|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:13-17 In this great revival of true religion, the ark was neither removed to Shiloh, nor placed with the tabernacle any where else. This disregard to the Levitical institutions showed that their typical meaning formed their chief use; and when that was overlooked, they became a lifeless service, not to be compared with repentance, faith, and the love of God and man.
Verse 13. - So the Philistines were subdued. Not completely, for we find that they had garrisons in Israel when Saul was made king; but it was a thorough victory for the time, and was followed up, moreover, by an invasion of Philistia, in which Samuel recovered the towns which had been wrested from Israel upon the western borders of Judah and Benjamin. Moreover, the enemy came no more into the coast of Israel. That is, all invasions ceased. And the hand of Jehovah was against the philistines all the days of Samuel. This, of course, includes the reign of Saul, till within four years of his death; for Samuel continued to he prophet, and to a certain extent shophet, even when Saul was king. The words, moreover, imply a struggle, during which there was a gradual growth in strength on Israel's part, and a gradual enfeeblement on the part of the Philistines, until David completely vanquished them, though they appear again as powerful enemies in the days of King Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21:16). It is certain, however, that fifteen or twenty years after this battle the Philistines were again in the ascendant (1 Samuel 13:19-23), and it was this which made the Israelites demand a king (1 Samuel 9:16). But it is the method of the Divine historians to include the ultimate results, however distant, in their account of an event (see on 1 Samuel 16:21; 17:55-58); and Israel's freedom and the final subjugation of the Philistines were both contained in Samuel's victory at Mizpah.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So the Philistines were subdued,.... Not that their country was conquered, or they made subject and become tributaries to Israel; but they were so humbled, as not to attempt to give the people of Israel any further trouble and distress, who were now delivered from their oppression and tyranny:
and came no more into the coast of Israel; at this time they did not gather together their forces dispersed, nor raise and bring a new army into the land of Israel; they contented themselves with placing garrisons on the coast, but did not attempt to enter and invade them any more; that is, for a long time, even until Samuel was grown old, and the people would have a king, and had one, which offended the Lord, and then he suffered them to be distressed by them again; but while Samuel was alone governor they came no more, though they did quickly after Saul was made king, as it follows:
the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel; not all the days of his life, but all the days of his sole government, which restrained them from making incursions into the land of Israel; and indeed in later times, when they did come forth to make war with them, the battle was against them during the times of Samuel.
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