I Samuel 7
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1  The men of Kiryat Ye’arim came and took up the Aron of Hashem and brought it into the house of Avinadav on the hill; and they consecrated his son Elazar to have charge of the Aron of Hashem.

א  וַיָּבֹאוּ אַנְשֵׁי קִרְיַת יְעָרִים וַיַּעֲלוּ אֶת־אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה וַיָּבִאוּ אֹתוֹ אֶל־בֵּית אֲבִינָדָב בַּגִּבְעָה וְאֶת־אֶלְעָזָר בְּנוֹ קִדְּשׁוּ לִשְׁמֹר אֶת־אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה׃

2  A long time elapsed from the day that the Aron was housed in Kiryat Ye’arim, twenty years in all; and all the House of Yisrael yearned after Hashem.

ב  וַיְהִי מִיּוֹם שֶׁבֶת הָאָרוֹן בְּקִרְיַת יְעָרִים וַיִּרְבּוּ הַיָּמִים וַיִּהְיוּ עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וַיִּנָּהוּ כָּל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל אַחֲרֵי יְהֹוָה׃

3  And Shmuel said to all the House of Yisrael, “If you mean to return to Hashem with all your heart, you must remove the alien gods and the Ashtaroth from your midst and direct your heart to Hashem and serve Him alone. Then He will deliver you from the hands of the Philistines.”

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל־כָּל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר אִם־בְּכָל־לְבַבְכֶם אַתֶּם שָׁבִים אֶל־יְהֹוָה הָסִירוּ אֶת־אֱלֹהֵי הַנֵּכָר מִתּוֹכְכֶם וְהָעַשְׁתָּרוֹת וְהָכִינוּ לְבַבְכֶם אֶל־יְהֹוָה וְעִבְדֻהוּ לְבַדּוֹ וְיַצֵּל אֶתְכֶם מִיַּד פְּלִשְׁתִּים׃

4  And the Israelites removed the Baalim and Ashtaroth and they served Hashem alone.

ד  וַיָּסִירוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַבְּעָלִים וְאֶת־הָעַשְׁתָּרֹת וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה לְבַדּוֹ׃

5  Shmuel said, “Assemble all Yisrael at Mitzpa, and I will pray to Hashem for you.”

ה  וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל קִבְצוּ אֶת־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל הַמִּצְפָּתָה וְאֶתְפַּלֵּל בַּעַדְכֶם אֶל־יְהֹוָה׃

6  They assembled at Mitzpa, and they drew water and poured it out before Hashem; they fasted that day, and there they confessed that they had sinned against Hashem. And Shmuel acted as chieftain of the Israelites at Mitzpa.

ו  וַיִּקָּבְצוּ הַמִּצְפָּתָה וַיִּשְׁאֲבוּ־מַיִם וַיִּשְׁפְּכוּ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וַיָּצוּמוּ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וַיֹּאמְרוּ שָׁם חָטָאנוּ לַיהֹוָה וַיִּשְׁפֹּט שְׁמוּאֵל אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּמִּצְפָּה׃

7  When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had assembled at Mitzpa, the lords of the Philistines marched out against Yisrael. Hearing of this, the Israelites were terrified of the Philistines

ז  וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים כִּי־הִתְקַבְּצוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל הַמִּצְפָּתָה וַיַּעֲלוּ סַרְנֵי־פְלִשְׁתִּים אֶל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּשְׁמְעוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּרְאוּ מִפְּנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים׃

8  and they implored Shmuel, “Do not neglect us and do not refrain from crying out to Hashem our God to save us from the hands of the Philistines.”

ח  וַיֹּאמְרוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־שְׁמוּאֵל אַל־תַּחֲרֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ מִזְּעֹק אֶל־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְיֹשִׁעֵנוּ מִיַּד פְּלִשְׁתִּים׃

9  Thereupon Shmuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to Hashem; and Shmuel cried out to Hashem in behalf of Yisrael, and Hashem responded to him.

ט  וַיִּקַּח שְׁמוּאֵל טְלֵה חָלָב אֶחָד ויעלה [וַיַּעֲלֵהוּ] עוֹלָה כָּלִיל לַיהֹוָה וַיִּזְעַק שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל־יְהֹוָה בְּעַד יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּעֲנֵהוּ יְהֹוָה׃

10  For as Shmuel was presenting the burnt offering and the Philistines advanced to attack Yisrael, Hashem thundered mightily against the Philistines that day. He threw them into confusion, and they were routed by Yisrael.

י  וַיְהִי שְׁמוּאֵל מַעֲלֶה הָעוֹלָה וּפְלִשְׁתִּים נִגְּשׁוּ לַמִּלְחָמָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּרְעֵם יְהֹוָה בְּקוֹל־גָּדוֹל בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא עַל־פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיְהֻמֵּם וַיִּנָּגְפוּ לִפְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

11  The men of Yisrael sallied out of Mitzpa and pursued the Philistines, striking them down to a point below Beth-car.

יא  וַיֵּצְאוּ אַנְשֵׁי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִן־הַמִּצְפָּה וַיִּרְדְּפוּ אֶת־פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיַּכּוּם עַד־מִתַּחַת לְבֵית כָּר׃

12  Shmuel took a stone and set it up between Mitzpa and Shen, and named it Even Ha-Ezer: “For up to now,” he said, “Hashem has helped us.”

יב  וַיִּקַּח שְׁמוּאֵל אֶבֶן אַחַת וַיָּשֶׂם בֵּין־הַמִּצְפָּה וּבֵין הַשֵּׁן וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמָהּ אֶבֶן הָעָזֶר וַיֹּאמַר עַד־הֵנָּה עֲזָרָנוּ יְהֹוָה׃

13  The Philistines were humbled and did not invade the territory of Yisrael again; and the hand of Hashem was set against the Philistines as long as Shmuel lived.

יג  וַיִּכָּנְעוּ הַפְּלִשְׁתִּים וְלֹא־יָסְפוּ עוֹד לָבוֹא בִּגְבוּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וַתְּהִי יַד־יְהֹוָה בַּפְּלִשְׁתִּים כֹּל יְמֵי שְׁמוּאֵל׃

14  The towns which the Philistines had taken from Yisrael, from Ekron to Gath, were restored to Yisrael; Yisrael recovered all her territory from the Philistines. There was also peace between Yisrael and the Amorites.

יד  וַתָּשֹׁבְנָה הֶעָרִים אֲשֶׁר לָקְחוּ־פְלִשְׁתִּים מֵאֵת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְיִשְׂרָאֵל מֵעֶקְרוֹן וְעַד־גַּת וְאֶת־גְּבוּלָן הִצִּיל יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיְהִי שָׁלוֹם בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבֵין הָאֱמֹרִי׃

15  Shmuel judged Yisrael as long as he lived.

טו  וַיִּשְׁפֹּט שְׁמוּאֵל אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל כֹּל יְמֵי חַיָּיו׃

16  Each year he made the rounds of Beit El, Gilgal, and Mitzpa, and acted as judge over Yisrael at all those places.

v’-ha-LAKH mi-DAY sha-NAH b’-sha-NAH v’-sa-VAV bayt AYL v’-ha-gil-GAL v’-ha-mitz-PAH v’-sha-FAT et yis-ra-AYL AYT kol ha-m’-ko-MOT ha-AY-leh

טז  וְהָלַךְ מִדֵּי שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה וְסָבַב בֵּית־אֵל וְהַגִּלְגָּל וְהַמִּצְפָּה וְשָׁפַט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵת כָּל־הַמְּקוֹמוֹת הָאֵלֶּה׃

 7:16   Each year he made the rounds

As the prophet and judge of the People of Israel, Shmuel could follow Eli’s example and require that the people come to him. However, he does not wish to live in an ivory tower. Shmuel becomes a different type of leader, who goes to the people in order to meet with them, inspire and serve them. Thus, he travels to the major cities of Israel on an annual basis. He serves as a role model for future leaders who would travel throughout the land to the homes and communities of their followers to offer inspiration. This has long been the practice of Israel’s chief rabbis, whose mission includes traveling throughout Israel to reach and teach the people they serve. One of the most famous examples was when Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook and nine other prominent rabbis visited early Jewish agricultural settlements in the Galilee region in 1913-14. Many of the residents of these settlements were not religiously observant, but Rabbi Kook and his colleagues felt obligated to teach them, and show their love to them all.1 comment

17  Then he would return to Rama, for his home was there, and there too he would judge Yisrael. He built a mizbayach there to Hashem.

יז  וּתְשֻׁבָתוֹ הָרָמָתָה כִּי־שָׁם בֵּיתוֹ וְשָׁם שָׁפָט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּבֶן־שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהֹוָה׃

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I Samuel 7

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