0 The Philistines steal the ark of the covenant (1 Sam 4)

Episode 102: The Philistines steal the ark of the covenant

1 Samuel 4

The Philistines kill 34,000 Israelites

4 1 The word of Samuel came to all Israel. And Israel went to war with the Philistines.

2 The Philistines killed 4000 Israelites.

3 The elders asked,

Why did God let us be killed by the Philistines?

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

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

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

They were afraid, and said,

God is in the Israelites' camp. Woe is us!

8 Who will protect us from their mighty gods?

9 We must be strong and fight like men.

10 And the Philistines fought, killing 30,000 Israelites.

The Philistines steal the ark and kill Eli's sons

11 The Philistines took the ark of God and killed Eli's sons, Hophni and Phinehas.

12 A man ran from the battle (with torn clothes and dirt on his head) with the bad news.

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

The death of Eli

14-15 Eli, who was 98 years old and blind, heard the city cry and asked the man, “What happened?”

16 The man said to Eli,

17 There was a great slaughter, your sons Hophni and Phinehas were killed, and the Philistines took the ark of God.

18 When Eli heard about the ark, he fell backward, broke his neck and died. He had judged Israel forty years.

Ichabod is born

19 Eli's daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, went into hard labor when she heard about the death of her husband.

20-21 The women who stood by her said to her,

Don't be afraid. It's a boy.

As she was dying, she named the baby Ichabod.

A few more words about this episode

The Philistines killed Eli's sons, Hophni and Phinehas. (4:11)
God announced his intention to have them killed in in 1 Samuel 2:25 (Episode 101).
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