1Samuel 7


וַיָּבֹאוּ אַנְשֵׁי קִרְיַת יְעָרִים וַיַּעֲלוּ אֶת־אֲרוֹן יְהוָה וַיָּבִאוּ אֹתוֹ אֶל־בֵּית אֲבִינָדָב בַּגִּבְעָה וְאֶת־אֶלְעָזָר בְּנו   7:1ֹ  קִדְּשׁוּ לִשְׁמֹר אֶת־אֲרוֹן יְהוָה׃

1Sam. 7:1   So the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took up the ark of the Lord and brought it to the house of Abinadab on a hill, and they sanctified Eleazar, his son, to keep the ark of the Lord.

We don’t know who this Abinadab was.  We also don’t know who sanctified Eleazar.  Were the father and son priests?  Unknown!  It would be nice to think so, but we are not told here or anywhere else in the bible where they are mentioned.

וַיְהִי מִיּוֹם שֶׁבֶת הָאָרוֹן בְּקִרְיַת יְעָרִים וַיִּרְבּוּ הַיָּמִים וַיִּהְיוּ עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וַיִּנָּהוּ כָּל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחֲרֵי   7:2 יְהוָה׃

1Sam. 7:2   And it was from the day of establishing the ark in Kiriath-jearim that days were multiplied, and they became twenty years, and all the house of Israel groaned after the Lord.

וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל־כָּל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר אִם־בְּכָל־לְבַבְכֶם אַתֶּם שָׁבִים אֶל־יְהוָה הָסִירוּ אֶת־אֱלֹהֵי   7:3 הַנֵּכָר מִתּוֹכְכֶם וְהָעַשְׁתָּרוֹת וְהָכִינוּ לְבַבְכֶם אֶל־יְהוָה וְעִבְדֻהוּ לְבַדּוֹ וְיַצֵּל אֶתְכֶם מִיַּד פְּלִשְׁתִּים׃

1Sam. 7:3   And Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel saying, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, put away the gods of the foreigner from your midst and the Ashtaroth, and direct your hearts to the Lord and serve Him only; then He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.”

וַיָּסִירוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַבְּעָלִים וְאֶת־הָעַשְׁתָּרֹת וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֶת־יְהוָה לְבַדּוֹ׃   7:4

1Sam. 7:4   And the children of Israel put away the Baalim and the Ashtaroth and served only the Lord.

וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל קִבְצוּ אֶת־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל הַמִּצְפָּתָה וְאֶתְפַּלֵּל בַּעַדְכֶם אֶל־יְהוָה׃   7:5

1Sam. 7:5   And Samuel said, “Gather, all Israel, at Mizpah, and I will pray for your sakes to the Lord.”

וַיִּקָּבְצוּ הַמִּצְפָּתָה וַיִּשְׁאֲבוּ־מַיִם וַיִּשְׁפְּכוּ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה וַיָּצוּמוּ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וַיֹּאמְרוּ שָׁם חָטָאנוּ לַיהוָה   7:6 וַיִּשְׁפֹּט שְׁמוּאֵל אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּמִּצְפָּה׃

1Sam. 7:6   So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured out before the Lord and fasted on that day and said there, ”We have sinned against the Lord.”  And Samuel judged the children of Israel in MIzpah.

וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים כִּי־הִתְקַבְּצוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל הַמִּצְפָּתָה וַיַּעֲלוּ סַרְנֵי־פְלִשְׁתִּים אֶל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ בְּנֵי   7:7 יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּרְאוּ מִפְּנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים׃

1Sam. 7:7   And the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered, and the lords of the Philistines rose up against Israel.  And the children of Israel heard and were afraid before the Philistines.

וַיֹּאמְרוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־שְׁמוּאֵל אַל־תַּחֲרֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ מִזְּעֹק אֶל־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְיֹשִׁעֵנוּ מִיַּד פְּלִשְׁתִּים׃   7:8

1Sam. 7:8   And the children of Israel said to Samuel, “You must not cease from crying out for us to the Lord, our God, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.”

וַיִּקַּח שְׁמוּאֵל טְלֵה חָלָב אֶחָד (וַיַּעֲלֶה) [וַיַּעֲלֵהוּ] עוֹלָה כָּלִיל לַיהוָה וַיִּזְעַק שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל־יְהוָה בְּעַד   7:9  יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּעֲנֵהוּ יְהוָה׃

1Sam. 7:9   Then Samuel took one milk white lamb and offered it for a whole burnt offering to the Lord, and Samuel cried out to the Lord on behalf of Israel, and the Lord answered him.

I have a concern about the normal and usual translation of a phrase in this verse, because that translation contradicts my interpretation of Exod. 23:19, 34:26, and Deut. 14:21, the verses that prohibit cooking a kid with the milk of its mother.  It is the phrase טְלֵה חָלָב, which is regularly translated as suckling lamb.  This phrase appears no where else in the bible.  However, it’s really stretching to translate the word חָלָב, which means milk, as “suckling.”  I think it is more accurate to translate it as “milk white.”  So it comes out as “Samuel took one milk white lamb and offered it ….”  It also seems reasonable to me that he would take a pure white lamb for added holiness as a show of reverence to the Lord.  I have further corroboration for my belief in the preceding chapter.  1Sam. 6:7 contains the words suckling cows, and the word for suckling is not the word in this verse.  Now I have to admit that the word suckling might not be the same for cows as for calves, because the former give out the milk and the latter take it in.  Nevertheless, we have no other example of either phrase in the bible.  Thus I believe that my interpretation of the verses that presumably prohibit the mixing of meat and milk is the correct one.  The mixing of milk and meat doesn’t appear to be prohibited by the Lord.

In addition, the sixth word is misspelled; the third-person pronoun suffix is missing.  The correction in the brackets adds that little letter, vav.

וַיְהִי שְׁמוּאֵל מַעֲלֶה הָעוֹלָה וּפְלִשְׁתִּים נִגְּשׁוּ לַמִּלְחָמָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּרְעֵם יְהוָה בְּקוֹל־גָּדוֹל בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא   7:10   עַל־פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיְהֻמֵּם וַיִּנָּגְפוּ לִפְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

1Sam. 7:10   While Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, then the Philistines drew near for battle with Israel; then the Lord thundered with a great sound on that day above the Philistines and discomfited them, and they stumbled before Israel.

וַיֵּצְאוּ אַנְשֵׁי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִן־הַמִּצְפָּה וַיִּרְדְּפוּ אֶת־פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיַּכּוּם עַד־מִתַּחַת לְבֵית כָּר׃   7:11

1Sam. 7:11   Then the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and smote them until they were below, to Beth-car.

וַיִּקַּח שְׁמוּאֵל אֶבֶן אַחַת וַיָּשֶׂם בֵּין־הַמִּצְפָּה וּבֵין הַשֵּׁן וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמָהּ אֶבֶן הָעָזֶר וַיֹּאמַר עַד־הֵנָּה   7:12 עֲזָרָנוּ יְהוָה׃

1Sam. 7:12   Then Samuel took one stone and placed between Mizpah and Shen, and he called its name Eben-haezer, and he said, “The Lord has been our help up to now.”

The term Eben-haezer means “the Stone (or Rock) of help.“

וַיִּכָּנְעוּ הַפְּלִשְׁתִּים וְלֹא־יָסְפוּ עוֹד לָבוֹא בִּגְבוּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וַתְּהִי יַד־יְהוָה בַּפְּלִשְׁתִּים כֹּל יְמֵי שְׁמוּאֵל׃   7:13

1Sam. 7:13   So they subdued the Philistines, that they did not continue coming into the territory of Israel any more, and the “hand” of the Lord was on the Philistines all the days of Samuel.

וַתָּשֹׁבְנָה הֶעָרִים אֲשֶׁר לָקְחוּ־פְלִשְׁתִּים מֵאֵת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְיִשְׂרָאֵל מֵעֶקְרוֹן וְעַד־גַּת וְאֶת־גְּבוּלָן הִצִּיל   7:14 יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיְהִי שָׁלוֹם בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבֵין הָאֱמֹרִי׃

1Sam. 7:14   And the cities that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron and up to Gath, and Israel recovered its border from the hand of the Philistines, and there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

First this verse informs us that the Israelite cities bordering on the Philistine territory near the area between Ekron and Gath were restored to them.  Then it tells us that Israel enjoyed peace with the other people inhabiting Canaan.

וַיִּשְׁפֹּט שְׁמוּאֵל אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל כֹּל יְמֵי חַיָּיו׃   7:15

1Sam. 7:15   And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.

וְהָלַךְ מִדֵּי שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה וְסָבַב בֵּית־אֵל וְהַגִּלְגָּל וְהַמִּצְפָּה וְשָׁפַט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵת כָּל־הַמְּקוֹמוֹת   7:16 הָאֵלֶּה׃

1Sam. 7:16   And he went as often as year by year and made a circuit of Beth-el and Gilgal and Mizpah, and he judged Israel in all these places.

וּתְשֻׁבָתוֹ הָרָמָתָה כִּי־שָׁם בֵּיתוֹ וְשָׁם שָׁפָט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּבֶן־שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָה׃   7:17

1Sam. 7:17   And his return was to Ramah, for there was his house, and there he judged Israel, and there he built an altar to the Lord.


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