Chapter 8 (1 Samuel 8)

Things went so very well with Israel, in the chapter before, under Samuel?s administration, that, methinks, it is a pity to find him so quickly, as we do in this chapter, old, and going off, and things working towards a revolution. But so it is; Israel?s good days seldom continue long. We have here, I. Samuel decaying, 1 Sam. 8:1. II. His sons degenerating, 1 Sam. 8:2, 3. III. Israel discontented with the present government and anxious to see a change. For 1. They petition Samuel to set a king over them, 1 Sam. 8:4, 5. 2. Samuel brings the matter to God, 1 Sam. 8:6. 3. God directs him what answer to give them, by way of reproof (1 Sam. 8:7, 8), and by way of remonstrance, setting forth the consequences of a change of the government, and how uneasy they would soon be under it, 1 Sam. 8:9-18. 4. They insist upon their petition, 1 Sam. 8:19, 20. 5. Samuel promises them, from God, that they shall shortly be gratified, 1 Sam. 8:21, 22. Thus hard is it for people to know when they are well off.

- Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary