New Defender's Study Bible Notes
7:15 Samuel judged Israel. Samuel was the last of the judges, his tenure apparently beginning even before the death of Eli (I Samuel 3:20–4:1). Eli himself, even though he was a priest, may have also served as judge for some forty years before he died (I Samuel 4:18), but this probably itself overlapped the times of Samson. The ark was carried away by the Philistines on the day of Eli’s death. The ark stayed with them for seven months, then was returned to Israel and stayed in the house of Abinadab in Kirjath-jearim at least twenty years before Saul was made king (I Samuel 6:1; 7:2). It was still many years after that when Samuel died at an old age (I Samuel 8:5; 25:1) shortly before Saul died. David finally brought the ark to Jerusalem from Abinadab’s house (II Samuel 6:2-12). If Saul’s monarchy endured forty years (Acts 13:21), Samuel must have judged Israel almost sixty years.