Philistines subdued? – ATA

COMPLAINT:
Were the Philistines subdued all the days of Samuel (1 Samuel 7:13) or not (1 Samuel 13:5, 10)? Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
We will begin by stating the Philistines did come against Israel in the days of Samuel. That is what 1 Samuel 13:5, 10 says. The question is this; does 1 Samuel 7:13 say the Philistines were subdued all the days of Samuel? Let’s take a look:

‘So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.’ (1 Samuel 7:13)

Two things are mentioned about the Philistines in our text. Notice:

  1. they were subdued, and thus did not come into the land of Israel
  2. the hand of the LORD was against them

The key is the phrase, “all the days of Samuel.” What happened throughout his life?

Go back and read the verse again. What happened all the days of Samuel? It does not say the Philistines were subdued or did not enter the land all the days of Samuel. The questioner wants it to say this, but it doesn’t.

The first half of the verse is a summary of the conflict in the foregoing context. Verse 10 shows the Philistines were subdued, and verse 11  shows they were drove back from the land. Continue in the book of 1 Samuel, and you will find the Philistines coming against the Israelites again, and winning, if the Israelites were not faithful to the LORD. But, when they were walking in God’s way, the LORD kept this enemy nation away from them and gave His people peace.

There is no contradiction.


A response to 1001 Bible Contradictions.

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