1 Samuel 4 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
4 So the word of Sh’mu’el came to all Isra’el.
Isra’el went out to fight against the P’lishtim, setting up camp at Even-‘Ezer, while the P’lishtim camped at Afek. 2 The P’lishtim drew up in battle formation against Isra’el. The battle was fierce, and Isra’el was beaten by the P’lishtim — they killed about four thousand soldiers on the battlefield. 3 When the army had returned to camp, the leaders of Isra’el asked, “Why has Adonai defeated us today before the P’lishtim? Let’s bring the ark for the covenant of Adonai from Shiloh to us, so that he will come among us and save us from our enemies.” 4 So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark for the covenant of Adonai-Tzva’ot, who is present above the k’ruvim. The two sons of ‘Eli, Hofni and Pinchas, were there with the ark for the covenant of God.
5 When the ark for the covenant of Adonai entered the camp, all Isra’el gave a mighty shout that resounded through the land. 6 On hearing the shout, the P’lishtim asked, “What does this great shout in the Hebrews’ camp mean?” Then they realized that the ark of Adonai had arrived in the camp, 7 and the P’lishtim became afraid. They said, “God has entered the camp! We’re lost! There was no such thing yesterday or the day before. 8 We’re lost! Who will rescue us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods that completely overthrew the Egyptians in the desert. 9 Be strong; and behave like men, you P’lishtim; so that you won’t become slaves to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Behave like men, and fight!”
10 The P’lishtim fought, Isra’el was defeated, and every man fled to his tent. It was a terrible slaughter — 30,000 of Isra’el’s foot soldiers fell. 11 Moreover, the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of ‘Eli, Hofni and Pinchas, died. 12 One of the soldiers, a man from Binyamin, ran and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes torn and earth on his head [as a sign of mourning]. 13 As he arrived, ‘Eli was sitting on his seat by the road, watching; because he was trembling with anxiety over the ark of God. When the man entered the city and told the news, the whole city began crying out. 14 On hearing the cries, ‘Eli asked, “What does this uproar mean?” So the man hurried, came to ‘Eli and told him. 15 ‘Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his gaze was fixed, because he was blind. 16 The man said to ‘Eli, “I’m the soldier that came; I escaped today from the battlefield.” He asked, “How did things go, my son?” 17 The one who had come with the news answered, “Isra’el fled before the P’lishtim, and there was a terrible slaughter among the people. Your two sons, Hofni and Pinchas, also are dead; and the ark of God was captured. 18 As soon as he mentioned what had happened to the ark of God, ‘Eli fell backward off his seat next to the gate, broke his neck and died; for he was an old man, and heavy. He had judged Isra’el forty years.
19 His daughter-in-law, Pinchas’s wife, was pregnant and near delivery-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 went into abnormal labor, bent over and gave birth. 20 As she was dying, the women standing by her said to her, “Don’t be afraid, because you have given birth to a son.” But she didn’t answer or show any sign of recognition. 21 She named the child I-Khavod [without glory], saying, “The glory has departed from Isra’el”; because the ark of God had been captured, and because of her father-in-law and husband. 22 She said, “The glory of Isra’el has gone into exile, because the ark of God has been captured.”
1 Samuel 4 New International Version (NIV)
4 And Samuel’s word came to all Israel.
The Philistines Capture the Ark
Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. 2 The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. 3 When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.”
4 So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. And Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
5 When the ark of the Lord’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook. 6 Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?”
When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp, 7 the Philistines were afraid. “A god has[a] come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. 8 We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. 9 Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!”
10 So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
Death of Eli
12 That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust on his head. 13 When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry.
14 Eli heard the outcry and asked, “What is the meaning of this uproar?”
The man hurried over to Eli, 15 who was ninety-eight years old and whose eyes had failed so that he could not see. 16 He told Eli, “I have just come from the battle line; I fled from it this very day.”
Eli asked, “What happened, my son?”
17 The man who brought the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.”
18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led[b] Israel forty years.
19 His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains. 20 As she was dying, the women attending her said, “Don’t despair; you have given birth to a son.” But she did not respond or pay any attention.
21 She named the boy Ichabod,[c] saying, “The Glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”