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1 Samuel 4 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

And Samuel’s words came to all Israel.

The Ark Captured by the Philistines

Israel went out to meet the Philistines in battle and[a] camped at Ebenezer while the Philistines camped at Aphek. The Philistines lined up in battle formation against Israel, and as the battle intensified, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who struck down about 4,000 men on the battlefield.

When the troops returned to the camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord let us be defeated today by the Philistines? Let’s bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh. Then it[b] will go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.” So the people sent men to Shiloh to bring back the ark of the covenant of the Lord of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. When the ark of the covenant of the Lord entered the camp, all the Israelites raised such a loud shout that the ground shook.

The Philistines heard the sound of the war cry and asked, “What’s this loud shout in the Hebrews’ camp?” When the Philistines discovered that the ark of the Lord had entered the camp, they panicked. “The gods have entered their camp!” they said. “Woe to us, nothing like this has happened before.[c] Woe to us, who will rescue us from the hand of these magnificent gods? These are the gods that slaughtered the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. Show some courage and be men, Philistines! Otherwise, you’ll serve the Hebrews just as they served you. Now be men and fight!”

10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and each man fled to his tent. The slaughter was severe—30,000 of the Israelite foot soldiers fell. 11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

Eli’s Death and Ichabod’s Birth

12 That same day, a Benjaminite man ran from the battle and came to Shiloh. His clothes were torn, and there was dirt on his head. 13 When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair beside the road watching, because he was anxious about the ark of God. When the man entered the city to give a report, the entire city cried out.

14 Eli heard the outcry and asked, “Why this commotion?” The man quickly came and reported to Eli. 15 At that time Eli was 98 years old, and his gaze was fixed[d] because he couldn’t see.

16 The man said to Eli, “I’m the one who came from the battle.[e] I fled from there today.”

“What happened, my son?” Eli asked.

17 The messenger answered, “Israel has fled from the Philistines, and also there was a great slaughter among the people. Your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are both dead, and the ark of God has been captured.” 18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off the chair by the city gate, and since he was old and heavy, his neck broke and he died. Eli had judged Israel 40 years.

19 Eli’s daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and about to give birth. When she heard the news about the capture of God’s ark and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband, she collapsed and gave birth because her labor pains came on her. 20 As she was dying,[f] the women taking care of her said, “Don’t be afraid. You’ve given birth to a son!” But she did not respond or pay attention. 21 She named the boy Ichabod,[g] saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” referring to the capture of the ark of God and to the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 “The glory has departed from Israel,” she said, “because the ark of God has been captured.”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 4:1 LXX reads In those days the Philistines gathered together to fight against Israel, and Israel went out to engage them in battle. They
  2. 1 Samuel 4:3 Or He
  3. 1 Samuel 4:7 Lit yesterday or the day before
  4. 1 Samuel 4:15 Lit his eyes stood; 1Kg 14:4
  5. 1 Samuel 4:16 LXX reads camp
  6. 1 Samuel 4:20 LXX reads And in her time of delivery, she was about to die
  7. 1 Samuel 4:21 = Where is Glory?

1 Samuel 4 New International Version (NIV)

And Samuel’s word came to all Israel.

The Philistines Capture the Ark

Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.”

So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. And Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

When the ark of the Lord’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook. Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?”

When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp, the Philistines were afraid. “A god has[a] come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!”

10 So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

Death of Eli

12 That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust on his head. 13 When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry.

14 Eli heard the outcry and asked, “What is the meaning of this uproar?”

The man hurried over to Eli, 15 who was ninety-eight years old and whose eyes had failed so that he could not see. 16 He told Eli, “I have just come from the battle line; I fled from it this very day.”

Eli asked, “What happened, my son?”

17 The man who brought the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.”

18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led[b] Israel forty years.

19 His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains. 20 As she was dying, the women attending her said, “Don’t despair; you have given birth to a son.” But she did not respond or pay any attention.

21 She named the boy Ichabod,[c] saying, “The Glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 4:7 Or “Gods have (see Septuagint)
  2. 1 Samuel 4:18 Traditionally judged
  3. 1 Samuel 4:21 Ichabod means no glory.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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