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Chapter 4

Defeat of the Israelites.[a] At that time, the Philistines gathered for an attack on Israel. Israel went out to engage them in battle and camped at Ebenezer, while the Philistines camped at Aphek. The Philistines then drew up in battle formation against Israel. After a fierce struggle Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the battlefield.

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  1. 4:1–7:1 The Ark Narrative: A striking indication that this is an independent narrative is the absence of any mention of Samuel. The Philistines: one of the Sea Peoples, of Aegean origin, who occupied the coastal plain of Palestine and threatened the Israelites who settled the inland hills.