1 Samuel 7

Deliverance from the Philistines

1 And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took the ark of the LORD and 1brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and consecrated Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD.
2 From the day that the ark remained at Kiriath-jearim, the time was long, for it was twenty years; and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.
3 Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, "2If you return to the LORD with all your heart, 3remove the foreign gods and the 4Ashtaroth from among you and 5direct your hearts to the LORD and 6serve Him alone; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines."
4 So the sons of Israel removed the Baals and the Ashtaroth and served the LORD alone.
5 Then Samuel said, "Gather all Israel to 7Mizpah and 8I will pray to the LORD for you."
6 They gathered to Mizpah, and drew water and 9poured it out before the LORD, and 10fasted on that day and said there, "11We have sinned against the LORD." And Samuel judged the sons of Israel at Mizpah.
7 Now when the Philistines heard that the sons of Israel had gathered to Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the sons of Israel heard it, 12they were afraid of the Philistines.
8 Then the sons of Israel said to Samuel, "13Do not cease to cry to the LORD our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines."
9 Samuel took 14a suckling lamb and offered it for a whole burnt offering to the LORD; and Samuel cried to the LORD for Israel and 15the LORD answered him.
10 Now Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, and the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But 16the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and 17confused them, so that they were routed before Israel.
11 The men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them down as far as below * Beth-car.
12 Then Samuel 18took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named * it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the LORD has helped us."
13 19So the Philistines were subdued and 20they did not come anymore within the border of Israel. And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
14 The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath; and Israel delivered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. So there was peace between Israel and 21the Amorites.

Samuel's Ministry

15 Now Samuel 22judged Israel all the days of his life.
16 He used to go annually * on circuit to 23Bethel and 24Gilgal and 25Mizpah, and he judged Israel in all these places.
17 Then his return was to 26Ramah, for his house was there, and there he judged Israel; and he 27built 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 27

  • 1. 2 Samuel 6:3, 4
  • 2. 1 Kings 8:48; Isaiah 55:7; Hosea 6:1; Joel 2:12-14
  • 3. Genesis 35:2; Joshua 24:14, 23; Judges 10:16
  • 4. Judges 2:13; 1 Samuel 31:10
  • 5. Deuteronomy 13:4; 2 Chronicles 19:3
  • 6. Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 10:20; Deuteronomy 13:4; Joshua 24:14; Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:8
  • 7. Judges 10:17; Judges 20:1
  • 8. 1 Samuel 8:6; 1 Samuel 12:17-19
  • 9. 1 Samuel 1:15; Psalms 62:8; Lamentations 2:19
  • 10. Leviticus 16:29; Nehemiah 9:1
  • 11. Judges 10:10; 1 Kings 8:47; Psalms 106:6
  • 12. 1 Samuel 13:6; 1 Samuel 17:11
  • 13. 1 Samuel 12:19-24; Isaiah 37:4
  • 14. Leviticus 22:27
  • 15. Psalms 99:6; Jeremiah 15:1
  • 16. 1 Samuel 2:10; 2 Samuel 22:14, 15; Psalms 29:3, 4
  • 17. Joshua 10:10; Psalms 18:14
  • 18. Genesis 35:14; Joshua 4:9; Joshua 24:26
  • 19. Judges 13:1-15
  • 20. 1 Samuel 13:5
  • 21. Numbers 13:29; Joshua 10:5-10
  • 22. 1 Samuel 7:6
  • 23. Genesis 28:19; Genesis 35:6
  • 24. Joshua 5:9, 10
  • 25. 1 Samuel 7:5
  • 26. 1 Samuel 1:1, 19; 1 Samuel 2:11
  • 27. Judges 21:4

Footnotes 3

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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