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How many lords did the Philistines have during Samuel's childhood?
Thank you for your Bible based question.
I believe the answer to your question can be found in 1 Samuel 6:16, which says:
And when the five lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned that day to Ekron.
This passage comes from a time when the Ark of the Lord had been captured by the Philistines. The Ark of the Lord was understood to bring blessing, and by capturing it, the Philistines believed that this shows that their god, Dagon, is more powerful.
However, the Philistines became ill with tumours, as a sign that God was against them. Wherever the Philistines moved the Ark, the people would be afflicted with tumours. This may seem strange to us, that God would do such a thing, but this shows us the power of God over the fake god of Dagon.
It is only when the Philistines return the Ark to Beth-shemesh with a guilt offering that the tumours leave the Philistines. The previously mentioned verse shows the time that they returned home to Ekron.
I encourage you to read the full story of these events in 1 Samuel 5-6.
In the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant was a symbol of God's presence. Wherever the Ark was in Israel, there was blessing. The whole nation was blessed by the presence of the Ark. The home of Obed-Edom was blessed when the Ark was in his home (2 Samuel 6:12).
In the New Testament and through to today, rather than the presence of God being contained in a physical Ark, God, through the Holy Spirit, is within each person who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. The Holy Spirit is given as a deposit of the eternal life that is to come, and Christians throughout history have been blessed because of the presence of God living in them.
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour? Each one of us have done wrong in our lives and are therefore separated from God. Jesus, through his perfect life showed us the way we ought to live. Through his death on the cross he paid the punishment for our sin and by rising from the dead he showed his power over death.
If you ask for the forgiveness of your sin and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, then God lives in you and you can personally know his blessing.
In summary, there were five lords of the Philistines during Samuel's childhood. This account comes from a time when the Ark of the Covenant was not in Israel, but had been captured by the Philistines. The account shows us the power of the one, true, living God over other false gods. Today, God himself dwells in each person that has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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