1 Samuel Chapter 4 |
1and Samuel’s word went forth to all Israel.
Israel marched out to engage the Philistines in battle; they encamped near Eben-ezer, while the Philistines encamped at Aphek. 2The Philistines arrayed themselves against Israel; and when the battle was fought, Israel was routed by the Philistines, who slew about four thousand men on the field of battle. 3When the [Israelite] troops returned to the camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord put us to rout today before the Philistines? Let us fetch the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord from Shiloh; thus He will be present among us and will deliver us from the hands of our enemies.” 4So the troops sent men to Shiloh; there Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were in charge of the Ark of the Covenant of God, and they brought down from there the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of Hosts Enthroned on the Cherubim.
5When the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord entered the camp, all Israel burst into a great shout, so that the earth resounded. 6The Philistines heard the noise of the shouting and they wondered, “Why is there such a loud shouting in the camp of the Hebrews?” And when they learned that the Ark of the Lord had come to the camp, 7the Philistines were frightened; for they said, “God has come to the camp.” And they cried, “Woe to us! Nothing like this has ever happened before. 8Woe to us! Who will save us from the power of this mighty God? He is the same God who struck the Egyptians with every kind of plague in the wilderness! 9Brace yourselves and be men, O Philistines! Or you will become slaves to the Hebrews as they were slaves to you. Be men and fight!” 10The Philistines fought; Israel was routed, and they all fled to their homes. The defeat was very great, thirty thousand foot soldiers of Israel fell there. 11The Ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.
12A Benjaminite ran from the battlefield and reached Shiloh the same day; his clothes were rent and there was earth on his head. 13When he arrived, he found Eli sitting on a seat, waiting beside the road—his heart trembling for the Ark of God. The man entered the city to spread the news, and the whole city broke out in a cry. 14And when Eli heard the sound of the outcry and asked, “What is the meaning of this uproar?” the man rushed over to tell Eli. 15Now Eli was ninety-eight years old; his eyes were fixed in a blind stare. 16The man said to Eli, “I am the one who came from the battlefield; I have just fled from the battlefield.” [Eli] asked, “What happened, my son?” 17The bearer of the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines and the troops also suffered a great slaughter. Your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the Ark of God has been captured.” 18When he mentioned the Ark of God, [Eli] fell backward off the seat beside the gate, broke his neck and died; for he was an old man and heavy. He had been a chieftain of Israel for forty years.
19His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was with child, about to give birth. When she heard the report that the Ark of God was captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she was seized with labor pains, and she crouched down and gave birth. 20As she lay dying, the women attending her said, “Do not be afraid, for you have borne a son.” But she did not respond or pay heed. 21She named the boy Ichabod, meaning, “The glory has departed from Israel”—referring to the capture of the Ark of God and to [the death of] her father-in-law and her husband. 22“The glory is gone from Israel,” she said, “for the Ark of God has been captured.”