1 Samuel 4)
1: And the word of Samuel came to all Israel (cp. Acts 3:24. Heb. 11:32).
B u 4:-1-. Israel in camp of war. v 4:-1. Philistines. w 4:2. First battle, and result. u 4:3-5. Israel in camp of war. v 4:6-9. Philistines. w 4:10–7:2. Second battle, and result.
Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Eben-ezer (= Stone of help. So called in anticipation of Samuel's victory 20 years later [7:2]):
and the Philistines pitched in Aphek (= Fortress. Josh.15:53).
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. (They, Israel, forgot to go to God to ask if it was OK! They tried to do it themselves)
3: And when the People were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of Shiloh to us, that, when it comes among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemy.” (They made a religion out of it. Didn't ask God again if this was OK!)
4: So the People sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from that the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts (Yahaveh-Sabaioth, see 1:3), Which dwells between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. (Marking His relationship with His creatures. Now the priests that were ripping the people off show up!)
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 is 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 to us! for there has not been such a thing heretofore. (where did this fear come from? it wasn't like this the day before)
8: Woe to us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these are the Gods themselves that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.
9: Be strong, and become men (Heb. verb hãyãh, to become; as "was" should be rendered in Gen. 1:2. Use this as an example, i.e. let the spirit of calm come over you in rough times), O all you Philistines, that you all be not servants to the Hebrews, as they have been to you: become men, and fight.”
w G 4:10. Israel. Defeat. H 4:11. Ark taken to Philistines. G 4:12-22. Israel. Report of defeat. H 5:1–7:2. Ark in captivity to Philistines.
10: And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent (no one in Israel stopped to think): 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.
G x¹ 12. Fugitive goes to Shiloh. y¹ 13-. Eli's fear for Ark. x² -13. Fugitive comes to people. y² 14-. Eli's alarm for Ark. x³ -14. Fugitive comes to Eli. y³ 15-18. Eli's death. x4 19-. Tidings comes to son's wife. y4 -19-22. Her death.
12: And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes torn, and with earth upon his head. (every sign of sadness)
13: And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God (Eli was a good man).
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 means 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 set (as in 1 Kings 14:4), that he could not see (1 of the 9 cases of blindness. See Gen.19:11).
16: And the man said to 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 has been also a great slaughter among the people, and your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken.(Eli was a good man, but just couldn't discipline anyone. God will bless you when you bring Him into your life. But if there is no disciple you will fall by the wayside)
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 broke, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had ruled Israel forty years.
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 suddenly upon her.
20: And at the time of her death the women that stood by her said to her, “Fear not; for you have born a son.” But she answered not, neither did she regard it.
21: And she named the child I-chabod (Where is the glory?), saying, “The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of the death 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.”