Death of Eli

12 Then a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line the same day, and (A)came to Shiloh with his clothes torn and (B)dirt on his head. 13 Now when he came, there was Eli, sitting on (C)a seat [a]by the wayside watching, for his heart [b]trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told it, all the city cried out. 14 When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he said, “What does the sound of this tumult mean?” And the man came quickly and told Eli. 15 Eli was ninety-eight years old, and (D)his eyes were so [c]dim that he could not see.

16 Then the man said to Eli, “I am he who came from the battle. And I fled today from the battle line.”

And he said, (E)“What happened, my son?”

17 So the messenger answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter among the people. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead; and the ark of God has been captured.”

18 Then it happened, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.


19 Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, due to be delivered; and when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and gave birth, for her labor pains came upon her. 20 And about the time of her death (F)the women who stood by her said to her, “Do not fear, for you have borne a son.” But she did not answer, nor did she [d]regard it. 21 Then she named the child (G)Ichabod,[e] saying, (H)“The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”

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  1. 1 Samuel 4:13 So with MT, Vg.; LXX beside the gate watching the road
  2. 1 Samuel 4:13 trembled with anxiety
  3. 1 Samuel 4:15 fixed
  4. 1 Samuel 4:20 pay any attention to
  5. 1 Samuel 4:21 Lit. Inglorious

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