1And Samuel gave those messages to all the Israelites. The Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer. The Philistines camped at Aphek.2The Philistines brought their forces together to fight against Israel. As the fighting spread, the Israelites lost the battle to the Philistines. The Philistines killed about 4,000 of them on the field of battle.3The rest of the Israelite soldiers returned to camp. Then the elders asked them, ‘Why did the LORD let the Philistines win the battle over us today? Let’s bring the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Shiloh. Let’s take it with us. Then the LORD will save us from the power of our enemies.’4So the people sent men to Shiloh. They brought back the ark of the LORD’s covenant law. He sits there on his throne between the cherubim. The LORD is the one who rules over all. Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were with the ark of God’s covenant law. The ark was in Shiloh.5The ark of the LORD’s covenant law was brought into the camp. Then all the Israelites shouted so loudly that the ground shook.6The Philistines heard the noise. They asked, ‘What’s all that shouting about in the Hebrew camp?’ Then the Philistines found out that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp.7So they were afraid. ‘A god has come into their camp,’ they said. ‘Oh no! Nothing like this has ever happened before.8How terrible it will be for us! Who will save us from the power of these mighty gods? They struck down the people of Egypt in the desert. They sent all kinds of plagues on them.9Philistines, be strong! Fight like men! If you don’t, you will come under the control of the Hebrews. You will become their slaves, just as they have been your slaves. Fight like men!’10So the Philistines fought. The Israelites lost the battle, and every man ran back to his tent. A large number of them were killed. Israel lost 30,000 soldiers who were on foot.11The ark of God was captured. And Eli’s two sons Hophni and Phinehas died.
12That same day a man from the tribe of Benjamin ran from the front lines of the battle. He went to Shiloh. His clothes were torn. He had dust on his head.13When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair. He was by the side of the road. He was watching because his heart was really concerned about the ark of God. The man entered the town and told everyone what had happened. Then the whole town cried out.14Eli heard the people crying out. He asked, ‘What’s the meaning of all this noise?’ The man hurried over to Eli.15Eli was 98 years old. His eyes were so bad he couldn’t see.16The man told Eli, ‘I’ve just come from the front lines of the battle. I just ran away from there today.’ Eli asked, ‘What happened, son?’17The man who brought the news replied, ‘Israel ran away from the Philistines. Large numbers of men in the army were wounded or killed. Your two sons Hophni and Phinehas are also dead. And the ark of God has been captured.’18When the man spoke about the ark of God, Eli fell backwards off his chair. He had been sitting by the side of the gate. When he fell, he broke his neck and died. He was old and fat. He had led Israel for 40 years.19The wife of Phinehas was pregnant. She was Eli’s daughter-in-law. It was near the time for her baby to be born. She heard the news that the ark of God had been captured. She heard that her father-in-law and her husband were dead. So she went into labour and had her baby. Her pain was more than she could bear.20As she was dying, the women helping her spoke up. They said, ‘Don’t be afraid. You have had a son.’ But she didn’t reply. She didn’t pay any attention.21She named the boy Ichabod. She said, ‘The God of glory has left Israel.’ She said it because the ark of God had been captured. She also said it because her father-in-law and her husband had died.22She said, ‘The God of glory has left Israel.’ She said it because the ark of God had been captured.
1 Samuel 4
English Standard Version
The Philistines Capture the Ark
1And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines. They encamped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek. (Jos 12:18; 1Sa 5:1; 1Sa 7:12; 1Sa 29:1)2The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and when the battle spread, Israel was defeated before the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the field of battle.3And when the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.” (Jos 18:1)4So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. (Ex 25:22; Nu 7:89; 2Sa 6:2; Ps 80:1; Ps 99:1)5As soon as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded. (Jos 6:5; Jos 6:20)6And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, “What does this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” And when they learned that the ark of the Lord had come to the camp,7the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “A god has come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before.8Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness.9Take courage, and be men, O Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; be men and fight.” (Jud 13:1; 2Sa 10:12; 1Co 16:13)10So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and they fled, every man to his home. And there was a very great slaughter, for thirty thousand foot soldiers of Israel fell. (Le 26:17; De 28:25; 1Sa 4:2; 2Sa 18:17; 2Sa 19:8; 2Ki 14:12; 2Ch 25:22; Ps 78:62)11And the ark of God was captured, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died. (1Sa 2:32; 1Sa 2:34; Ps 78:60; Ps 78:64)
The Death of Eli
12A 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. (Jos 7:6)13When he arrived, 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 the news, all the city cried out. (1Sa 1:9; 1Sa 4:18)14When Eli heard the sound of the outcry, he said, “What is this uproar?” Then the man hurried and came and told Eli.15Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes were set so that he could not see. (1Sa 3:2; 1Ki 14:4)16And the man said to Eli, “I am he who has come from the battle; I fled from the battle today.” And he said, “How did it go, my son?” (2Sa 1:4)17He who brought the news answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has also been a great defeat among the people. Your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.”18As soon as he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backward from his seat by the side of the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years. (1Sa 4:13)19Now his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant, about to give birth. And when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed and gave birth, for her pains came upon her.20And about the time of her death the women attending her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have borne a son.” But she did not answer or pay attention. (Ge 35:17)21And she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. (1Sa 4:11; 1Sa 14:3; Ps 26:8; Ps 78:61)22And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.” (1Sa 4:21)