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Ebenezer אבנעזר

Meaning: stone of help

This was the memorial stone set up by Samuel to commemorate the divine assistance to Israel in their great battle against the Philistines, whom they totally routed (1 Sam. 7:7-12) at Aphek, in the neighborhood of Mizpeh, in Benjamin, near the western entrance of the pass of Beth-horon. Ebenezer is mentioned three times in the Bible.

On this very battlefield, twenty years before, the Philistines routed the Israelites, “and slew of the army in the field about four thousand men” (4:1,2; here, and at 5:1, called “Ebenezer” by anticipation). In this extremity the Israelites fetched the ark of the covenant out of Shiloh and carried it into their camp. The Philistines a second time immediately attacked them, and smote them in a great slaughter, “for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken” (1 Sam. 4:10). And now in the same place the Philistines are vanquished, and the memorial stone is erected by Samuel (q.v.).

The spot where the stone was erected was somewhere “between Mizpeh and Shen.” Some have identified it with the modern Beit Iksa, a conspicuous and prominent position, apparently answering all the necessary conditions; others with Dier Aban, 3 miles east of 'Ain Shems.

ALSO SEE:

  • Hazor (standing stones)