Time went by until 20 years had passed since the ark had been taken to Kiriath-jearim. Then the whole house of Israel began to seek the Lord.
Samuel told them, "If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart,b get rid of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths that are among you,c dedicate yourselves tod the Lord, and worship only Him. Then He will rescue you from the hand of the Philistines."
So the Israelites removed the Baals and the Ashtorethse and only worshiped the Lord.
Samuel said, "Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord on your behalf."f6
When they gathered at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out in the Lord's presence. They fasted that day, and there they confessed, "We have sinned against the Lord." And Samuel [began to lead] the Israelites at Mizpah as [their] judge.
When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered at Mizpah, their rulers marched up toward Israel. When the Israelites heard [about it], they were afraid because of the Philistines.