What does 1 Samuel 7:5 mean?
ESV: Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you.”
NIV: Then Samuel said, 'Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the LORD for you.'
NASB: Then Samuel said, 'Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the Lord for you.'
CSB: Samuel said, "Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord on your behalf."
NLT: Then Samuel told them, 'Gather all of Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.'
KJV: And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD.
Verse Commentary:
After the people have repented of their sinful worship of foreign gods and have begun to serve the Lord (1 Samuel 7:4), Samuel calls for a nationwide gathering to be held at a place called Mizpah. Most scholars agree that this is the same as modern-day Tel en-Nasbeh, a short distance north of Jerusalem. A walled structure at Mizpah may have been used to guard the road between Judah and Ephraim. The nation was also called to assemble at Mizpah in Judges 20—21 and later in Samuel when Saul is appointed to be Israel's first king (1 Samuel 10:17–27).

In his call to gather at Mizpah, Samuel promises to pray to the Lord for the people. One of Samuel's jobs as prophet and judge over Israel was to pray to God on their behalf (1 Samuel 7:8; 12:23; Jeremiah 15:1).
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.
Accessed 4/16/2024 12:31:01 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com