Samuel leads a nationwide spiritual revival. Expelling the Philistines.
VERSE 1. The men of Kiriath Jearim came and took the LORD’s ark, and brought it into Abinadab’s house on the hill, and consecrated Eleazar his son to keep the LORD’s ark.
VERSE 2. From the day that the ark stayed in Kiriath Jearim, the time was long; for it was twenty years; and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.
for it was twenty years. Over the course of time, this stationary presence of God served to evangelize the whole nation.
all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD. That is, “the whole Israelite population turned to the LORD” (NAB translation).
VERSE 3. Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you, and direct your hearts to the LORD, and serve him only; and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.”
spoke to all the house of Israel. A true prophet does not target secular society, but rather the people of God.
In our day, though, some Christian leaders see themselves as prophets but rebuke secular society. That is an abuse of their ministry.
VERSE 4. Then the children of Israel removed the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.
VERSE 5. Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you.”
VERSE 6. They gathered together to Mizpah, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the LORD.” Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpah.
VERSE 7. When the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. When the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.
VERSE 8. The children of Israel said to Samuel, “Don’t stop crying to the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.”
Don’t stop crying to the LORD our God for us. They want Samuel to keep praying for them. They recognize the effectiveness of his spiritual warfare on their behalf.
James 5:16b. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.
VERSE 9. Samuel took a suckling lamb, and offered it for a whole burnt offering to the LORD. Samuel cried to the LORD for Israel; and the LORD answered him.
VERSE 10. As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines came near to battle against Israel; but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day on the Philistines, and confused them; and they were struck down before Israel.
VERSE 11. The men of Israel went out of Mizpah, and pursued the Philistines, and struck them, until they came under Beth Kar.
VERSE 12. Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “The LORD helped us until now.”
Ebenezer. It means “stone of help”.
VERSE 13. So the Philistines were subdued, and they stopped coming within the border of Israel. The LORD’s hand was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
all the days of Samuel. As long as Samuel was alive, the LORD God delivered blessings upon the whole nation
VERSE 14. The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath; and Israel recovered its border out of the hand of the Philistines. There was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
VERSE 15. Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
VERSE 16. He went from year to year in a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all those places.
VERSE 17. His return was to Ramah, for his house was there; and he judged Israel there; and he built an altar to the LORD there.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.