And Samuel said to the whole house of Israel, "If you are returning1 to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid2 yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths3 and commit4 yourselves to the LORD and serve him only,5 and he will deliver6 you out of the hand of the Philistines."
So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only.
Then Samuel7 said, "Assemble all Israel at Mizpah8 and I will intercede9 with the LORD for you."
When they had assembled at Mizpah,10 they drew water and poured11 it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, "We have sinned against the LORD." And Samuel was leadera12 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 afraid13 because of the Philistines.
They said to Samuel, "Do not stop crying14 out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines."
Then Samuel15 took a suckling lamb and offered it up as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. He cried out to the LORD on Israel's behalf, and the LORD answered him.1610
While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the LORD thundered17 with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic18 that they were routed before the Israelites.
The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Car.
Then Samuel took a stone19 and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer,b20 saying, "Thus far has the LORD helped us."
So the Philistines were subdued21 and did not invade Israelite territory again. Throughout Samuel's lifetime, the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines.