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The men of Kiriath Jearim [6:21] came and took the Ark of the Lord [4:3] to Abinadab’s house on a hill. There they made Abinadab’s son Eleazar ·holy [consecrated; C set him apart] for the Lord so he could ·guard [have charge of] the Ark of the Lord.

The Lord Saves the Israelites

The Ark stayed at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all. And the people of Israel ·began to follow [lamented; longed for] the Lord again. Samuel spoke to ·the whole group [L all the people/house] of Israel, saying, “If you’re turning back to the Lord with all your hearts, you must ·remove [get rid of; banish] your foreign gods and your idols of Ashtoreth. You must ·give yourselves [commit; direct your hearts] fully to the Lord and serve only him. Then he will ·save [rescue; deliver] you from the Philistines.”

So the Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] ·put away [got rid of; banished] their idols of Baal and Ashtoreth, and they served only the Lord.

Samuel said, “·All Israel must meet [Gather/Assemble all of Israel] at Mizpah [C just north of Jerusalem within the tribe of Benjamin], and I will ·pray to [plead to; intercede with] the Lord for you.” So the Israelites ·met together [gathered; assembled] at Mizpah. They drew water from the ground and poured it out before the Lord [C a ritual not commonly found in the OT] and fasted that day. They confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel ·served as judge of [judged] Israel at Mizpah.

The Philistines heard the Israelites were ·meeting [gathered; assembled] at Mizpah, so the Philistine ·kings [rulers; lords] came up to attack them. When ·the Israelites [sons/T children of Israel] heard they were coming, they were afraid. They said to Samuel, “Don’t stop ·praying [pleading; interceding; crying out] to the Lord our God for us! Ask him to ·save [rescue; deliver] us from the [L hand of the] Philistines!” Then Samuel took a ·baby [suckling] lamb and offered it to the Lord as a whole burnt offering [C an atonement sacrifice; Lev. 1]. He ·called to [pleaded/interceded with; cried out to] the Lord for Israel’s sake, and the Lord ·answered [heard] him.

10 While Samuel was ·burning [sacrificing] the [L burnt] offering, the Philistines came near to attack Israel. But [L on that day] the Lord thundered against them with ·loud thunder [a loud voice]. They were ·so frightened they became confused. So [… thrown into such a panic that] the Israelites ·defeated [routed] the Philistines in battle. 11 The men of Israel ·ran [rushed; L went] out of Mizpah and ·chased [pursued] the Philistines almost to Beth Car [C exact location is unknown], ·killing the Philistines [slaughtering them] along the way.

Peace Comes to Israel

12 After this happened Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen.[a] He named the stone Ebenezer [C “Stone of help”], saying, “The Lord has helped us ·to this point [this far].” 13 So the Philistines were ·defeated [subdued; humbled] and did not enter the Israelites’ ·land [borders] again.

The [L hand of the] Lord was against the Philistines all Samuel’s life. 14 Earlier the Philistines had taken towns from the Israelites, but ·the Israelites won them back [they were restored to Israel], from Ekron [5:10] to Gath [5:8]. They also took back from the [L hand of the] Philistines the ·lands [territory] near these towns. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites.

15 Samuel ·continued as judge of [judged] Israel all [L the days of] his life. 16 Every year he went [L on circuit] from Bethel [C north of Jerusalem, near Ai in the central hill country] to Gilgal [C near Jericho] to Mizpah and judged the Israelites in all these towns. 17 But he always went back to Ramah [1:1], where his home was. There he judged Israel and built an altar to the Lord.


  1. 1 Samuel 7:12 Shen Hebrew copies read “Shen.” Some Greek copies have “Jeshenah.”