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1 Samuel 7:16

ESV And he went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah. And he judged Israel in all these places.
NIV From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places.
NASB And he used to go annually on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and he judged Israel in all these places.
CSB Every year he would go on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah and would judge Israel at all these locations.
NLT Each year he traveled around, setting up his court first at Bethel, then at Gilgal, and then at Mizpah. He judged the people of Israel at each of these places.
KJV And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places.

What does 1 Samuel 7:16 mean?

Much of Samuel's life was spent as "judge" (Judges 2:16–19) over Israel (1 Samuel 7:6, 15). To carry out this role, he traveled an annual circuit that took him from his home in Ramah to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, all within the territory of the tribe of Benjamin.

Bethel, now known as Beitin, is north of Jerusalem. It was one of the most sacred places in Israel's history, dating back to the time of Jacob (Genesis 35:15). The ark of the Lord was kept at Bethel for a time, as well (Judges 20:26–27).

The location of this Gilgal is uncertain, though there was a Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho (Joshua 4:19). Gilgal is mentioned frequently in 1 Samuel, especially in connection with the kingship of Saul (1 Samuel 10:8; 11:15; 13:8–15; 15:17–33). It later became known for cult activity (Amos 4:4; Hosea 9:15).

Mizpah, where the nation gathered to repent from their sin and ended up in a battle with the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:5–11), is now known Tel en-Nasbeh, also north of Jerusalem. All three of these stops on Samuel's circuit were within close distance to each other to the north and east of Jerusalem.

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