The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The First Book of Kings
So they came as they were bidden, the men of Cariathiarim, and brought back the ark with them, housing it with a certain Abinadab in Gabaa;✻ and they set apart his son Eleazar to keep watch over the Lord’s ark.
Long time the ark remained in Cariathiarim; twenty years so passed, and now the whole race of Israel sought rest from its troubles in following the Lord.
Why then, Samuel told the Israelites, if your hearts are honestly set on coming back to the Lord, you must rid yourselves of all alien gods; no Baal for you, no Astaroth; your hearts must wait in readiness on the Lord and serve him only; then he will deliver you from the Philistine’s power.
So Israel cast Baal and Astaroth aside, to serve none but the Lord.
Then Samuel would have all Israel meet at Masphath, so that he might beg the Lord’s mercy for them there;
and at Masphath they assembled, and drew water which they poured out before the Lord, and fasted that day, and made confession there to the Lord of their sin. And Samuel sat in judgement over Israel at Masphath.
This assembly at Masphath came to the ears of the Philistines, and their chiefs came out to offer Israel battle. Whereupon the Israelites, in great dread of them,
bade Samuel pray to the Lord their God yet, if they were to be rescued from the power of the Philistines.
So Samuel chose out a lamb still unweaned, and offered it whole to the Lord in burnt-sacrifice, crying out to the Lord for Israel, and obtaining an answer to his prayer.
It was at the very moment when Samuel was offering sacrifice that the Philistines went to the attack; and the Lord volleyed his thunders against the Philistines that day, crashing loud above them, so that they were overcome with terror, and fell before Israel’s onslaught;
from Masphath all the way to the slopes of Bethchar the Israelites pursued them, cutting them down.
Thereupon Samuel chose out a stone and set it up between Masphath and Sen, calling the place, The Rock of Deliverance, in token that the Lord was still their protector.
So cowed were the spirits of the Philistines, that they never crossed the frontiers of Israel again; the Lord kept the Philistines in check as long as Samuel lived.
They must give back, too, all the cities they had wrested from Israel, right up to Accaron and Geth; thus the Israelites freed their territory from the Philistines’ power, and enjoyed peace with their neighbours.
To Samuel men came for judgement all his life long;
year by year he would go round from Bethel to Galgala, from Galgala to Masphath, holding assize in each of these cities,
and so returning to his home at Ramatha; there, too, he sat in judgement, and there he raised an altar to the Lord.
The Holy Bible