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So the men of Kiryat-Ye‘arim came and brought back the ark of Adonai. They took it to the home of Avinadav on the hill and appointed his son El‘azar to guard the ark of Adonai. From the day that the ark arrived in Kiryat-Ye‘arim a long time elapsed, twenty years; and all the people of Isra’el yearned for Adonai.

Sh’mu’el addressed all the people of Isra’el; he said: “If you are returning to Adonai with all your heart, then be done with the foreign gods and ‘ashtarot that you have with you, and direct your hearts to Adonai. If you will serve only him, he will rescue you from the power of the P’lishtim.” So the people of Isra’el banished the ba‘alim and the ‘ashtarot and served only Adonai.

Sh’mu’el said, “Gather all Isra’el to Mitzpah, and I will pray for you to Adonai.” So they gathered together at Mitzpah, drew water and poured it out before Adonai, fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against Adonai.” Sh’mu’el began serving as judge over the people of Isra’el at Mitzpah.

When the P’lishtim heard that the people of Isra’el had gathered together at Mitzpah, the leaders of the P’lishtim marched up against Isra’el; and when the people of Isra’el heard about this, they were afraid of the P’lishtim. The people of Isra’el said to Sh’mu’el, “Don’t stop crying out to Adonai our God for us, to save us from the power of the P’lishtim.” Sh’mu’el took a baby lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to Adonai. Then Sh’mu’el cried to Adonai for Isra’el, and Adonai answered him. 10 As Sh’mu’el was presenting the burnt offering, the P’lishtim advanced to attack Isra’el. But this time, Adonai thundered violently over the P’lishtim, throwing them into such confusion that they were struck down before Isra’el. 11 The men of Isra’el went out from Mitzpah, pursuing the P’lishtim and attacking them all the way to Beit-Kar.

12 Sh’mu’el took a stone, placed it between Mitzpah and Shen, and gave it the name Even-‘Ezer [stone of help], explaining, “Adonai has helped us until now.” 13 Thus the P’lishtim were humbled, so that they no longer entered Isra’el’s territory; and the hand of Adonai was against the P’lishtim as long as Sh’mu’el lived. 14 The cities between ‘Ekron and Gat which the P’lishtim had captured from Isra’el were restored to Isra’el, and Isra’el rescued all this territory from the power of the P’lishtim. There was also peace between Isra’el and the Emori.

15 Sh’mu’el continued in office as judge of Isra’el as long as he lived. 16 Year by year he would travel in a circuit that included Beit-El, Gilgal and Mitzpah; and in all these places he served as judge over Isra’el. 17 Then he would return to Ramah, because that’s where his home was, and he would judge Isra’el there too. He also built an altar there to Adonai.

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