1 Samuel 8:15-17, Samuel’s Prediction Comes True (part II of II)
And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
//Israel wanted a king, but Israel’s prophet, Samuel, warned against it. Yesterday, I showed how the first part of Samuel’s prediction came true: two of King David’s sons proclaimed themselves king, presenting themselves as prideful in exactly the manner Samuel predicted. Chariots, horsemen, and fifty men to run ahead of the chariots. But Samuel’s warning continued further. In today’s verses, Samuel tells how the king will tax and even enslave his people, if they insist on appointing one.
Enter the next son of David: Solomon. His horsemen and chariots would become legendary. So legendary, in fact, that he instituted a policy of forced labor—apparently not just on conquered enemies, but on the kingdom of Israel itself—for his building projects. He constructed a palace, a temple for God, and garrison cities for his chariots.
How did Solomon accumulate this wealth? By heavy taxation, until finally Israel became so bitter that they seceded from the Judah’s rule as soon as Solomon’s death made it possible. The two kingdoms of Israel and Judah would never be unified again. Samuel was right.