1 Samuel 7

The ark moved to the house of Abinadab 1
Samuel gathered the people for consecration 3
Samuel sacrifices a lamb 7
The Lord brings thunder to repel the Philistines 10
Captured cities restored 13
Samuel judged Israel visiting the main cities 15
.1 And the men of Kirjathjearim came, and fetched up the ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD.
.2 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.
  Kirjath-jearim  From ATS Dict., "a city of the Gibeonites afterwards given to Judah jos1509. It was on the confines of Benjamin, Jos1814, about nine miles from Jerusalem in the way to Lydda. Here the ark was lodged for many years, in the house of Abinadab, till David removed it to Jerusalem, v2, 2sa0602, 1ch1301." NW of Jerusalem.
  Abinadab Apparently a Levite of proper authority to appoint his son.
  In the hill "Gibea" is the Hebrew word for hill. There was a Gibeah of Benjamin 1sa1316 but here the translation, "hill," is intended.
  Lamented Not realizing that His absence was from their selfishness.
.3 ¶ And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.
 4 Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.
 5 And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD.
 6 And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh. 
  3 - Put away These were Canaanite gods. Ashtoreth was a female god (plural, "Astharoth.") jg0213. Samuel had an important message. ("Baalim" is plural for "Baal."). Rejection of these gods would be offensive.
  6 - Mizpeh Equivalent to "Mizpah." See revised map.
  6 - Drew ... poured During the Feast of Tabernacles celebration, water mixed with wine was poured together returning to the Brook Kidron is1202. This represented the gift of Christ jn0737.
.7 ¶ And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.
 8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. 
9 And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him.
  7 - Philistines heard "The character and importance of the national convention at Mizpeh were fully appreciated by the Philistines. They discerned in it the rising spirit of religious patriotism among the Israelites that was prepared to throw off the yoke of their domination. Anxious to crush it at the first, they made a sudden incursion while the Israelites were in the midst of their solemn celebration. Unprepared for resistance, they besought Samuel to supplicate the divine interposition to save them from their enemies. The prophet's prayers and sacrifice were answered by such a tremendous storm of thunder and lightning that the assailants, panic-struck, were disordered and fled. The Israelites, recognizing the hand of God, rushed courageously on the foe they had so much dreaded and committed such immense havoc, that the Philistines did not for long recover from this disastrous blow. This brilliant victory secured peace and independence to Israel for twenty years, as well as the restitution of the usurped territory." (JFB)
.10 And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.
 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar.
 12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.
  10 - Thundered God took care of the problem of v7 with a storm. See ja0516, ps09906.
  12 - Samuel took a stone "on an open spot between the town and "the crag" (some well-known rock in the neighborhood). A huge stone pillar was erected as a monument of their victory (Le 26:1). The name--Eben-ezer--is thought to have been written on the face of it." (JFB)
.13 ¶ So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
 14 And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
.15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
 16 And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places. 
 17 And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he judged Israel; and there he built an altar unto the LORD.
  A noble and fruitful ministry.
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