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Go to Bible: 1 Samuel 7
“took up.” That is, took it uphill from the Philistine country into the hill country of Judah. From Beth-shemesh to Kiriath-jearim is about ten miles.(top)
“Kiriath-jearim.” It is interesting that the ark stayed in Kiriath-jearim for so long since that city was one of the Gibeonite cities (Josh. 9:17).
“that a long time passed.” The Hebrew is literally, “the days multiplied.”
“For it was 20 years.” The ark was in Kireath-jearim for more than 20 years, but 20 years for Israel to lament and repent until Samuel spoke, then it stayed there longer until the time of David.(top)
“And Samuel spoke.” Samuel is now grown up. He was a child when the ark was captured, and it has been 20 years since that time.(top)
|1Sa 7:4||- (top)|
“Mizpah.” Mizpah is two miles north of Ramah.
“I will pray to Yahweh for you.” While Samuel was the mediator between God and Israel, Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and humans (1 Tim. 2:5).(top)
“and drew water and poured it out before Yahweh.” Although the exact significance of this water ritual is not known, it was tied to fasting. It is possible that it was a way of adding sincerity to their fast: that they did not eat food or drink water, and wanted to demonstrate that fact by pouring water on the ground before Yahweh.
“And Samuel judged the children of Israel.” Here we see Samuel acting as a judge; he was the last of the judges in the Judges period.(top)
|1Sa 7:7||- (top)|
|1Sa 7:8||- (top)|
|1Sa 7:9||- (top)|
“threw them into a panic.” See commentary on Joshua 10:10.(top)
“as far as below Beth-car.” That is, as far as west of Beth-car. The location of Beth-car is unknown, but the Philistines were retreating to the west, and the territory went downhill from Mizpeh to the coast, so “below” Beth-car is to the west of Beth-car.(top)
“took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer.” The location of “Shen” is unknown. “Ebenezer” means “Stone of Help” and this Ebenezer is a different place from the Ebenezer in 1 Samuel 4:1. This is more than Samuel just putting a stone there. Samuel set up a standing-stone as a memorial to remind Israel of the help that God gave them against the Philistines.
[For more on standing-stones, see commentary on Gen. 28:18.]
“Yahweh helped us here.” The Hebrew can refer to time or place, but place seems more logical given the fact that Samuel just set up a stone in that place.(top)
“the territory of Israel.” God gave the whole Promised Land to Israel, but the tribes such as Dan never conquered the seacoast, and this verse shows that there is now a kind of status quo where the Philistines are on the coast to stay.(top)
“from Ekron even to Gath.” These are the inland cities of the Philistines. These inland cities went back and forth between Israel and the Philistines.
“There was peace between Israel and the Amorites.” The Philistines were enemies to both Israel and the Amorites, but this was a peace that was never supposed to occur.(top)
|1Sa 7:15||- (top)|
“to Bethel.” Samuel would have started in Ramah.
“Gilgal.” This is likely the Gilgal by Jericho.(top)
|1Sa 7:17||- (top)|