1 Samuel Chapter 4  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Sam 4

1The 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 they joined battle, Israel was struck before the Philistines, and they killed of the army in the field about 4,000 men.

3When the people had come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has Yahweh struck us today before the Philistines? Let us get the ark of the covenant of Yahweh out of Shiloh to us, that it may 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 earth rang again.

6When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” They understood that the ark of Yahweh had come into the camp.
  7The Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp.” 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.
  9Be strong and behave like men, O you Philistines, that you not be servants to the Hebrews as they have been to you. Strengthen yourselves like men and fight!”

10The Philistines fought and Israel was struck, and they fled every man to his tent, and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel 30,000 footmen.
  11The ark of God was taken and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.

The Death of Eli

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

14When Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, “What does the noise of this tumult mean?”

The man hurried and came and told Eli.
  15Now Eli was 98 years old, and his eyes were set so that he could not see.

16The man said to Eli, “I am he who came out of the army and I fled today out of the army.”

He said, “How did things go, my son?”

17He who brought the news answered, “Israel has fled before the Philistines and there has been also a great slaughter among the people. Your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.”
  18It came to pass, when he mentioned the ark of God, that Eli fell backward from off his seat by the side of the city gate, and his neck broke and he died; for he was an old man, and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.

19His 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 bowed herself and gave birth, for her pains came on her.
  20About the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have given birth to a son.” But she didn’t answer, neither did she regard it.
  21She named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel;” because the ark of God was taken and because of her father–in–law and her husband.
  22She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God is taken.”

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