7:2 It was quite a long time – some twenty years in all – that the ark stayed at Kiriath Jearim. All the people 1 of Israel longed for 2 the Lord. 7:3 Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you are really turning to the Lord with all your hearts, remove from among you the foreign gods and the images of Ashtoreth. 3 Give your hearts to the Lord and serve only him. Then he will deliver you 4 from the hand of the Philistines.”
1 tn Heb “house” (also in the following verse).
2 tn Heb “mourned after”; NIV “mourned and sought after”; KJV, NRSV “lamented after”; NAB “turned to”; NCV “began to follow…again.”
3 tn Heb “the Ashtarot” (plural; also in the following verse). The words “images of” are supplied for clarity.
sn The Semitic goddess Astarte was associated with love and war in the ancient Near East. The presence of Ashtarot in Israel is a sign of pervasive pagan and idolatrous influences; hence Samuel calls for their removal. See 1 Sam 31:10, where the Philistines deposit the armor of the deceased Saul in the temple of the Ashtarot, and 1 Kgs 11:5, 33; 2 Kgs 23:13, where Solomon is faulted for worshiping the Ashtarot.
4 tn Following imperatives, the jussive verbal form with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose/result.