(’ebhen ha-`ezer, "stone of the help"; Abenezer):

(1) Here Israel was defeated by the Philistines, 4,000 men falling in the battle (1Sa 4:1 ff). It appears also to have been the scene of the disaster when the ark of God was captured (1Sa 4:3 ff). The place is not identified. It was over against Aphek; but this site is also unknown (compare Jos 12:18). Eusebius, Onomasticon places it between Jerusalem and Ascalon, in the neighborhood of Beth-shemesh. Conder suggests Deir Aban, fully 2 miles East of `Ain Shems (PEF, III, 24).

(2) A stone set up by Samuel to perpetuate the memory of the signal victory granted to Israel over the Philistines in answer to his prayer (1Sa 7:12). It stood between Mizpeh and Shen. The latter is probably identical with `Ain Sinia, North of Bethel. This defines the district in which it may be found; but no identification is yet possible.