What does 1 Samuel 7:11 mean?
ESV: And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines and struck them, as far as below Beth-car.
NIV: The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar.
NASB: And the men of Israel came out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and killed them as far as below Beth-car.
CSB: Then the men of Israel charged out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines striking them down all the way to a place below Beth-car.
NLT: The men of Israel chased them from Mizpah to a place below Beth-car, slaughtering them all along the way.
KJV: And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Beth-car.
NKJV: And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car.
Verse Commentary:
Samuel had promised the people of Israel that if they would put away their foreign gods and set their hearts on the Lord and serve Him only, the Lord would deliver them from the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:3). Perhaps even the prophet did not know how quickly that promise would be fulfilled.

The people, gathered at Mizpah to repent from their sin, are suddenly attacked by the Philistine army (1 Samuel 7:5–8). In response to Samuel's offering and cry for the Lord to help Israel, God thunders against the Philistines and throws them into confusion (1 Samuel 7:9–10). The Philistines are in such chaos, apparently, that they begin to run away. Although the Israelites are not necessarily gathered for war, the men of Israel are able to chase and strike down the Philistines in a resounding and shocking victory.

The verse adds that the men of Israel chased the Philistines as far away from Mizpah as to "below" a place called Beth-car. This is the only mention of the place in the Bible, and scholars don't know precisely where it is.
Verse Context:
First Samuel 7:3–14 begins with Samuel's instructions for the people to throw away their foreign gods and serve the Lord only. The nation gathers at Mizpah to confess and repent. Seeing what looks like an amassed army, the Philistines plan an attack. Samuel offers a sacrifice and cries out to the Lord, who thunders against the Philistines and throws them into confusion. The Israelites strike them down and drive them out of Israelite territory. Israel also has peace with the local Amorites.
Chapter Summary:
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.
Chapter Context:
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).
Book Summary:
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.
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