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Monday, March 24 2014

1 Samuel 7: The Stone Of Ebenezer

"Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us"

The Philistines returned The Ark of the LORD to Israel (see 1 Samuel 4: The Capture Of The Ark and 1 Samuel 5: Why Did The Philistines Want To Return The Ark?) because the LORD's wrath came heavily upon them for their unlawful possession of it. The principle applied to everyone, including the Israelites who received The Ark, until it was returned to those who were authorized to touch it. Notice that, while "the Levites took down the ark of the LORD," others "looked into the ark of the LORD."

"6:13 And they of Bethshemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it. 6:14 And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they clave the wood of the cart, and offered the kine a burnt offering unto the LORD. 6:15 And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD [see Numbers 3: When Were The Levites Set Apart?; see also The Levites Of Christ], and the coffer that was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Bethshemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the LORD. 6:16 And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.

6:17 And these are the golden emerods which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering unto the LORD; for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Askelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one; 6:18 And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fenced cities, and of country villages, even unto the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the LORD: which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite.

6:19 And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter. 6:20 And the men of Bethshemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go up from us? 6:21 And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjathjearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the LORD; come ye down, and fetch it up to you." (1 Samuel 6:13-21 KJV)

The Ark was then sent to Kirjathjearim, to "the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD" (see also The Parting of The Ark and The Tabernacle).

Mizpah

"7:1 And the men of Kirjathjearim came, and fetched up the ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD." (1 Samuel 7:1 KJV)

The Ark remained there for twenty years, while the Israelites as a whole wallowed in idolatry. By that time Samuel had grown into a strong Judge and prophet. As with all of the Judges before him (Samuel was the last of the Judges), Samuel led the deliverance of the Israelites back to faithfulness to the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God).

"7:2 And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD. 7:3 And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. 7:4 Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only." (1 Samuel 7:2-4 KJV)

The Philistines chose that time to attack, thereby conveniently providing themselves for the Israelites to be delivered from them: "Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines." And so "the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them."

"7:5 And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD. 7:6 And they gathered together to Mizpeh, 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 children of Israel in Mizpeh.

7:7 And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 7:8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. 7:9 And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him.

7:10 And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel. 7:11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar." (1 Samuel 7:5-11 KJV)

Samuel then set up a monument to the event. He called it "Ebenezer," from a Hebrew term that means stone of help. Samuel thereafter served as a "circuit judge" for the rest of his life, "from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places."

"7:12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. 7:13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.

7:14 And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

7:15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 7:16 And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places. 7:17 And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he judged Israel; and there he built an altar unto the LORD." (1 Samuel 7:12-17 KJV)

Fact Finder: As stated in the verse above (verse 17), Samuel made Ramah his home. What does the Bible say about Ramah?
See Naioth In Ramah


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This Day In History, March 24

1401: In his sweep through Asia and the Mediterranean, the Tatar ruler Tamerlane conquered Damascus (see Damascus In History And Prophecy).

1449: England captured Fougeres from the French, leading Charles VII to renew the Hundred Years War.

Jules Verne 1603: Elizabeth I, Queen of England over 40 years, died. James VI of Scotland succeeded the throne as James I (the King James Version of the Bible is named after him), uniting the thrones of Scotland and England.

1603: Emperor Go-Yozei of Japan proclaimed Tokugawa Ieyasu the title of shogun (a hereditary military governor), thereby establishing the Tokugawa Shogunate.

1644: Britain granted a charter to Roger Williams for the colony of Rhode Island.

1707: The Acts of Union of 1707 officially united the Kingdoms of England and Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain.

1720: Count Frederick of Hesse-Kassel was elected King of Sweden by the Riksdag of the Estates.

1829: The Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the "Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829." It allowed patriotic Roman Catholics (i.e. patriotic to the United Kingdom rather than to the popes who demanded that the United Kingdom return to rule by the papacy) to serve in Parliament.

1832: Mormon leader Joseph Smith was beaten, tarred and feathered in Ohio.

1882: Robert Koch announced his discovery of mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that caused for tuberculosis (see also Leviticus 13: Bacteria).

1904: Admiral Tojo had 7 Russian ships sunk as the Japanese strengthened their blockade of Port Arthur.

1905: Jules Verne died at age 77. The French author produced numerous science fiction works (including From the Earth to the Moon, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days), some of which accurately predicted actual scientific achievements of a century later.

1924: Greece became a republic.

1944: During the Second World War (1939-1945), 76 Allied prisoners of war broke out of the German POW camp Stalag Luft III. The escape was later dramatized in the film The Great Escape.

1945: Egypt declared war on Germany.

1972: The United Kingdom proclaimed direct rule over the province of Northern Ireland.

1976: Isabel Peron was deposed as president of Argentina in a bloodless military coup.

1978: The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz, aground in the English Channel since March 16, split in two, spilling the last of its 1.6 million barrels of oil.

1988: Former nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu was found guilty in an Israeli court of treason for revealing Israel's nuclear secrets.

1989: The Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska, causing a massive oil spill of 240,000 barrels.

1993: Ezer Weizman was elected president of Israel (see also Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).

1993: Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was discovered. It was unique in that it later broke apart and collided with the planet Jupiter in July 1994 thereby providing the first actual observation of a collision of Solar System objects.

1999: NATO forces began air strikes against Yugoslavia.



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