What does 1 Samuel 7:15 mean?
ESV: Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
NIV: Samuel continued as Israel's leader all the days of his life.
NASB: Now Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
CSB: Samuel judged Israel throughout his life.
NLT: Samuel continued as Israel’s judge for the rest of his life.
KJV: And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
Verse Commentary:
Samuel was the last of the judges of Israel. As with the previous judges, God raised Samuel up as a deliverer to lead the people to victory over their oppressors after they had repented from their sins against Him (Judges 2:11–23). One of Samuel's jobs as judge and prophet would be to lead Israel through the transition from the time of judges to the time of kings. As this verse notes, that calling from God was permanent: once called, Samuel spent the rest of his days serving in this capacity.

It's hard to imagine a life better spent than fulfilling one's calling in serving the Lord from the very beginning (1 Samuel 1:27–28) to the very end (1 Samuel 25:1).
Verse Context:
First Samuel 7:15–17 serves as a summary of Samuel's time as a judge. The next passage introduces Israel's transition to leadership under a king. Samuel lived in Ramah, where he provided leadership for Israel and built an altar to God. Samuel also took an annual trip through three Israelite cities, where he also judged.
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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