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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Samuel 7:1

And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took the ark of the Lord and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and consecrated Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the Lord .
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Abinadab;   Ark;   Eleazar (Eleazer);   Gibeah;   Kirjath-Jearim;   Revivals;   Thompson Chain Reference - Abinadab;   Ark;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Ark of the Covenant;  
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Abinadab;   Ark of the Covenant;   Eleazar;   Philistines;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ark;   David;   Kiriath-jearim;   Philistia, philistines;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Covenant;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Prayer;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Eleazar;   Ephratah;   Kirjath-Jearim;   Samuel;   Uzzah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Abinadab;   Eleazar;   Kirjath Jearim;   Levites;   Samson;   Uzzah;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Abinadab;   Eleazar;   Gibeah;   Ira;   Prophecy, Prophets;   Shiloh;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abinadab;   Ark;   Baal (1);   Eleazar;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ark of God;   Eleazar ;   Gibeah ;   Kirjathjearim ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Ebenezer;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Abinadab;   Ark;   Eleazar;   Kirjath-jearim;   Samuel;   Shiloh;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Abin'adab;   Ark of the Covenant;   Elea'zar;   Gib'e-Ah;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Abinadab;   Ahimelech;   Ark of the Covenant;   Cart;   Eleazar;   Fetch;   Kiriath-Jearim;   Priests and Levites;   Tabernacle;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Abinadab;   Ark of the covenant;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abinadab;  

Adam Clarke Commentary


The men of Kirjah-jearim bring the ark from Beth-shemesh, and

consecrate Eleazar, the son of Abinadab, to keep it; and there

it continued twenty years, 1, 2.

Samuel reproves and exhorts the people, and gathers them

together at Mizpeh, where they fast and pray, and confess

their sins, 3-6.

The Philistines go up against them; the Israelites cry unto the

Lord for help; Samuel offers sacrifices; and the Lord confounds

the Philistines with thunder; Israel discomfits and pursues

them to Beth-car, 7-11.

Samuel erects a stone for a memorial, and calls it Eben-ezer,


The Philistines are totally subdued, and Israel recovers all

its lost cities, 13, 14.

Samuel acts as an itinerant judge in Israel, 15-17.


Verse 1 Samuel 7:1. Fetched up the ark — When these people received the message of the Beth-shemites, they probably consulted Samuel, with whom was the counsel of the Lord, and he had encouraged them to go and bring it up, else they might have expected such destruction as happened to the Beth-shemites.

Sanctified Eleazar — Perhaps this sanctifying signifies no more than setting this man apart, simply to take care of the ark.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 7:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

The ark returns (5:1-7:1)

Although God used the Philistines to judge Israel, he would not allow them to dishonour him. He showed that the capture of the ark did not mean that he was inferior to the Philistine god Dagon (5:1-5). Wherever the ark went it brought trouble to the Philistine people. A plague of mice seems to have spread a painful and deadly disease throughout the country, bringing widespread suffering and death (6-12; cf. 6:5).
The Philistines felt fairly certain that the ark was the cause of their troubles. So they decided to send it back to Israel, along with gifts to Israel’s God to pay for their sin in capturing his ark (6:1-6). To test whether their theory was correct, they planned to put the ark on a new cart to be drawn by two milking cows that had never pulled a cart and had only recently calved. The cows were to be left alone to see if Israel’s God directed them to take his ark back to Israel. Normally the cows would want to break loose and return to their calves (7-9).

God restored his honour by bringing his ark back without the Israelites’ doing anything at all (10-12). The Israelites accepted the Philistines’ gifts and offered sacrifices to God, but God killed those Israelites who looked into the ark. He wanted to impress upon the people that the ark was sacred. They were not to treat it as an object of curiosity or superstition (13-19; cf. Numbers 4:20). The people then took the ark and placed it in a private house in the nearby town of Kiriath-jearim (20-7:1).

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 7:1". "Brideway Bible Commentary". 2005.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

(For a definitive comment on 1 Samuel 7:1 see the note under 1 Samuel 6:21.)


This chapter is not written after the manner of modern dissertations. As a result of the peculiarities that are frequently found in Biblical books, some scholars have great difficulty in reading it. So they regale us with learned talk about editors, redactors, interpolators, and some other things concerning which they have no authentic information whatever! This writer finds the chapter absolutely clear and understandable exactly as it has come down to us.

Oh yes, there are difficulties and problems, some of which, no doubt, must be attributed to the defective Hebrew text, but the overall meaning of what is revealed here is clear enough.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 7:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

This verse belongs more properly to 1 Samuel 6:0. Abinadab and his sons were probably of the house of Levi. The catastrophe at Bethshemesh must inevitably have made the Israelites very careful to pay due honor to the ark in accordance with the Law: but to give the care of the ark to those who were not of the house of Levi would be a gross violation of the Law.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 7:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Chapter 7

And so the men of Kirjathjearim came, and they took the ark of the Lord; and they brought it to the house of Abinadab on the hill, and sanctified Eleazar the son to keep the ark of the Lord. And it came to pass, while the ark was there at Kirjathjearim, it was there for a long time; for twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord. And Samuel spake to all the house of Israel, saying, If you do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth [Now Ashtaroth was the goddess of sexual love, and the fertility goddess, and they were, the children of Israel worshiping Ashtaroth, and he said, "Put away the gods and Ashtaroth,"] from among you, and prepare your hearts to the Lord, serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. So the children of Israel put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and they served the Lord only. And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the Lord. And so they gathered together at Mizpeh, and they drew water, and poured it out before the Lord, and he fasted on that day, and said, We have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh. Now when the Philistines heard that they had gathered to Mizpeh, they set up the army against them. And the children of Israel were afraid of the Philistines. And they 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. And Samuel took a suckling lamb, and offered it as a burnt offering wholly unto the Lord: and Samuel cried unto the Lord for Israel; and the Lord heard him. [Now Samuel beginning to exercise his ministry of intercessory prayer.] 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 on the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came to Bethcar. And then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us ( 1 Samuel 7:1-12 ).

The Ebenezer stone. The word means "the stone of help". Now we sing the song, "Come the fount of every blessing to my heart to sing thy praise. Streams of mercy never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise." Second verse, "Here I raise mine Ebenezer", and you've probably been singing that all your life. What in the world are you raising? "Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by Thy help that comes." Actually, it's a stone of memorial, it's a memory kind of a stone. Here I set the stone. God has helped me thus far. God has brought me this far along.

Now actually that's something we can set up every day. You set up Ebenezer, "Well, God brought me this far." Now in that there is always encouragement and hope. For God brought me this far not to dump me. If He wanted to dump me, He would've dumped me a long time ago. Hitherto hath the Lord helped me. The help of the Lord in the past is a prophecy of the help of the Lord in the future. The fact that God has helped me up to this point, gives me assurance He's gonna see me all the way. For the Lord will complete that which concerns you, having begun a good work in your life, He is going to finish it, He's going to complete it. So it is healthy sometimes to set up that memorial "Well God has brought me this far, surely He's not gonna leave me now. He's not gonna forsake me now. Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."

So this was the beginning of the turn of the tide against the Philistines. Up to this point the Philistines had been beating them at every turn, every battle. Now this is the first turn of the tide against the Philistines, and as they came out he set up that stone, he said, "All right the Lord has helped us this far." The first of the beginning of God's work in bringing them victory over their enemies.

So as God brings victories in your lives, set up your Ebenezer stone, "Well, praise the Lord He helped me this far." Stones that mark the places of victory and God's work in my life.

So the Philistines were subdued, they came no more into the coast of Israel: during all the days of Samuel. And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored, from Ekron even to Gath; there was peace between Israel and the Amorites. And Samuel judged all the days of his life, judged Israel. And then he went from year to year in a circuit [So he was sort of a circuit prophet.] and he would go from Bethel, to Gilgal, to Mizpeh, and then return to his home in Ramah ( 1 Samuel 7:13-17 );

Which is the modern city of Ram Allah just north of Israel.


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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 7:1". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". 2014.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the men of Kirjathjearim came and fetched up the ark of the Lord,.... From Bethshemesh, which was near unto them, as Josephus g says; they made no difficulty of fetching it, but gladly received it; for if they knew of what happened to the men of Bethshemesh, they knew it was not owing to the presence of the ark among them, but to their irreverent behaviour to it; and though Kirjathjearim was not a Levite city, and so the men of it could not bear the ark themselves, yet they might have proper persons from Bethshemesh to do this service:

and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill; which; hill was within the city of Kirjathjearim, and is mentioned either to distinguish this Abinadab that dwelt on it from another of the same name in the city, as Kimchi observes; or else to remark the propriety of the place, and the reason of the choice of it for the ark to be placed in; hills and high places being in those times accounted fittest for sacred services to be performed in, as well as places of safety; who this man was is not certain. Josephus h says he was a Levite, but if so he could only be a sojourner in this place; however he might be, as he suggests he was, a man of great esteem for religion and righteousness:

and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the Lord; not only to watch it that it might not be taken away, but to keep persons from it, from touching it, or using it irreverently; and such as were not allowed to come nigh it; as well as to keep the place clean where it was put; and for this he was appointed by the priests, or the elders of the city; and was set apart for this service, and prepared for it by washings and sacrifices; and the rather he and not his father was invested with this office, because he was a young man, and his father might be old and decrepit; and this his son also a holy goodman, wise and prudent, and active and zealous for God, and true religion; and on all accounts a fit person for this post.

g Antiqu. l. 6. c. 1. sect. 4. h Ibid

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 7:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

The Ark at Kirjath-jearim. B. C. 1099.

      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, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD.   2 And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjath-jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.

      Here we must attend the ark to Kirjath-jearim, and then leave it there, to hear not a word more of it except once (1 Samuel 14:18; 1 Samuel 14:18), till David fetched it thence, about forty years after, 1 Chronicles 13:6.

      I. We are very willing to attend it thither, for the men of Beth-shemesh have by their own folly made that a burden which might have been a blessing; and gladly would we see it among those to whom it will be a savour of life unto life, for in every place where it has been of late it has been a savour of death unto death. Now,

      1. The men of Kirjath-jearim cheerfully bring it among them, 1 Samuel 7:1; 1 Samuel 7:1. They came, at the first word, and fetched up the ark of the Lord. Their neighbours the Beth-shemites, were not more glad to get rid of it than they were to receive it, knowing very well that what slaughter the ark had made at Beth-shemesh was not an act of arbitrary power, but of necessary justice, and those that suffered by it must blame themselves, not the ark; we may depend upon the word which God hath said (Jeremiah 25:6), Provoke me not, and I will do you no hurt. Note, The judgments of God on those who profane his ordinances should not make us afraid of the ordinances, but of profaning them and making an ill use of them.

      2. They carefully provided for its decent entertainment among them, as a welcome guest, with true affection, and, as an honourable guest, with respect and reverence.

      (1.) They provided a proper place to receive it. They had no public building to adorn with it, but they lodged it in the house of Abinadab, which stood upon the highest ground, and, probably, was the best house in their city; or perhaps the master of it was the most eminent man they had for piety, and best affected to the ark. The men of Beth-shemesh left it exposed upon a stone in the open field, and, though it was a city of priests, none of them received it into his house; but the men of Kirjath-jearim, though common Israelites, gave it house-room, and no doubt the best-furnished room in the house to which it was brought. Note, [1.] God will find out a resting-place for his ark; if some thrust it from them, yet the hearts of others shall be inclined to receive it. [2.] It is no new thing for God's ark to be thrust into a private house. Christ and his apostles preached from house to house when they could not have public places at command. [3.] Sometimes priests are shamed and out-done in religion by common Israelites.

      (2.) They provided a proper person to attend it: They sanctified Eleazar his son to keep it; not the father, either because he was aged and infirm, or because he had the affairs of his house and family to attend, from which they would not take him off. But the son, who, it is probable, was a very pious devout young man, and zealously affected towards the best things. His business was to keep the ark, not only from being seized by malicious Philistines, but from being touched or looked into by too curious Israelites. He was to keep the room clean and decent in which the ark was, that, though it was in an obscure place, it might no look like a neglected thing, which no man looked after. It does not appear that this Eleazar was of the tribe of Levi, much less of the house of Aaron, nor was it needful that he should, for here was no altar either for sacrifice or incense, only we may suppose that some devout Israelites would come and pray before the ark, and those that did so he was there ready to attend and assist. For this purpose they sanctified him, that is, by his own consent, they obliged him to make this his business, and to give a constant attendance to it; they set him apart for it in the name of all their citizens. This was irregular, but was excusable because of the present distress. When the ark has but recently come out of captivity we cannot expect it to be on a sudden in its usual solemnity, but must take things as they are, and make the best of them.

      II. Yet we are very loth to leave it here, wishing it well at Shiloh again, but that is made desolate (Jeremiah 7:14), or at least wishing it at Nob, or Gibeon, or wherever the tabernacle and the altars are; but, it seems, it must lie by the way for want of some public-spirited men to bring it to its proper place. 1. The time of its continuance here was long, very long, above forty years it lay in these fields of the wood, a remote, obscure, private place, unfrequented and almost unregarded (1 Samuel 7:2; 1 Samuel 7:2): The time that the ark abode in Kirjath-jearim was long, even till David fetched it thence. It was very strange that all the time that Samuel governed the ark was never brought to its place in the holy of holies, an evidence of the decay of holy zeal among them. God suffered it to be so, to punish them for their neglect of the ark when it was in its place and to show that the great stress which the institution laid upon the ark was but typical of Christ, and those good things to come which cannot be moved,Hebrews 9:23; Hebrews 12:27. It was a just reproach to the priests that one not of their order was sanctified to keep the ark. 2. Twenty years of this time had passed before the house of Israel was sensible of the want of the ark. The Septuagint read it somewhat more clearly than we do; and it was twenty years, and (that is, when) the whole house of Israel looked up again after the Lord. So long the ark remained in obscurity, and the Israelites were not sensible of the inconvenience, nor ever made any enquiry after it, what has become of it; though, while it was absent from the tabernacle, the token of God's special presence was wanting, nor could they keep the day of atonement as it should be kept. They were content with the altars without the ark; so easily can formal professors rest satisfied in a round of external performances, without any tokens of God's presence or acceptance. But at length they bethought themselves, and began to lament after the lord, stirred up to it, it is probable, by the preaching of Samuel, with which an extraordinary working of the Spirit of God set in. A general disposition to repentance and reformation now appears throughout all Israel, and they begin to look unto him whom they had slighted, and to mourn,Zechariah 12:10. Dr. Lightfoot thinks this was a matter and time as remarkable as almost any we read of in scripture; and that the great conversion, Acts 2 and 3, is the only parallel to it. Note, (1.) Those that know how to value God's ordinances cannot but reckon it a very lamentable thing to want them. (2.) True repentance and conversion begin in lamenting after the Lord; we must be sensible that by sin we have provoked him to withdraw and are undone if we continue in a state of distance from him, and be restless till we have recovered his favour and obtained his gracious returns. It was better with the Israelites when they wanted the ark, and were lamenting after it, than when they had the ark, and were prying into it, or priding themselves in it. Better see people longing in the scarcity of the means of grace than loathing in the abundance of them.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on 1 Samuel 7:1". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". 1706.