[1-Samuel 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.
It is not clear if Israel went to war as instructed by Samuel or simply
by their own initiative and that this would bring about the fulfillment of
the prophecy of Samuel that had gone out to all Israel.
<<EBENEZER>>: "EBEN-EZER" Stone of Help. "Eben" can also be pronounced
as "Even". Where does the Welsh name "Evans" come from?
This was to be the scene of a defeat of the Israelites. Later,
however, the Hebrews under Samuel would win a great victory at this same spot (1-Samuel 7:12-13).
[1-Samuel 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.
[1-Samuel 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 AMON US, IT MAY SAVE US OUT OF THE HAND OF OUR ENEMIES.
The Commentators say that they thought the Ark would save them even
though they had not repented of their sins and corrected their ways. This is
a major principle in Biblical thought. The main point is to do right and
if we have done badly then to correct ourselves. All other things are subsidiary to this.
[1-Samuel 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.
[1-Samuel 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.
[1-Samuel 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 OF THE HEBREWS>>: The israelites were called Hebrews and as
far as we know this term was only applied to them. "Hebrew" in the Hebrew
language is "Ivri" or "Ibri". So too the Lost Ten Tribes when they were
exiled were referred to as "Iberi" or as Aberi" or as "Hiberi" (also
"Hiberni") and these terms were applied to the Celts when they were in
Spain and ;ater when they moved to the British Isles and this is the
name they aplied to themselves and it is found as an element in Celtic
place-names throughout Western Europe.
[1-Samuel 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.
<<GOD>>: Hebrew "Elohim"
[1-Samuel 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.
<< MIGHTY GODS >: Hebrew "Elohim Adirim"
<<GODS>>: Hebrew "Elohim". The word for "God" or "gods" is Elohim and
can be singular or plural depending on the context and the verbal forms connected to it.
The wonders that had been wrought for the Israelites in the Wilderness
were well known:
<< THOU IN THY MERCY HAST LED FORTH THE PEOPLE WHICH THOU HAST
REDEEMED: THOU HAST GUIDED THEM IN THY STRENGTH UNTO THY HOLY
<< THE PEOPLE SHALL HEAR, AND BE AFRAID: SORROW SHALL TAKE HOLD ON THE
INHABITANTS OF PALESTINA.
<<THEN THE DUKES OF EDOM SHALL BE AMAZED; THE MIGHTY MEN OF MOAB,
TREMBLING SHALL TAKE HOLD UPON THEM; ALL THE INHABITANTS OF CANAAN SHALL MELT
AWAY>> [Exodus 15:13-15].
[1-Samuel 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.
When the Germans in WW2 began loosing they fought with great
desperation especially in the East. They knew the atrocities they or their comrades
had committed and were afraid that if they lost what they had done to others
would be done to them. To som degree this fear was justified.
[1-Samuel 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.
[1-Samuel 4:11] AND THE ARK OF GOD WAS TAKEN; AND THE TWO SONS OF ELI,
HOPHNI AND PHINEHAS, WERE SLAIN.
[1-Samuel 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
<<A MAN OF BENJAMIN>>: The distance was anywhere from ca.40 to 70 miles
away soince we are not sure of the exact locatrions. The sages had a
tradition that the man for Benjamin was Saul, the future king of Israel.
[1-Samuel 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.
[1-Samuel 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.
[1-Samuel 4:15] NOW ELI WAS NINETY AND EIGHT YEARS OLD; AND HIS EYES
WERE DIM, THAT HE COULD NOT SEE.
[1-Samuel 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?
[1-Samuel 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.
[1-Samuel 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.
Eli was shocked more by the capture of the Ark than the other news.
Because of the sins of his sons and the curse that fell on his house we tend to
underrate Eli but he was a great man. He was the one that was the agent
by which Hannah was blessed by the Almighty and bore Samuel and he was the
one that realized that the Almighty was speaking to the youth, Samuel.
[1-Samuel 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.
[1-Samuel 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.
[1-Samuel 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.
<<ICHABOD>> i.e. "A(I)- CaBoD": Where is honor?" or "There is no
honor?" "a" (sometimes pronounced as "I" or "i" but spelt with the "a" (aleph)
letter can mean "none" or "where" or "any". It is the probably source
of the indefinite article "a" in English. The word "one" also comes from
the same root.
Of the english numbers "six" could come from the Hebrew "shesh"; seven
from the Hebrew "sheva" (pronounceable in the north as "seven(n)");
eight from the Hebrew letter chet pronounceable as "het" cf. the French
(8); Of the other numbers "four" and "nine" are also possibilities
but through complicated pathways. In fields like those of Brit-Am even if
we are certain something is true it is often best not to say it unless the
evidence is simple, obvious, and convincing. We cannot afford the
luxuries that conventional researchers allow themselves though in some ways we
are also less confined than they are obliged to be.
[1-Samuel 4:22] AND SHE SAID, THE GLORY IS DEPARTED FROM ISRAEL: FOR
THE ARK OF GOD IS TAKEN.