1 Samuel 4
And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the
Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines
pitched in Aphek.||
The Philistines Capture the Ark
And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they
joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of
the army in the field about four thousand men.
And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said,
Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us
fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when
it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.||
So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of
the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and
the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the
covenant of God.||
And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all
Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again.||
Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang."
When the Israelites saw the ark of the covenant, they shouted so loud that the ground shook.
And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What
meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they
understood that the ark of the LORD was come into the camp.
And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp.
And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore.||
Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods?
these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the
Be strong and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not
servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like
men, and fight.||
And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every
man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of
Israel thirty thousand footmen.||
And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and
Phinehas, were slain.||
"The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain."
God killed Eli's sons as he promised to do. (2:25, 34)
God's 58th Killing
And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the
same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head.
And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside 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.||
And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What meaneth the
noise of this tumult? And the man came in hastily, and told Eli.||
Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he
could not see.||
And the man said unto Eli, I am he that came out of the army, and I fled
to day out of the army. And he said, What is there done, my son?||
And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the
Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people,
and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is
And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell
from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and
he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty
(4:18-20) "He [Eli] fell ... and his neck brake, and he died."|
Did God kill Eli and his daughter-in-law to punish him for his sons' sins?
And his daughter in law, Phinehas' wife, was with child, near to be
delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and
that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and
travailed; for her pains came upon her.||
And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her,
Fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she
And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from
Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law
and her husband.||
And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is