1 Samuel 7:11
And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) Until they came under Beth-car.—“House of the Lamb,” or, as some would render it, House of the Field. Of this place we know nothing; it was, no doubt, a Philistine fortress, where the scattered remains of the beaten host were able to rally and defend themselves.

1 Samuel 7:11. The men of Israel pursued the Philistines, &c. — This victory was the more wonderful, since it does not appear that the Israelites came provided with any weapons to Mizpeh, but probably smote the Philistines with their own weapons, which they threw away when they fled, affrighted by this uncommon tempest, or which were found among those that were slain by the lightning.

7:7-12 The Philistines invaded Israel. When sinners begin to repent and reform, they must expect that Satan will muster all his force against them, and set his instruments at work to the utmost, to oppose and discourage them. The Israelites earnestly beg Samuel to pray for them. Oh what a comfort it is to all believers, that our great Intercessor above never ceases, is never silent! for he always appears in the presence of God for us. Samuel's sacrifice, without his prayer, had been an empty shadow. God gave a gracious answer. And Samuel erected a memorial of this victory, to the glory of God, and to encourage Israel. Through successive generations, the church of God has had cause to set up Eben-ezers for renewed deliverances; neither outward persecutions nor inward corruptions have prevailed against her, because hitherto the Lord hath helped her: and he will help, even to the end of the world.Beth-car - This place is nowhere else mentioned. It seems to have stood on a hill overhanging the road from the Philistine territory to Mizpeh, and close to Ebenezer, 1 Samuel 4:1. 1Sa 7:7-14. While Samuel Prays, the Philistines Are Discomfited.

7-11. when the Philistines heard, &c.—The character and importance of the national convention at Mizpeh were fully appreciated by the Philistines. They discerned in it the rising spirit of religious patriotism among the Israelites that was prepared to throw off the yoke of their domination. Anxious to crush it at the first, they made a sudden incursion while the Israelites were in the midst of their solemn celebration. Unprepared for resistance, they besought Samuel to supplicate the divine interposition to save them from their enemies. The prophet's prayers and sacrifice were answered by such a tremendous storm of thunder and lightning that the assailants, panic-struck, were disordered and fled. The Israelites, recognizing the hand of God, rushed courageously on the foe they had so much dreaded and committed such immense havoc, that the Philistines did not for long recover from this disastrous blow. This brilliant victory secured peace and independence to Israel for twenty years, as well as the restitution of the usurped territory.

Quest. Whence had they weapons wherewith to smite them?

Answ. Divers of them probably brought them to the assembly; others borrowed them at Mizpeh, or the neighbouring places; and the rest might be the arms of the Philistines, which they threw away to hasten their flight, as is usual in such cases.

And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh,.... To which they were encouraged by hearing or perceiving that the army of the Philistines was discomfited by the thunder, and lightning, and earthquake:

and pursued the Philistines; who, when they came out, were fleeing from the opening earth, and frightened with thunder and lightning, and many were killed, and all put in disorder; so that they stayed not to engage in battle with Israel, and who had nothing to do but to pursue their enemy:

and smote them: with what weapons of war they could get at Mizpeh, and with what some might have with them for private use, and in common wear; but more especially with the weapons of the Philistines, which they in their confusion and fright had thrown away:

until they came under Bethcar; a place so called; "car" signifies a lamb; here might be formerly a temple dedicated to the lamb, unless it had its name in memory of the lamb Samuel now offered, which was followed with such success. Josephus (o) calls this place Corraea; and in the Targum it is Bethsaron, which signifies a fruitful field or champaign country.

(o) Antiqu. l. 6. c. 2. sect. 2.

And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. until they came under Beth-car] Beth-car (= “house of a lamb,” or “house of pasture,”) was apparently on high ground overhanging the road back to Philistia.

1 Samuel 7:11As soon as they took to flight, the Israelites advanced from Mizpeh, and pursued and smote them to below Beth-car. The situation of this town or locality, which is only mentioned here, has not yet been discovered. Josephus (Ant. vi. 2, 2) has μέχρι Κοῤῥαίων.
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