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Revival and Victory at Mizpah
1The men of Kiriath Jearim came and brought up the ark of Yahweh, and they brought it to the house of Abinadab in Gibeah. They consecrated Eleazer his son to guard the ark of Yahweh. 2From#Literally “And it happened from” the day the ark stayed in Kiriath Jearim, days multiplied and became twenty years#Literally “and the days were numerous, and they were twenty years” while all the house of Israel mourned after Yahweh. 3And Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If with all your heart you are turning to Yahweh, remove the foreign gods and Ashtoreths#Hebrew plural “Ashtaroth” (Ashtoreth was the female consort of Ba’al) from your midst. Commit your hearts to Yahweh and serve him alone. Then he will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 4So the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” removed the Baals#Hebrew plural “Be’alim” (Ba’al was a major Canaanite deity) and the Ashtoreths, and they served Yahweh alone.
5Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to Yahweh for you.” 6So they gathered to Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before Yahweh. They fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against Yahweh!” So Samuel judged the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” at Mizpah. 7Now when the Philistines heard that the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” had gathered at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines.#Literally “and they were afraid from (= because of) the presence of the Philistines” 8Then the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” said to Samuel, “You must not cease#Literally “You must not be silent from us” from crying out to Yahweh our God, so that he will deliver us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9So Samuel took a single nursing lamb#Literally “lamb of milk” and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to Yahweh. Then Samuel cried out to Yahweh on behalf of Israel, and Yahweh answered him. 10While#Literally “And it happened” Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near for the battle against Israel. But Yahweh thundered against the Philistines with a great noise on that day and threw them into confusion so that they were defeated before Israel. 11Then the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and they struck them down as far as below Beth Car.
12So Samuel took a single stone and put it between Mizpah and Shen, and he named it Ebenezer and said, “Up to here Yahweh has helped us.” 13So the Philistines were subdued and they did not come into the territory of Israel again, and the hand of Yahweh was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14The towns#Or “cities” which the Philistines had taken from Israel were returned to Israel from Ekron to Gath, and Israel delivered their territories from the hand of the Philistines. Then there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
The Circuit Ministry of Samuel
15Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16He used to go on the circuit from year to year.#Literally “from what is required year in year” He went around Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and he judged Israel in all these places. 17Then he returned#Literally “and his return was” to Ramah, because his house was there, and there he judged Israel, and he built an altar to Yahweh there.
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