What does 1 Samuel 7:13 mean?
ESV: So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel. And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
NIV: So the Philistines were subdued and they stopped invading Israel's territory. Throughout Samuel's lifetime, the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines.
NASB: So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore within the border of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
CSB: So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israel's territory again. The Lord's hand was against the Philistines all of Samuel's life.
NLT: So the Philistines were subdued and didn’t invade Israel again for some time. And throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the Lord’s powerful hand was raised against the Philistines.
KJV: So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
Verse Commentary:
The defeat of the Philistines by the Lord and the people of Israel (1 Samuel 7:10–11) was decisive. So overwhelming, in fact, was the Israeli victory that the enemy retreats entirely from Israelite territory. God's hand stays against the Philistines for the remainder of Samuel's life. This follows the pattern of the victories over Israel's enemies in the book of Judges (Judges 3:30; 4:23–24; 8:28; 11:33). God subdues the nations oppressing Israel, followed by a season of rest and peace during the lifetime of the deliverer (Judges 2:16–23).

Instead of God's hand being against His own people for their sinful worship of foreign gods, His hand turns to be against Israel's enemies while Israel remains faithful to Him.
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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