to them, “The LORD is witness against you this day, and his anointed as well, that you have found nothing in my possession.” “He is witness,” they agreed.

Samuel Upbraids the People. 6Continuing, Samuel said to the people: “The LORD is witness, who appointed Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt. e Mi 6, 4 . 7Now, therefore, take your stand, and I shall arraign you before the LORD, and shall recount for you all the acts of mercy the LORD has done for you and your fathers. 8When Jacob and his sons went to Egypt and the Egyptians oppressed them, your fathers appealed to the LORD, who sent Moses and Aaron to bring them out of Egypt, and he gave them this place to live in. f Gn 46, 5; Ex 1, 11; 2, 23ff . 9But they forgot the LORD their God; and he allowed them to fall into the clutches of Sisera, the captain of the army of Jabin, king of Hazor, into the grasp of the Philistines, and into the grip of the king of Moab, who made war against them. g Jgs 3, 12ff; 4, 2f; 10, 7; 13, 1 . 10Each time they appealed to the LORD and said, ‘We have sinned in forsaking the LORD and worshiping Baals and Ashtaroth; but deliver us now from the power of our enemies, and we will worship you.’ h 1 Sm 7, 3f . 11Accordingly, the LORD sent Jerubbaal, Barak, Jephthah, and Samson; he delivered you from the power of your enemies on every side, so that you were able to live in security. i Jgs 6, 14. 32; 11, 1 . 12Yet, when you saw Nahash, king of the Ammonites, advancing against you, you said to me, ‘Not so, but a king must rule us,’ even though the LORD your God is your king. j 1 Sm 8, 6f. 19; 11, 1f; Jgs 8, 23 .

Warnings for People and King. 13“Now you have the king you want, a king the LORD has given you. k 1 Sm 8, 7 . 14If you fear the LORD and worship him, if you are obedient to him and do not rebel against the LORD's command, if both you and the king who rules you follow the LORD your God—well and good. 15But if you do not obey the LORD and if you rebel against his command, the LORD will deal severely with you and your king, and destroy you. 16Now then, stand ready to witness the great marvel the LORD is about to accomplish before your eyes. 17Are we not in the harvest time for wheat? Yet I shall call to the LORD, and he will send thunder and rain. Thus you will see and understand how greatly the LORD is displeased that you have asked for a king.” l Ex 9, 23. 28ff; 1 Kgs 18, 1 . 18Samuel then called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day.

Assistance Promised. As a result, all the people dreaded the LORD and Samuel. 19They said to Samuel, “Pray to the LORD your God for us, your servants, that we may not die for having added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.” 20“Do not fear,” Samuel answered them. “It is true you have committed all this evil; still, you must not turn from the LORD, but must worship him with your whole heart. 21Do not turn to meaningless idols which can neither profit nor save; they are nothing. m Dt 32, 37ff . 22For the sake of his own great name the LORD will not abandon his people, since the LORD himself chose to make you his people. n Jer 14, 21; Ex 20, 9; Dn 3, 34 . 23As for me, far be it from me to sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you and to teach you the good and right way. o Ex 32, 11 . 24But you must fear the LORD and worship him faithfully with your whole heart; keep in mind the great things he has done among you. 25If instead you continue to do evil, both you and your king shall perish.”

Notes:

c: 1 Sm 8, 7. 9. 22 .

d: Ex 20, 17; 23, 8; Nm 16, 15; Dt 16, 19; Sir 46, 19 .

e: Mi 6, 4 .

f: Gn 46, 5; Ex 1, 11; 2, 23ff .

g: Jgs 3, 12ff; 4, 2f; 10, 7; 13, 1 .

h: 1 Sm 7, 3f .

i: Jgs 6, 14. 32; 11, 1 .

j: 1 Sm 8, 6f. 19; 11, 1f; Jgs 8, 23 .

k: 1 Sm 8, 7 .

l: Ex 9, 23. 28ff; 1 Kgs 18, 1 .

m: Dt 32, 37ff .

n: Jer 14, 21; Ex 20, 9; Dn 3, 34 .

o: Ex 32, 11 .

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