1 Samuel Chapter 4  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 4

1And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.

The Philistines Capture the Ark

Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle and encamped beside Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped in Aphek.
  2The Philistines put themselves in battle formation against Israel, and when the battle intensified, Israel was struck down before the Philistines, and they killed of the army in the field about 4,000 men.

3When the people had come back into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has Yahweh struck us down today before the Philistines? Let’s take to ourselves the ark of the covenant of Yahweh out of Shiloh so that he will come among us and save us out of the hand of our enemies.”
  4So the people sent to Shiloh and they brought from there the ark of the covenant of Yahweh of Armies who sits above the cherubim, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
  5When the ark of the covenant of Yahweh came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout so that the land shook.

6When the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, “What does the noise of this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they learned that the ark of Yahweh had come into the camp.
  7Then the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “A god has come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us! For there has not been such a thing before.
  8Woe to us! Who will deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods that struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness.
  9Strengthen yourselves and be men, O Philistines, lest you have to serve the Hebrews as they have served you. Be men and fight!”

10So the Philistines fought and Israel was defeated and they fled, each man to his tent, and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel 30,000 foot soldiers.
  11And the ark of God was taken and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

The Death of Eli

12And a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes torn and with dirt on his head.
  13And when he came, behold, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told it, all the city cried out.

14When Eli heard the noise of the shouting, he said, “What does the noise of this tumult mean?” And the man hurried and came and told Eli.
  15Now Eli was 98 years old, and his eyes had failed so that he could not see.

16And the man said to Eli, “I am the one who came from the battle line, and I fled today from the battle line.” He said, “How did things go, my son?”

17And the one who brought the news answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines and there has also been a great defeat of the people. And also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been taken.”
  18And when he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward from off his seat by the side of the gate, and his neck broke and he died; for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

19Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, close to giving birth. When she heard the news that the ark of God was taken and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she crouched down and gave birth, for her labor pains came suddenly upon her.
  20And about the time of her death, the women standing over her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have given birth to a son.” But she did not answer, nor did she pay attention.
  21And she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” because the ark of God had been taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband.
  22So she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God had been taken.”

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