1 Samuel 4

The Philistines kill 34,000 Israelites
4:1-21

4:1 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.

The word of Samuel came to all of Israel. And Israel went to war with the Philistines.

4:2 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.

The Philistines kill 4000 Israelites.

4:3 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.

4:4 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.

The elders asked, "Why did God let us be killed by the Philistines?"

"Let's fetch the ark to save us from our enemies."

4:5 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.

So they brought the ark to the camp and everyone in Israel shouted so loud that the earth shook.

4:6 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.

The Philistines heard the Israelites' shout and knew that the ark must be with them.

4:7 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.

They were afraid, saying, "God is in the Israelites' camp. Woe is us!"

4:8 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.

"Who will protect us from their mighty gods, the gods that smote the Egyptians with all those plagues?"

4:9 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.

"Be strong and fight like men, you Philistines!"

4:10 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.

And the Philistines fought, killing 30,000 Israelites.
The Philistines steal the ark (and Eli and his sons die)
4:11-22

4:11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.

The Philistines take the ark of God.

And killed Eli's sons, Hophni and Phinehas -- doing God's dirty work for him. (See 1 Sam 2:25, 34)

DWB: 60. God kills Eli's sons and 34,000 Israelite soldiers

4:12 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.

A man ran from the battle (with clothes rent and earth on his head) with the bad news.

4:13 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.

When the people heard it, the whole city cried out.

4:14 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.

4:15 Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see.

When Eli, who was 98 years old and blind, heard the city cry, he asked the man, "What happened?"

4:16 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?

4:17 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.

The man told Eli that there had been a great slaughter and the Philistines took the ark of God.

4:18 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.

When Eli heard about the ark, he fell backward, broke his neck and died.

4:19 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.

The wife of Phinehas heard about the death of her husband, she bowed her head, delivered a baby, and died.

4:20 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.

4:21 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.

4:22 And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.

The women who stood by her as she was dying, told her: "Don't be afraid. It's a boy." (Baby boys are much more desirable than baby girls.)

18-20 Did God kill Eli and his daughter-in-law to punish him for his sons' sins?
(See 1 Sam 2:34, 3:13)