It was a long time, twenty years in all, that the ark remained at Kiriath Jearim,3 and all the people of Israel mourned and sought after the LORD.43
And Samuel said to the whole house of Israel, "If you are returning5 to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid6 yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths7 and commit8 yourselves to the LORD and serve him only,9 and he will deliver10 you out of the hand of the Philistines."
So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only.
Then Samuel11 said, "Assemble all Israel at Mizpah12 and I will intercede13 with the LORD for you."
When they had assembled at Mizpah,14 they drew water and poured15 it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, "We have sinned against the LORD." And Samuel was leadera16 of Israel at Mizpah.
When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. And when the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid17 because of the Philistines.