1 The people of Kiriath-jearim came for the ark of Yahweh. They brought it in to the house of Abinadab on the hill, and they consecrated his son, Eleazar, to take charge of it.
Samuel awakens Israel
2 A very long time passed from the day the ark was lodged at Ki riath-jearim. For some twenty years, all Israel mourned and longed for Yahweh.
3 Then Samuel told the Israelites, “If you turn back to Yahweh in all sincerity, get rid of the foreign gods and your Ash teroth. When you have set your heart on Yahweh and serve no one but him, he will deliver you from the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites got rid of the Baals and the Ash teroth and began serving no one but Yahweh.
5 Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel in Mizpah and I will pray to Yahweh on your behalf.” 6 And so they gathered at Mizpah. They drew water and poured it out before Yahweh. They fasted on that day and said, “We have sinned against Yah weh.” It was Samuel who led this assembly of Israel at Mizpah.
7 When the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the chiefs of the Philistine cities went up to Israel’s land. The Israelites became afraid when they learned this 8 and they said to Sa muel, “Pray without ceasing to Yah weh our God on our behalf so that he may save us from the Phi listines.” 9 Samuel then took a suckling lamb and offered it to Yahweh as a whole burnt offering, appealing to him on behalf of the people. And Yahweh answered him.
10 At the very time Samuel was offering the sacrifice, the Philistines launched an attack against Israel. But Yahweh’s voice thundered loudly in the midst of the Philistines; they were suddenly confused and defeated by Israel. 11 The Israelites left Miz pah, pursuing and slaying the Philis tines to a point beyond Bethcar.
12 Samuel, then, took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Je shanah and named it Ebenezar, for he said, “Unto this place Yahweh has helped us.” 13 After this defeat, the Philistines did not dare enter the territory of Israel and Yahweh held them in check for as long as Sam uel lived. 14 The Israelites recovered the towns from Ekron to Gath which the Phi lis tines had seized from Israel. Israel rescued their territories. And there was peace, even between the Israe lites and the Amorites.
15 Samuel was judge in Israel for the rest of his life. 16 Every year he went around to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah and judged Israel in all these places. 17 After that he returned to Ramah for his home was there. There he judged Israel and there he built an altar to Yahweh.