Samuel warns his people that if they desire a King they will inevitably have conscription, requisitioning of their property, and taxation (7th century BC)

Old Testament (Various Authors)

The prophet Samuel tells the people of Israel what lies in store for them if they have their wish granted that a King rule over them:

  1. And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.
  2. And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
  3. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
  4. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
  5. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
  6. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
  7. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
  8. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

The prophet warns the Israelite people to be careful of what they wish for. If they truly want a king to rule over them, then they are also wishing for whatever comes with rulership by a monarch: conscription of their sons, confiscation of their crops and vineyards, the requisitioning of the labor of their daughters, and a level of taxation which will rise to the appalling level of ten percent of what they own.