1 SO THE men of Kiriath-jearim came and took the ark of the Lord and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to have charge of the ark of the Lord.
2 And the ark remained in Kiriath-jearim a very long time [nearly 100 years, through Samuel's entire judgeship, Saul's reign, and well into David's, when it was brought to Jerusalem]. For it was twenty years before all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord. [I Chron. 13:5-7.]
3 Then Samuel said to all the house of Israel, If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth [female deities] 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.
4 So the Israelites put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and served the Lord only.
5 Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the Lord for you.
6 So they gathered at 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. And Samuel judged the Israelites at Mizpah.
7 Now when the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines.
8 And the Israelites said to Samuel, Do not cease to cry to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.
9 So Samuel took a sucking lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord; and Samuel cried to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him.
10 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the Lord thundered with a great voice that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel.
11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and smote them as far as below Beth-car.
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and he called the name of it Ebenezer [stone of help], saying, Heretofore the Lord has helped us.
13 So the Philistines were subdued and came no more into Israelite territory. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
14 The cities the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath, and Israel rescued [the cities'] territory from the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites.
15 And Samuel judged Israel all his days.
16 And he went from year to year on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and was judge for Israel in all those places.
17 Then he would return to Ramah, for his home was there; there he judged Israel, and there he built an altar to the Lord.