1 Samuel 4

1The Israelites are smitten by the Philistines at Eben-ezer. 3They fetch the ark to the terror of their enemies; 10but are smitten again, the ark taken, and the two sons of Eli slain. 12Upon hearing the news Eli falleth backward, and breaketh his neck. 19The wife of Phinehas through grief falleth in labour, is delivered of I-chabod, and dieth.

1AND 1the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside 2Eben-ezer: and the Philistines pitched in 3Aphek.

1 That is, the prophecy, which was revealed unto Samuel by the Lord, he revealed unto the people, and it was fulfilled. See 1 Sam. 3:11, 21.

2 That is, the stone of help, help-stone. This place got first afterward this name. See 1 Sam. 7:12. Also is Luz, Genesis 12, called Bethel, which name Jacob gave a long while after unto this place, Genesis 28.

3 A city situated in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:53, but there is another Aphek in the tribe of Issachar, 1 Samuel 29, also one in the tribe of Asher, Joshua 19:30; Judges 1:31.

2And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined 4battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and 5they slew 6of the army in the field about four thousand men.

4 That is, the soldiers that fought. Intimating that when all the bands and companies were met together to fight, they smote, etc.

5 Namely, the Philistines.

6 Intimating: While the battle lasted, when both camps yet stood in their battle array.

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? 7Let 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.

7 This they did without asking counsel of God, thinking that this outward ceremony was able to protect and deliver them from the hands of their enemies.

4So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth betweena8the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were 9there with the ark of the covenant of God.

a 2 Sam. 6:2; Psalm 80:1; 99:1.

8 From between which God spoke with Moses, and others, Exod. 25:22; Num. 7:89.

9 Namely, in the camp.

5And 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.

6And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What 10meaneth 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.

10 Or, is.

7And 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.

8Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of 11these mighty Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in 12the wilderness.

11 Or, of these glorious gods.

12 That is, in the Sea of Reeds, which is situated by the wilderness of Etham; See Exod. 13:20; and Exodus 14.

9Be strong, and quitb yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, asc they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.

b behave

c Judges 13:1.

10¶And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into 13his tent: and there was a very great 14slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.

13 That is, into his house, as 1 Sam. 13:2:1 Kings 12:16, etc.

14 Hebr. blow.

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

d 1 Sam. 2:34; Psalm 78:61.

12¶And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with 15his clothes rent, and 16withe earth upon his head.

15 As a sign of grief, and that he brought bad tidings. Of this phrase, see the annotation on Gen. 37:29; Joshua 7:6, etc.; 2 Sam. 1:2, 11.

16 See similar example, Joshua 7:6; 2 Sam. 1:2.

e Joshua 7:6.

13And 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 17cried out.

17 That is, the inhabitants of the city called and cried out loud for grief, when they heard that the ark of the covenant was taken.

14And 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.

15Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes 18were dim,f that he could not see.

18 Hebr. stood.

f 1 Sam. 3:2.

16And 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?

17And the 19messenger 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.

19 Or, he that brought the message.

18And 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 20gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

20 Understand this of the city gate.

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 21bowed herself and travailed; for 22her 23pains came upon her.

21 Namely, through pain and anguish which she felt.

22 Hebr. her needs turned themselves upon her.

23 Anxieties, fears, distress.

20And about the time of her death the women that stood 24by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she 25regard it.

24 Or, over her.

25 Hebr. she set not her heart upon it. That is, she was not at all moved at such words. They did not comfort or revive her heart.

21And she named the child 26I-chabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.

26 That is, where is the glory? Other, there is no honour. As if she had said: All the glory and excellence of Israel is now taken away from us, since the ark is taken away from us, which brought great glory and renown unto Israel; for, it was a token of God’s gracious presence among His people. This phrase is also used, Psalm 26:8; 78:61.

22And she said, The 27glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.

27 This woman laments more about and is more grieved for the common damage, than for her own private loss. See also verse 18.