What does 1 Samuel 7:1 mean?
ESV: And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD and brought it to the house of Abinadab on the hill. And they consecrated his son Eleazar to have charge of the ark of the LORD.
NIV: So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD. They brought it to Abinadab's house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD.
NASB: 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 they consecrated his son Eleazar to watch over the ark of the Lord.
CSB: So the people of Kiriath-jearim came for the ark of the Lord and took it to Abinadab's house on the hill. They consecrated his son Eleazar to take care of it.
NLT: So the men of Kiriath-jearim came to get the Ark of the Lord. They took it to the hillside home of Abinadab and ordained Eleazar, his son, to be in charge of it.
KJV: 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.
The ark of the Lord was back in Israel. The Israelites had done nothing to rescue the ark, but God afflicted the Philistines with such suffering during the seven months they held onto it that they resolved to send it back. Their hope was that God would ease His hand against them (1 Samuel 6).
Although the Israelites of Beth-shemesh who first discovered the ark rejoiced to see it returned (1 Samuel 6:13), the people of Israel were still not being faithful to the Lord. In offering a sacrifice to the Lord before they ark, they did not follow the commands of the Law about how to treat the place where God's presence visited them on the earth (1 Samuel 6:14–15, 19; Exodus 25:10–22; Leviticus 16). The Lord killed seventy men of the town for this sin (1 Samuel 6:19–21).
As was the case with each Philistine town the ark arrived at (1 Samuel 5:6–12), the people of Beth-shemesh did not want it near them. They sent messengers to the people of Kiriath-jearim to come and take it from them (1 Samuel 6:21). The location of Kiriath-jearim is disputed. It is thought to have been about seven miles from Beth-shemesh and perhaps only about a few miles west of Gibeon and Jerusalem. Either the city was situated on a hill or had a prominent hill outside of town.
The ark is brought by the men of the city to the house of a man named Abinadab. He and his son Eleazar may have been directly descended from Aaron, the first priest of Israel who, along with his descendants, was chosen to be high priest (Exodus 29:29–30; 40:12–15; Numbers 3:5–10). The context of this verse hints that they were a Levite family, and might have been why the ark was sent to them for safe keeping. Eleazar was consecrated—set apart and dedicated—with the specific job of keeping watch over and protecting the ark while it remained in the house of his father. That implies that he was a priest, though Scripture does not say this for certain.
First Samuel 7:1–2 concludes the episode of the capture of the ark of the Lord and its return to Israel by the Philistines. The men of Kiriath-jearim bring the ark from Beth-shemesh to the house of Abinadab. His son, Eleazar, is consecrated and takes charge of the ark. It sits in a kind of silent storage at Kiriath-jearim for twenty years until Israel finally repents and asks God to save them from Philistine oppression.
Twenty years after the ark of the Lord is taken to Kiriath-jearim, Samuel calls for the people to repent. They should discard foreign gods and serve the true Lord. Gathered at Mizpah, the people confess their sin. With the Philistines approaching to attack, Samuel offers a sacrifice and cries out to God. The Lord responds with loud thunder against the Philistines and throws them into confusion. The Israelites strike them down and drive them out of Israelite territory. Samuel serves as judge over Israel for the rest of his life.
First Samuel 7 begins with the arrival of the previously captured ark of the covenant (1 Samuel 4—6) at Kiriath-jearim. There it sits for twenty years. Samuel then calls the people to repent and throw away the foreign gods they have been worshiping. At Mizpah, the nation is gathered to confess their sin and fast. With the Philistines approaching, Samuel offers a sacrifice and cries out to God. The Lord confuses the Philistines, and the Israelites strike them down and force them out of Israelite territory. Unfortunately, after this, Israel will seek to appoint a king so they can be like the other nations in the area (1 Samuel 8).
First Samuel introduces the key figures who led Israel after the era of the judges. The books of 1 and 2 Samuel were originally part of a single text, split in certain translations shortly before the birth of Christ. Some of the Bible’s most famous characters are depicted in this book. These including the prophet Samuel, Israel’s first king, Saul, her greatest king, David, and other famous names such as Goliath and Jonathan. By the end of this book, Saul has fallen; the book of 2 Samuel begins with David’s ascension to the throne.
Accessed 11/30/2023 5:38:40 AM
© Copyright 2002-2023 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.