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CHAPTER 7 Jun. 27 
The Ark Goes from Beth-Shemesh to Kiriath Jearim
The men of Kiriath Jearim came and fetched up the ark of Yahweh and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of Yahweh. 2The ark stayed for a long time in Kiriath Jearim, twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after Yahweh. 3Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, If you do return to Yahweh with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and Ashtaroth from among you and direct your hearts to Yahweh, and serve Him only, and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. 4Then the people of Israel removed the Baals and Ashtaroth and served Yahweh only. 5Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray for you to Yahweh. 6They gathered together to Mizpah and drew water, poured it out before Yahweh and fasted on that day. They said there, We have sinned against Yahweh. Samuel judged the people of Israel in Mizpah.

The Philistines Defeated at Mizpah
7When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. When the Israelites heard it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. 8The Israelites said to Samuel, Don’t cease to cry to Yahweh our God for us, that He will save us out of the hand of the Philistines! 9Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it for a whole burnt offering to Yahweh, and Samuel cried to Yahweh for Israel, and Yahweh answered him. 10As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to fight against Israel, but on that day Yahweh thundered with a great thunder upon the Philistines, and confused them; and they were struck down before Israel. 11The men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and killed them, all the way to Beth Kar. 12Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and called it Ebenezer, saying, Yahweh helped us until now. 13So the Philistines were subdued and they came no more within the border of Israel. The hand of Yahweh was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath, and Israel recovered its border out of the hand of the Philistines. There was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

The Circuit of Samuel the Judge
15Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16He went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all those places. 17He always returned to Ramah where his home was, and there he judged Israel. He built there an altar to Yahweh.


7:6 The pouring out of water before God symbolized the state of their hearts in repentance before God. Repentance is literally a re-thinking, something internal, a pouring out of self before God. Water poured on the ground can never again be gathered up where it was before; some permanent change happens every time we experience an episode of true repentance. Water being poured on the ground became a Hebraism for death (2 Sam. 14:14); in repentance, we recognize that we have sinned and ought to die for what we have done, but in the continued life given us by God’s grace we will seek to live for Him. 
7:9  As the Philistines closed in upon Israel, Samuel was busy offering up the burnt offering, symbolizing Israel’s plea to God for help, with all the intensity of the suckling lamb crying to its mother- when the natural reaction would have been to think ‘Enough of that, come on, do something practical now…’. We see here the supreme priority of prayer and the urgent intensity of powerful prayer. The desperate bleating of the suckling lamb was intended to be identified with Samuel’s prayer.