1 Samuel 4:1-4 Expanded Bible (EXB)
4 So, ·news about Samuel [or Samuel’s words] spread through all of Israel.
The Philistines Capture the Ark of the Agreement
At that time the Israelites went out to fight the Philistines [C a rival nation occupying the southwest coast of Israel]. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer [C somewhere near Aphek; means “stone of help”] and the Philistines [L camped] at Aphek [C on the plain of Sharon, northeast of Joppa]. 2 The Philistines ·went [deployed; drew up in battlelines] to meet the Israelites in battle. And ·as the battle spread [or when battle was joined], they defeated the Israelites, killing about four thousand soldiers on the battlefield. 3 When ·some Israelite soldiers [L the troops] went back to their camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord ·let the Philistines defeat us [or defeat/rout us before the Philistines]? Let’s bring the Ark of the ·Agreement [Covenant; Treaty] ·with [or of] the Lord [C the Ark represented the presence of God; Ex. 25:10–22] here from Shiloh [1:3] and take it with us into battle. Then ·God [or it] will save us from the ·power [L hand] of our enemies.”
4 So the ·people [or troops] sent men to Shiloh [1:3]. They brought back the Ark of the ·Agreement [Covenant; Treaty] ·with [or of] the Lord [4:3] ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; of Hosts], who sits ·between [on] the ·gold creatures with wings [L cherubim; C powerful angelic creatures]. Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the Ark [L of the covenant of God].