Here I raise my Ebenezer; Here by Thy great help I’ve come


Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.” 1 Sam 7:12 (ESV)

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer; Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.

The lyrics of this hymn were written by Robert Robinson in 1758. If you are like me,  the word “Ebenezer”  reminds me of crabby, old Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens’ Christmas Carol, yelling at Bob Cratchet to conserve coal and get to work. That is certainly NOT what the hymn is about! So what does the term Ebenezer mean?

In 1 Samuel 7, which we read today, the prophet Samuel and the Israelites were under attack by the Philistines. Fearing for their lives, the Israelites begged Samuel to pray for them as they went off to battle against the Philistines. Samuel did just that: he offered a sacrifice and pleaded for God’s protection. God answers, causing the Philistines to lose the battle and retreat back to their own territory.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.” 1 Sam 7:12 (ESV)

The word Ebenezer comes from the Hebrew words ’Eben hà-ezer (eh’-ben haw-e’-zer), which literally mean “stone of help”  Look back at the hymn lyrics again.

Here I raise my Ebenezer; Here by Thy great help I’ve come;

An Ebenezer is simply a stone set up as a monument, to remind us that God is a great Helper. As we sing the hymn, we praise God for His great blessings and help in our lives.

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