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THE ARK, THE IDOLS, THE PHILISTINES, THE JUDGE
From Kirjath-jearim to Ramah and In Between
I Samuel 7:1-17
Victor M. Eskew
i. THE ARK RESTS IN KIRJATH-JEARIM (I Sam. 7:1-2)
ii. THE IDOLS REMOVED FROM ISRAEL (I Sam. 7:3-6)
iii. THE PHLIISTINES RESISTED WITH GOD’S HELP (I Sam. 7:7-14)
iv. THE JUDGE RULES FROM RAMAH (I Sam. 7:15-17)
2. To whose house did the men of Kirjath-jearim take the ark of the Lord? (I Sam. 7:1)
And the men of Kirjath-jearim came, and fetched up the ark of the Lord, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill…
B. We have two questions for which we can only surmise answers.
1. Who is Abinadab?
a. The Bible gives us no further answers.
b. However, most believe that he was a Levite since his son was given charge of the ark.
2. Why wasn’t the ark taken back to Shiloh and placed in the tabernacle?
a. Again, the Word of God does not give us information about this.
b. It may have been a form of retribution upon the leaders in Shiloh for having allowed the ark to be taken from the tabernacle.
3. Who kept the ark of the Lord? (I Sam. 7:1)
…and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the Lord.
B. Two definitions:
a. Strong (6942): to be clean
b. BDB: consecrate, sanctify, dedicate, to be separate, to be set apart, to devote
2. To keep
a. Strong (8104): to hedge about, to protect, to attend
b. BDB: to keep, guard, have charge of, keep watch and ward
c. NOTE: It would be interesting to know exactly what Eleazar did from day to day as he attended to the ark.
4. How long did the ark stay in Kirjah-jearim? (I Sam. 7:2)
And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjath-jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years…
A. Twenty years
B. This would put us well into the reign of Saul as king over Israel.
5. Why did the children of Israel lament during that time? (I Sam. 7:2)
…and all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.
A. One explanation is that the separation of the ark from the tabernacle would cause difficulties for the children of Israel, especially during the feast days.
1. It would be especially problematic during the Day of Atonement.
2. Because of the separation the children of Israel lamented.
B. Others believe they lamented because they were still under the oppression of the Philistines.
6. What was Samuel’s first instruction to the house of Israel as he led the nation in repentance? (I Sam. 7:3)
And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, the put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and serve him only…
A. To put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth and serve only God.
B. It seems that Samuel had been a prophet and a priest up to this point in time (See I Sam. 3:20), but he had not assumed the position of judge.
1. The people had descended into their worship of idols and departure from God.
2. When he did step into the role of a judge, he immediately began to cleanse the nation of idols.
7. What two things did he exhort them to put away from among them? (I Sam. 7:3)
…put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you…
A. Strange gods B. Ashtaroth
1. Strong (6252): the name of a Sidonian deity
a. The word means “star.”
b. This was a fertility goddess.
8. “…and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only” (I Sam. 7:3)
1. Strong (3559): to be erect
2. BDB: to be firm, to be stable, to be established, to be fixed, to be securely determined
9. T – F The children of Israel did as Samuel instructed them to do. (I Sam. 7:4).
Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the Lord only.
10. Define: Baalim
A. Strong (1168): Baal, a Phoenicain deity
1. The name means “lord.”
2. This is the supreme male god of the Phoenicians.
C. Clarke: “These were not two particular deities, but two general idols; the one masculine, Baalim; the other feminine, Ashtaroth; both the words are in the plural number, and signify all their gods and goddesses” (e-sword).
11. Where did Samuel tell the children of Israel to gather so he could pray for them? (I Sam. 7:5)
And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the Lord.
1. Strong (4709): the name of two places in Palestine
a. Meaning: watchtower
b. An old sacred place in Benjamin (Josh. 18:26).
12. What is the significance of drawing water and pouring it out? (I Sam. 7:6)
And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the Lord…
A. The pouring out of the water seems to indicate their repentance, a picture of the pouring out of their hearts before God.
B. Psalm 22:14 (See Ps. 62:8; Lam. 2:9)
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
13. T – F The children of Israel refused to fast on that day. (I Sam. 7:6)
…and fasted on that day...
B. Fasting shows one’s dependence upon God.
14. What admission did Israel make to the Lord? (I Sam. 7:6)
…and said there, We have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.
A. The children of Israel acknowledged their sins.
B. This was a verbal confession of their wrongs to God. Confession exposes the sin and makes repentance an easier act (Prov. 28:13).
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
15. What did the Philistines do when they heard Israel was at Mizpeh? (I Sam. 7:7)
And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lord of the Philistines went up against Israel…
A. They went up to do battle against Israel.
B. When Israel came to Mizpeh, some believe it was to do battle with the Philistines. Remember, Samuel had told them that if they would turn from their idols and serve God, the Lord would deliver them out of the hand of the Philistines (I Sam. 7:3). Thus, the Philistines were responding to the actions of Israel.
C. The response of Israel negates this view, however.
16. What was the emotional reaction that Israel had when they heard about the Philistines? (I Sam. 7:7).
And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.
A. They were afraid.
B. If the children of Israel gathered at Mizpeh to do battle, why would their hearts be afraid when the Philistines showed up?
17. What request did Israel make of Samuel when the Philistines came against them? (I Sam. 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.
A. Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us.
B. “They had strong confidence in the intercession of Samuel, because they knew he was a holy man of God” (Clarke, e-sword).
C. NOTE: This is not the action they had taken in their last battle with the Philistines. They did not consult the Lord at all. They devised their own plan to attempt to defeat their enemy.
18. What did Samuel offer as a burnt offering unto the Lord? (I Sam. 7:9).
And Samuel took a suckling lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the Lord…
A. A suckling lamb
B. The only other time this type of lamb is mentioned in Scripture is in Isaiah 65:25.
C. This suckling lamb was at least 8 days old as required by the law (Lev. 22:27).
When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
D. “For the burnt-offering represented the man, who consecrated therein his life and labour to the Lord. The sacrifice was the substratum for prayer” (Keil & Delitzsch, e-sword).
19. T – F The Lord did not hear the cry of Samuel on that occasion. (I Sam. 7:9)
…And Samuel cried unto the Lord for Israel; and the Lord heard him.
B. Israel had approached God in the correct manner this time and God heard their cries through this man of God.
20. How did God thwart the Philistine army? (I Sam. 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…
A. He thundered a “great thunder” upon them.
21. Define: discomfited (I Sam. 7:10)
…and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.
A. Strong (2000): to put into commotion, disturb, drive, destroy
B. BDB: confuse, crush, destroy, trouble vex
22. How far did the Israelites pursue after the Philistines? (I Sam. 7:11)
And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came to Beth-car.
A. They pursued them to Beth-car.
1. Strong (1033): house of pasture
2. BDB: house of the ram or place of the lamb, apparently a place in Philistia
3. NOTE: The location of this place has not been determined
23. Where did Samuel place the memorial stone after Israel’s victory (I Sam. 7:12)
Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen…
A. He placed it between Mizpeh and Shen.
1. Strong (8129): a crag
2. A place in Palestine
24. What did he call the name of the place? (I Sam. 7:12)
…and called the name of it Eben-ezer, saying Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.
25. What does that name mean? (I Sam. 7:12)
A. Strong (72): stone of help
B. BDB: stone of help, a stone erected by Samuel to commemorate God’s help in the defeat of the Philistines
C. We sing a song with the word “Eben-ezer” in it entitled: “O Thou Fount of Every Blessing” (#500). The second stanza begins with these words: “Here I raise my Eben-ezer: Hither by thy help I’ve come.”
1. The writer indicates his knowledge of this event in the book of I Samuel.
2. He notes that God still helps His people.
26. T – F After this battle, the Philistines came no more into the coast of Israel. (I Sam. 7:13).
So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel…
B. It is interesting how easily God defeated the Philistines. This could have been done the first time Israel when to battle with their enemies if only they had asked counsel of God.
27. How long did their absence from Israel last? (I Sam. 7:13)
…and the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
A. All the days of Samuel.
B. This would indicate all of the days of Samuel’s rule as judge. Once Saul became king, he was then in conflict with the Philistines on a regular basis.
28. What cities that had been under Philistine control were returned to Israel? (I Sam. 7:14).
And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines.
A. All of the cities form Ekron unto Gath.
29. “And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites” (I Sam. 7:14).
30. T – F Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. (I Sam. 7:15).
And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
B. This involves his civil capacity and not his military leadership once Saul was made king.
31. What three cities made up the circuit of Samuel’s travel? (I Sam. 7:16)
And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places.
A. Bethel B. Gilgal C. Mizpeh
32. Where did Samuel live (I Sam. 7:17)
And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he judged Israel…
B. The meaning of Ramah is “hill.” It is located about 5 miles northwest of Jerusalem.
33. Where was the altar of the Lord built? (I Sam. 7:17)
…and there he built an altar unto the Lord.
A. In Ramah
B. Think about what has happened to the holy things up to this point.
1. The tabernacle is still in Shiloh.
2. The ark of the covenant is in Kirjath-jearim.
3. The altar for sacrifice is now in Ramah.
a. NOTE: Some believe that Samuel may have moved the tabernacle to Shiloh at this time, but there is no record of it. They say this because of Samuel’s close connection to the tabernacle in his formative years.
b. God will one day declare exactly where he wants the tabernacle and the ark of God put.
ISRAEL REQUESTS A KING
I Samuel 8:1-9
Victor M. Eskew
i. I Samuel 8:1-3
ii. I Samuel 8:4-5
iii. I Samuel 8:6
iv. I Samuel 8:7-9
2. When did Samuel make his sons judges over Israel? (I Sam. 8:1)
3. What were the names of his sons? (I Sam. 8:2)
4. In what city did they reside as judges? (I Sam. 8:2)
5. T – F Samuel’s sons followed in his righteous ways. (I Sam. 8:3)
6. What three evils did Samuel’s sons commit? (I Sam. 8:3)
7. Who was it that gathered themselves together in order to approach Samuel? (I Sam. 8:4)
8. What do we know about these men who are called “elders”? (I Sam. 8:4)
9. What request did they make of Samuel? (I Sam. 8:5)
10. What three reasons did they give for this request? (I Sam. 8:5)
11. Samuel was ( pleased displeased) by this request? (I Sam. 8:6)
12. Define: displeased (I Sam. 8:6)
13. What did Samuel do after he heard the request for a king? (I Sam. 8:6)
14. T – F God told Samuel to hearken unto the voice of the people. (I Sam. 8:7)
15. Who did God say they had rejected? (I Sam. 8:7)
16. The children of Israel had forsaken God and served other gods for how long? (I Sam. 8:8)
17. “Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit ________________ solemnly unto them” (I Sam. 8:9).
18. Define: protest (I Sam. 8:9)
19. What was Samuel to show unto the people? (I Sam. 8:9)
20. Define: manner (I Sam. 8:9)