NASB — 1 Samuel 4 — KJV

Philistines Take the Ark in Victory

1 Thus the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to meet the Philistines in battle and camped beside aEbenezer while the Philistines camped in bAphek. 2 The Philistines drew up in battle array to meet Israel. When the battle spread, Israel was Idefeated before the Philistines who killed about four thousand men on the battlefield. 3 When the people came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “aWhy has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? bLet us take to ourselves from Shiloh the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that Iit may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies.” 4 So the people sent to Shiloh, and from there they carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts awho sits [above] the cherubim; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, [were] there with the ark of the covenant of God.

[1] a1S 7:12 bJsh 12:18; 1S 29:1
[2] ILit smitten
[3] IOr he aJsh 7:7, 8 bNu 10:35; Jsh 6:6
[4] aEx 25:22; 2S 6:2; Ps 80:1

5 ¶ As the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, aall Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth resounded. 6 When 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]?” Then they understood that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp. 7 The Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp.” And they said, “aWoe to us! For nothing like this has happened before. 8 Woe to us! Who shall deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who smote the Egyptians with all [kinds of] plagues in the wilderness. 9 aTake courage and be men, O Philistines, or you will become slaves to the Hebrews, bas they have been slaves to you; therefore, be men and fight.”

[5] aJsh 6:5, 20
[7] aEx 15:14
[9] a1Co 16:13 bJg 13:1; 1S 14:21

10 ¶ So the Philistines fought and aIsrael was Idefeated, and bevery man fled to his tent; and the slaughter was very great, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 And the ark of God was taken; and athe two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

[10] ILit smitten aDt 28:15, 25; 1S 4:2 b2S 18:17; 19:8; 2K 14:12; 2Ch 25:22
[11] a1S 2:34; Ps 78:56-64

12 ¶ Now a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line and came to Shiloh the same day with ahis clothes torn and Idust on his head. 13 When he came, behold, aEli was sitting on [his] seat Iby the road eagerly watching, because his heart was trembling for the ark of God. So the man came to tell [it] in the city, and all the city cried out. 14 When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he said, “What [does] the noise of this commotion [mean]?” Then the man came hurriedly and told Eli. 15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old, and ahis eyes were set so that he could not see. 16 The man said to Eli, “I am the one who came from the battle line. Indeed, I escaped from the battle line today.” And he said, “aHow did things go, my son?” 17 Then the one who brought the news replied, “Israel has fled before the Philistines and there has also been a great slaughter among the people, and your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been taken.” 18 When he mentioned the ark of God, IaEli fell off the seat backward beside the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for IIhe was old and heavy. Thus he judged Israel forty years.

[12] ILit ground aJsh 7:6; 2S 1:2; 15:32; Ne 9:1; Jb 2:12
[13] IGr version reads beside the gate watching the road a1S 1:9; 4:18
[15] a1S 3:2; 1K 14:4
[16] a2S 1:4
[18] ILit he IILit the man a1S 4:13

19 ¶ Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’s wife, was pregnant and about to give birth; and when she heard the news that the ark of God was taken and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she kneeled down and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. 20 And about the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, “aDo not be afraid, for you have given birth to a son.” But she did not answer or pay attention. 21 And she called the boy IIchabod, saying, “aThe glory has departed from Israel,” because bthe ark of God was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God was taken.”

[20] aGn 35:16-19
[21] II.e. No glory aPs 26:8; Jr 2:11 b1S 4:11


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The Israelites are overcome by the Philistines at Eben-ezer.

1 ¶ 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. 2 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.

[1] Jsh 15:53; 19:30; 1S 3:11; 5:1; 7:12; 29:1; 1K 20:30.
[2] Jsh 7:5, 12; 1S 17:8, 21; Ps 44:9; 79:7; 106:40; Lm 3:40.

They fetch the Ark to the terror of the Philistines.

3 ¶ 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. 4 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. 5 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. 6 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. 7 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. 8 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 wilderness. 9 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.

[3] Nu 10:33; 31:6; Dt 29:24; 31:26; Jsh 4:7; 6:4; 1S 14:18; 2S 15:25; 1Ch 17:1; Ps 74:1, 11; Is 1:11; 50:1; 58:3; Jr 3:16; 7:4, 8; Am 5:21; Mt 3:9; 23:25; Ro 2:28; 1Co 10:1; 2Ti 3:5; He 9:4; 1P 3:21; Jde 1:5.
[4] Ex 25:18; Nu 4:5, 15; 7:89; 1S 2:12, 22; 2S 6:2; 2K 19:15; Ps 50:16; 80:1; 99:1; Mal 1:9; Ac 19:15.
[5] Jg 15:14; Jb 20:5; Jr 7:4; Am 6:3; Mi 2:11.
[6] Ex 32:17.
[7] Ex 14:25; 15:14; Dt 32:30.
[8] Ex 7:5; 9:14; Ps 78:43.
[9] Dt 28:47; Jg 10:7; 13:1; 2S 10:12; Is 14:2; 33:1; 1Co 16:13; Ep 6:10.

They are smitten again, the Ark taken, Hophni and Phinehas are slain.

10 ¶ 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. 11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.

[10] Lv 26:17; Dt 28:25; 1S 4:2; 2S 18:7; 20:1; 1K 12:16; 22:36; 2K 14:12; 2Ch 13:17; 28:5; Ps 78:9, 60; Is 10:3.
[11] 1S 2:32, 34; Ps 78:61, 64; Is 3:11.

Eli, at the news, falling backward, breaketh his neck.

12 ¶ 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. 13 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. 14 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. 15 Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see. 16 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? 17 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 taken. 18 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 years.

[12] Jsh 7:6; 2S 1:2; 13:19; 15:32; Ne 9:1; Jb 2:12.
[13] Jsh 7:9; 1S 1:9; Ne 1:3; Ps 26:8; 79:1; 137:4.
[14] 1S 4:6.
[15] Gn 27:1; 1S 3:2; Ps 90:10.
[16] Jsh 7:19; 1S 3:6; 2S 1:4.
[17] 1S 3:11; 4:10.
[18] Lv 10:3; 1S 2:31; 3:12; 4:21; Ps 26:8; 42:3, 10; 69:9; Lm 2:15; 1Co 11:30; 1P 4:17.

Phinehas' wife, discouraged in her travail with Ichabod, dieth.

19 ¶ 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. 20 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 regard [it]. 21 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. 22 And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.

[20] Gn 35:17; Ps 77:2; Jn 16:21.
[21] Ps 26:8; 78:61, 64; 106:20; Jr 2:11; Ho 9:12.
[22] Ps 137:5; Jn 2:17.


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