1 Samuel 7

1 So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD. They brought it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD.
The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all.

Samuel Subdues the Philistines at Mizpah

2 Then all the people of Israel turned back to the LORD.
3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.”
4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only.
5 Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the LORD for you.”
6 When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the LORD.” Now Samuel was serving as leader[a] of Israel at Mizpah.
7 When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. When the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines.
8 They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.”
9 Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. He cried out to the LORD on Israel’s behalf, and the LORD answered him.
10 While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites.
11 The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar.
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer,[b] saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”
13 So the Philistines were subdued and they stopped invading Israel’s territory. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines.
14 The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored to Israel, and Israel delivered the neighboring territory from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
15 Samuel continued as Israel’s leader all the days of his life.
16 From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places.
17 But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also held court for Israel. And he built an altar there to the LORD.

1 Samuel 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

The ark removed to Kirjath-jearim. (1-4) The Israelites solemnly repent. (5,6) The Lord discomfits the Philistines. (7-12) They are subdued, Samuel judges Israel. (13-17)

Verses 1-4 God will find a resting-place for his ark; if some thrust it from them, the hearts of others shall be inclined to receive it. It is no new thing for God's ark to be in a private house. Christ and his apostles preached from house to house, when they could not have public places. Twenty years passed before the house of Israel cared for the want of the ark. During this time the prophet Samuel laboured to revive true religion. The few words used are very expressive; and this was one of the most effectual revivals of religion which ever took place in Israel.

Verses 5-6 Israel drew water and poured it out before the Lord; signifying their humiliation and sorrow for sin. They pour out their hearts in repentance before the Lord. They were free and full in their confession, and fixed in their resolution to cast away from them all their wrong doings. They made a public confession, We have sinned against the Lord; thus giving glory to God, and taking shame to themselves. And if we thus confess our sins, we shall find our God faithful and just to forgive us our sins.

Verses 7-12 The Philistines invaded Israel. When sinners begin to repent and reform, they must expect that Satan will muster all his force against them, and set his instruments at work to the utmost, to oppose and discourage them. The Israelites earnestly beg Samuel to pray for them. Oh what a comfort it is to all believers, that our great Intercessor above never ceases, is never silent! for he always appears in the presence of God for us. Samuel's sacrifice, without his prayer, had been an empty shadow. God gave a gracious answer. And Samuel erected a memorial of this victory, to the glory of God, and to encourage Israel. Through successive generations, the church of God has had cause to set up Eben-ezers for renewed deliverances; neither outward persecutions nor inward corruptions have prevailed against her, because "hitherto the Lord hath helped her:" and he will help, even to the end of the world.

Verses 13-17 In this great revival of true religion, the ark was neither removed to Shiloh, nor placed with the tabernacle any where else. This disregard to the Levitical institutions showed that their typical meaning formed their chief use; and when that was overlooked, they became a lifeless service, not to be compared with repentance, faith, and the love of God and man.

Cross References 36

  • 1. S Joshua 6:7
  • 2. 2 Samuel 6:3; 1 Chronicles 13:7
  • 3. 1 Chronicles 13:5; Psalms 132:6
  • 4. 1 Chronicles 13:3
  • 5. Deuteronomy 30:10; 2 Kings 18:5; 2 Kings 23:25; Jeremiah 24:7; Isaiah 55:7; Hosea 6:1
  • 6. Genesis 35:2; S Genesis 31:19; S Joshua 24:14
  • 7. S Judges 2:12-13; 1 Samuel 12:10; 1 Samuel 31:10
  • 8. Joel 2:12
  • 9. S Deuteronomy 6:13; Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:8
  • 10. S Judges 2:18
  • 11. S 1 Samuel 1:20; Psalms 99:6; Jeremiah 15:1
  • 12. S Joshua 11:3; Judges 21:5; 1 Samuel 10:17; Judges 20:1
  • 13. S ver 8; S Genesis 20:7; S Deuteronomy 9:19
  • 14. S Joshua 11:3
  • 15. Psalms 62:8; Lamentations 2:19
  • 16. S Judges 2:16; S Judges 16:31; Judges 10:10; Nehemiah 9:1; Psalms 106:6
  • 17. 1 Samuel 17:11
  • 18. ver 5; S Exodus 32:30; S Numbers 21:7; 1 Samuel 12:19,23; 1 Kings 18:24; Isaiah 37:4; Jeremiah 15:1; Jeremiah 27:18
  • 19. Psalms 99:6
  • 20. S Exodus 32:11; S Deuteronomy 9:19; Jeremiah 15:1
  • 21. S Exodus 9:23; S 1 Samuel 2:10; 2 Samuel 22:14-15
  • 22. S Genesis 35:5; S Exodus 14:24; Joshua 10:10
  • 23. S Genesis 28:22; Genesis 35:14; S Deuteronomy 27:2; Joshua 4:9
  • 24. S 1 Samuel 4:1
  • 25. Judges 13:1,5; 1 Samuel 13:5
  • 26. S Joshua 13:3
  • 27. S Judges 1:34
  • 28. ver 6; 1 Samuel 12:11
  • 29. S Judges 2:16
  • 30. Judges 2:18
  • 31. S Genesis 12:8
  • 32. S Joshua 10:43; S 1 Samuel 10:8; Amos 5:5
  • 33. ver 6; Acts 13:20
  • 34. S Joshua 18:25; 1 Samuel 8:4">1Sa 1 Samuel 8:4; 1 Samuel 15:34; 1 Samuel 19:18; 1 Samuel 25:1; 1 Samuel 28:3; 1 Samuel 1:19; 1 Samuel 8:4
  • 35. ver 6
  • 36. 1 Samuel 9:12; 1 Samuel 14:35; 1 Samuel 20:6; 2 Samuel 24:25; Judges 21:4

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Traditionally "judge" ; also in verse 15
  • [b]. "Ebenezer" means "stone of help."

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of the ark being brought to Kirjathjearim, where it continued twenty years, 1Sa 7:1,2 of the exhortation of Samuel to the people of Israel to reform from idolatry, and which had its desired effect, 1Sa 7:3,4 of Samuel's praying for the people, and offering sacrifices for them, and of the success thereof, victory over their enemies, 1Sa 7:5-14, and of his administration of justice to them, and constancy in it, 1Sa 7:15-17.

1 Samuel 7 Commentaries

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