1 Samuel - Chapter 4
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1 and, for all Israel, the word of Samuel was as the word of Yahweh; since Eli was very old and his sons persisted in their wicked behaviour towards Yahweh. It happened at that time that the Philistines mustered to make war on Israel and Israel went out to meet them in war, pitching camp near Ebenezer while the Philistines pitched camp at Aphek.
2 The Philistines drew up their battle-line against Israel, the fighting was fierce, and Israel was beaten by the Philistines: about four thousand men in their ranks were killed on the field of battle.
3 When the troops returned to camp, the elders of Israel said, 'Why has Yahweh caused us to be beaten by the Philistines today? Let us fetch the ark of our God from Shiloh so that, when it goes with us, it may save us from the clutches of our enemies.'
7 At this, the Philistines were afraid; for they said, 'God has come into the camp. Disaster!' they said. 'For nothing like this has ever happened before.
13 When he arrived, Eli was sitting on his seat beside the gate watching the road, for his heart was trembling for the ark of God. The man came into the town and told the news, whereupon cries of anguish filled the town.
14 Eli heard the sound and asked, 'What does this uproar mean?' The man hurried on and told Eli.
16 The man said to Eli, 'I have come from the camp. I escaped from the battle-line today.' 'My son,' said Eli, 'what happened?'
17 The messenger replied, 'Israel has fled before the Philistines; the army has been utterly routed. What is worse, your two sons are dead and the ark of God has been captured.'
18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backwards off his seat by the gate and broke his neck and died, for he was old and heavy. He had been judge of Israel for forty years.
19 Now his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was with child and near her time. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and husband were dead she crouched down and gave birth, for her labour pains had come on.
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