Clarke's Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 8:1 Verse 1. When Samuel was old] Supposed to be about sixty.
He made his sons judges] He appointed them as his lieutenants to superintend certain affairs in Beer-sheba, which he could not conveniently attend to himself. But they were never judges in the proper sense of the word; Samuel was the last judge in Israel, and he judged it to the day of his death. See chap. vii. 16.
John Gill's Bible Commentary Ver. 1. And it came to pass, when Samuel was old , etc.] The common notion of the Jews is, that he lived but fifty two years f148 ; when a man is not usually called an old man, unless the infirmities of old age came upon him sooner than they commonly do, through his indefatigable labours from his childhood, and the cares and burdens of government he had long bore; though some think he was about sixty years of age; and Abarbinel is of opinion that he was more than seventy. It is a rule with the Jews f149 , that a man is called an old man at sixty, and a grey headed man at seventy: that he made his sons judges over Israel ; under himself, not being able through old age to go the circuits he used; he sent them, and appointed them to hear and try causes in his stead, or settled them in some particular places in the land, and, as it seems by what follows, at Beersheba; though whether that was under his direction, or was their own choice, is not certain.
Matthew Henry Commentary Verses 1-3 - It does not appear that Samuel's sons were so profane and vicious a Eli's sons; but they were corrupt judges, they turned aside afte lucre. Samuel took no bribes, but his sons did, and then they perverte judgment. What added to the grievance of the people was, that they wer threatened by an invasion from Nahash, king of the Ammonites.
Original Hebrew ויהי 1961 כאשׁר 834 זקן 2204 שׁמואל 8050 וישׂם 7760 את 853 בניו 1121 שׁפטים 8199 לישׂראל׃ 3478