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1 Samuel 7

Listen to 1 Samuel 7
1 And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD and brought it to the house of 1Abinadab on the hill. And they consecrated his son Eleazar to have charge of the ark of the LORD.
2 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.

Samuel Judges Israel

3 And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, 2"If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then 3put away the foreign gods and the 4Ashtaroth from among you and 5direct your heart to the LORD 6and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines."
4 So the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they served the LORD only.
5 Then Samuel said, "Gather all Israel at 7Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you."
6 So they gathered at 8Mizpah 9and drew water and poured it out before the LORD 10and fasted on that day and said there, 11"We have sinned against the LORD." And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah.
7 Now when the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines.
8 And the people of Israel said to Samuel, "Do not cease to cry out to the LORD our God for us, that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines."
9 So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. And 12Samuel cried out to the LORD for Israel, and the LORD answered him.
10 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. 13But the LORD thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were routed before Israel.
11 And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them, as far as below Beth-car.
12 Then Samuel 14took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen[a] and called its name Ebenezer;[b] for he said, "Till now the LORD has helped us."
13 15So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel. And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
14 The cities that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath, and Israel delivered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites.
15 16Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
16 And he went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah. And he judged Israel in all these places.
17 Then he would return to 17Ramah, for his home was there, and there also he judged Israel. 18And he built there an altar 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 18

  • 1. 2 Samuel 6:3
  • 2. 1 Kings 8:48; Isaiah 55:7; Hosea 6:1; Joel 2:12; See Deuteronomy 30:2-10
  • 3. Genesis 35:2; Joshua 24:14, 23; [Judges 10:16]
  • 4. Judges 2:13
  • 5. [2 Chronicles 19:3; 2 Chronicles 30:19; Ezra 7:10]
  • 6. Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 10:20; Deuteronomy 13:4; Cited Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:8
  • 7. [Judges 20:1]
  • 8. [See ver. 5 above]
  • 9. [2 Samuel 14:14]
  • 10. 1 Samuel 31:13; Nehemiah 9:1
  • 11. Judges 10:10
  • 12. Psalms 99:6; Jeremiah 15:1
  • 13. 1 Samuel 2:10; [2 Samuel 22:14, 15; Psalms 18:13]
  • 14. Genesis 28:18; Genesis 31:45; Genesis 35:14; Joshua 4:9; Joshua 24:26
  • 15. [Judges 13:1]
  • 16. ver. 6; 1 Samuel 12:11; [Judges 2:16]
  • 17. 1 Samuel 1:19
  • 18. [1 Samuel 14:35; Judges 21:4]

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew; Septuagint, Syriac Jeshanah
  • [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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.