1 And the men of Kirjath-jearim came and brought up the ark of the LORD. And they brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD. 2 And it came to pass, while the ark stayed in Kirjath-jearim, that the time was long, for it was twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.
3 And Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, "If you return to the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, prepare your hearts to the LORD, and serve him only, and he will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines." 4 Then the children of Israel put away Baalim and Ashtaroth and served the LORD only.
5 And Samuel said, "Gather all Israel to Mizpeh and I will pray for you to the LORD." 6 And they assembled at Mizpeh and drew water, poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and there said, "We have sinned against the LORD." And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.
7 And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were assembled at Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, "Do not cease to cry to the LORD our God for us so that he will save us from the hand of the Philistines." 9 And Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it for a burnt-offering wholly to the LORD. And Samuel cried to the LORD for Israel, and the LORD heard him. 10 And as Samuel was offering the burnt-offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines and confused them, and they were smitten before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, pursued the Philistines, and smote them until they came under Beth-car.
12 Then Samuel took a stone, set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called its name Eben-ezer, saying, "Until now the LORD has helped us." 13 So the Philistines were subdued and they no longer came into the borders of Israel. And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath, and its borders Israel delivered from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 And he went from year to year in circuit to Beth-el, Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places. 17 And his return was to Ramah, for his house was there. There he judged Israel and there he built an altar to the LORD.
[v.3] - Reference, Deuteronomy 6:13, 10:20, 13:4, 30:1-10; 1st Kings 8:46-53; 1st Chronicles 22:19; Job 11:13-14; Proverbs 16:1; Isaiah 55:7; Jeremiah 4:3-4; Ezekiel 18:30-32; Hosea 6:1-2, 14:1; Joel 2:12-13.
[v.9] - From John Wesley's Notes: "[Samuel] made intercession with the sacrifice. So Christ intercedes in virtue of his satisfaction. And in all our prayers we must have an eye to his great oblation, depending on him for audience and acceptance."
[v.10] - "But the LORD thundered..." - This was prophesied by Samuel's mother, Hannah. Reference, 1st Samuel 2:10.