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The Philistines Capture the Ark
1And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.
Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines. They encamped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek. 2The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and when the battle spread, Israel was defeated before the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the field of battle. 3And when the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies." 4So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
5As soon as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded. 6And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, "What does this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?" And when they learned that the ark of the Lord had come to the camp, 7the Philistines were afraid, for they said, "A god has come into the camp." And they said, "Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before. 8Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness. 9Take courage, and be men, O Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; be men and fight."
10So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and they fled, every man to his home. And there was a very great slaughter, for thirty thousand foot soldiers of Israel fell. 11And the ark of God was captured, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
The Death of Eli
12A man of Benjamin ran from the battle line and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes torn and with dirt on his head. 13When he arrived, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told the news, all the city cried out. 14When Eli heard the sound of the outcry, he said, "What is this uproar?" Then the man hurried and came and told Eli. 15Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes were set so that he could not see. 16And the man said to Eli, "I am he who has come from the battle; I fled from the battle today." And he said, "How did it go, my son?" 17He who brought the news answered and said, "Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has also been a great defeat among the people. Your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured." 18As soon as he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backward from his seat by the side of the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.
19Now his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant, about to give birth. And when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. 20And about the time of her death the women attending her said to her, "Do not be afraid, for you have borne a son." But she did not answer or pay attention. 21And she named the child Ichabod, saying, "The glory has departed from Israel!" because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22And she said, "The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured."
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CHAPTER 4.
1And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight: and Israel went out to war against the Philistines, and camped by the Stone of help. And the Philistines came to Aphec,
2And put their army in array against Israel. And when they had joined battle, Israel turned their backs to the Philistines, and there was slain in that fight here and there in the fields about four thousand men.
3And the people returned to the camp: and the ancients of Israel said: Why hath the Lord defeated us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch unto us the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Silo, and let it come in the midst of us, that it may save us from the hand of our enemies.
4So the people sent to Silo, and they brought from thence the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts sitting upon the cherubims: and the two sons of Heli, Ophni and Phinees, were with the ark of the covenant of God.
5And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord was come into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, and the earth rang again.
6And the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, and they said: What is this noise of a great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp.
7And the Philistines were afraid, saying: God is come into the camp. And sighing, they said:
8Woe to us: for there was no such great joy yesterday and the day before: Woe to us. Who shall deliver us from the hand of these high gods? these are the gods that struck Egypt with all the plagues in the desert.
9Take courage and behave like men, ye Philistines: lest you come to be servants to the Hebrews, as they have served you: take courage and fight.
10So the Philistines fought, and Israel was overthrown, and every man fled to his own dwelling: and there was an exceeding great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.
11And the ark of God was taken: and the two sons of Heli, Ophni and Phinees, were slain.
12And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Silo the same day, with his clothes rent, and his head strewed with dust.
13And when he was come, Heli sat upon a stool over against the way watching. For his heart was fearful for the ark of God. And when the man was come into the city, he told it: and all the city cried out.
14And Heli heard the noise of the cry, and he said: What meaneth the noise of this uproar? But he made haste, and came, and told Heli.
15Now Heli was ninety and eight years old, and his eyes were dim, and he could not see.
16And he said to Heli: I am he that came from the battle, and have fled out of the field this day. And he said to him: What is there done, my son?
17And he that brought the news answered, and said: Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter of the people: moreover thy two sons, Ophni and Phinees, are dead: and the ark of God is taken.
18And when he had named the ark of God, he fell from his stool backwards by the door, and broke his neck, and died. For he was an old man, and far advanced in years: and he judged Israel forty years.
19And his daughter in law the wife of Phinees, was big with child, and near her time: and hearing the news that the ark of God was taken, and her father in law, and her husband, were dead, she bowed herself and fell in labour: for her pains came upon her on a sudden.
20And when she was upon the point of death, they that stood about her said to her: Fear not, for thou hast borne a son. She answered them not, nor gave heed to them.
21And she called the child Ichabod, saying: The glory is gone from Israel, because the ark of God was taken, and for her father in law, and her husband:
22And she said: The glory is departed from Israel, because the ark of God was taken.