1 Samuel 7:2

Samuel Subdues the Philistines at Mizpah

2 The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all. Then all the people of Israel turned back to the LORD.

Read 1 Samuel 7:2 Using Other Translations

And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.
From the day that the ark was lodged at Kiriath-jearim, a long time passed, some twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.
The Ark remained in Kiriath-jearim for a long time—twenty years in all. During that time all Israel mourned because it seemed the LORD had abandoned them.

What does 1 Samuel 7:2 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Samuel 7:2

And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim,
that the time was long
It could not be less than between forty and fifty years, for it remained here until the times of David, who removed it from hence after he was made king over all Israel, and when he had reigned over Judah seven years; and from the death of Eli to that time, which included the government of Samuel and Saul, it could not be less than what has been hinted:

for it [was] twenty years;
not that this was all the time the ark was at Kirjathjearim, but it was so long there before it was much taken notice of, and sought unto, and the Lord by it; there was a great neglect of God, and his worship, which through the means of Samuel began to revive about this time, as it follows:

and all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord;
became sensible of their evil doings, and repented of them, and sought the Lord with fasting, and prayer, and tears; bewailed their backslidings and revoltings from him, and cried after a departing God.

California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information  California - CCPA Notice