4:18 mentioned the ark. Not the news of heavy losses suffered by the Israelites, nor the news of the death of his own sons (v. 17), but the announcement that the ark of God had been captured prompted the reaction that resulted in Eli’s own death.
He had judged Israel. There is no necessary contradiction in Eli’s being described as both priest and judge (Deut. 17:8–12; 19:17; 1 Chr. 23:2–4; 2 Chr. 19:8; Ezek. 44:24). “Judged” associates him with the leaders God raised up between the death of Joshua and the institution of kingship.