1 Samuel 4:1-11 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
4 1 And Samuel’s words came to all Israel.
The Ark Captured by the Philistines
Israel went out to meet the Philistines in battle and[a] camped at Ebenezer while the Philistines camped at Aphek. 2 The Philistines lined up in battle formation against Israel, and as the battle intensified, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who struck down about 4,000 men on the battlefield.
3 When the troops returned to the camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord let us be defeated today by the Philistines? Let’s bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh. Then it[b] will go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.” 4 So the people sent men to Shiloh to bring back the ark of the covenant of the Lord of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. 5 When the ark of the covenant of the Lord entered the camp, all the Israelites raised such a loud shout that the ground shook.
6 The Philistines heard the sound of the war cry and asked, “What’s this loud shout in the Hebrews’ camp?” When the Philistines discovered that the ark of the Lord had entered the camp, 7 they panicked. “The gods have entered their camp!” they said. “Woe to us, nothing like this has happened before.[c] 8 Woe to us, who will rescue us from the hand of these magnificent gods? These are the gods that slaughtered the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. 9 Show some courage and be men, Philistines! Otherwise, you’ll serve the Hebrews just as they served you. Now be men and fight!”
10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and each man fled to his tent. The slaughter was severe—30,000 of the Israelite foot soldiers fell. 11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.