What does 1 Samuel 7:8 mean?
ESV: And the people of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the LORD our God for us, that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines.”
NIV: They said to Samuel, 'Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.'
NASB: So the sons of Israel said to Samuel, 'Do not stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, that He will save us from the hand of the Philistines!'
CSB: The Israelites said to Samuel, "Don't stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, so that he will save us from the Philistines."
NLT: Don’t stop pleading with the Lord our God to save us from the Philistines!' they begged Samuel.
KJV: And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.
NKJV: So the children of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.”
Verse Commentary:
The Israelites clearly understood Samuel's relationship to the Lord God of Israel. They knew Samuel to be God's prophet: the one who delivered God's messages (1 Samuel 3:20). They understood Samuel now to be a "judge" over Israel, as well (1 Samuel 7:6). The Hebrew word for this title implies rescue, victory, vengeance, and defense. Samuel was the one who called them to repentance before the Lord, and the people had repented, confessing their sin, and turning to God (1 Samuel 7:3–6).

It's no wonder then that when the people heard the Philistines were marching to do battle against them, they first turned to Samuel. Their plea is that he cry out to God, without stopping, to save them from the hand of the Philistines.
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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