1 Samuel 4 New Life Version (NLV)
The Philistines Take the Special Box of the Agreement
4 So the news of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines. They set up their tents beside Ebenezer while the Philistines stayed at Aphek. 2 The Philistines came dressed for battle to meet Israel. When the battle spread, Israel lost to the Philistines. The Philistines killed about 4,000 men on the battle-field. 3 When the people returned to the tents, the leaders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord made us lose today to the Philistines? Let us bring the special box that holds the Law of the Lord here from Shiloh. Then He may come among us and save us from the power of those who fight against us.” 4 So the people sent men to Shiloh to take the special box with the Law of the Lord of All Who sits above the cherubim. Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the special box with the Law of God.
5 When the box with the Law of the Lord came among the tents, all Israel called out with a loud noise, so that the earth shook. 6 When the Philistines heard the noise, they said, “What does this loud noise among the Hebrews mean?” Then they understood that the special box of the Lord had come among the Israelites. 7 The Philistines were afraid. They said, “A god has come among the tents. Trouble has come to us! Nothing like this has happened before. 8 Trouble has come to us! Who will save us from the hand of these powerful gods? These are the gods who destroyed the Egyptians with all kinds of troubles in the desert. 9 Be strong and act like men, O Philistines. Or you will be made to work for the Hebrews, as they have been made to work for you. Be men and fight.” 10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel lost. Every man ran to his tent. And many were killed, for 30,000 foot soldiers of Israel fell. 11 The special box of God was taken. And Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
Death of Eli
12 A man of Benjamin ran from the battle and came to Shiloh the same day. His clothes were torn and he had dust on his head. 13 When he came, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching, for he was very worried about the special box of God. The man told the news in the city, and all the city cried out. 14 When Eli heard the noise in the city, he said, “What does this noise mean?” Then the man came in a hurry and told Eli. 15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were weak so that he could not see. 16 The man said to Eli, “I have come from the battle. I ran from the battle today.” And Eli said, “How did it go, my son?” 17 The one who brought the news answered, “Israel has run from the Philistines and there have been many people killed. Your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead. And the special box of God has been taken.” 18 When he told about the special box of God, Eli fell back off the seat by the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was old and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.
19 Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was going to have a child and about to give birth. When she heard the news that the special box of God was taken and that her father-in-law and husband had died, she started to give birth, for her pains came upon her. 20 About the time of her death, the women who stood by her said to her, “Do not be afraid. For you have given birth to a son.” But she did not answer or listen to them. 21 She gave the boy the name Ichabod, saying, “The honor has left Israel,” because the special box of God was taken and because of her father-in-law and husband. 22 She said, “The honor has left Israel, for the special box of God was taken.”