New Living Translation

1 Samuel 4

And Samuel’s words went out to all the people of Israel.

The Philistines Capture the Ark

At that time Israel was at war with the Philistines. The Israelite army was camped near Ebenezer, and the Philistines were at Aphek. The Philistines attacked and defeated the army of Israel, killing 4,000 men. After the battle was over, the troops retreated to their camp, and the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord allow us to be defeated by the Philistines?” Then they said, “Let’s bring the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord from Shiloh. If we carry it into battle with us, it[a] will save us from our enemies.”

So they sent men to Shiloh to bring the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, who is enthroned between the cherubim. Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, were also there with the Ark of the Covenant of God. When all the Israelites saw the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord coming into the camp, their shout of joy was so loud it made the ground shake!

“What’s going on?” the Philistines asked. “What’s all the shouting about in the Hebrew camp?” When they were told it was because the Ark of the Lord had arrived, they panicked. “The gods have[b] come into their camp!” they cried. “This is a disaster! We have never had to face anything like this before! Help! Who can save us from these mighty gods of Israel? They are the same gods who destroyed the Egyptians with plagues when Israel was in the wilderness. Fight as never before, Philistines! If you don’t, we will become the Hebrews’ slaves just as they have been ours! Stand up like men and fight!”

10 So the Philistines fought desperately, and Israel was defeated again. The slaughter was great; 30,000 Israelite soldiers died that day. The survivors turned and fled to their tents. 11 The Ark of God was captured, and Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were killed.

The Death of Eli

12 A man from the tribe of Benjamin ran from the battlefield and arrived at Shiloh later that same day. He had torn his clothes and put dust on his head to show his grief. 13 Eli was waiting beside the road to hear the news of the battle, for his heart trembled for the safety of the Ark of God. When the messenger arrived and told what had happened, an outcry resounded throughout the town.

14 “What is all the noise about?” Eli asked.

The messenger rushed over to Eli, 15 who was ninety-eight years old and blind. 16 He said to Eli, “I have just come from the battlefield—I was there this very day.”

“What happened, my son?” Eli demanded.

17 “Israel has been defeated by the Philistines,” the messenger replied. “The people have been slaughtered, and your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were also killed. And the Ark of God has been captured.”

18 When the messenger mentioned what had happened to the Ark of God, Eli fell backward from his seat beside the gate. He broke his neck and died, for he was old and overweight. He had been Israel’s judge for forty years.

19 Eli’s daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near her time of delivery. When she heard that the Ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth. 20 She died in childbirth, but before she passed away the midwives tried to encourage her. “Don’t be afraid,” they said. “You have a baby boy!” But she did not answer or pay attention to them.

21 She named the child Ichabod (which means “Where is the glory?”), for she said, “Israel’s glory is gone.” She named him this because the Ark of God had been captured and because her father-in-law and husband were dead. 22 Then she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God has been captured.”

Footnotes

  1. 4:3 Or he.
  2. 4:7 Or A god has.

O Livro

1 Samuel 4

A arca é capturada pelos filisteus

11/2 Nesse tempo Israel estava em guerra contra os filisteus. O exército israelita estava acampado perto de Ebenezer, e os filisteus junto de Afeque. Estes derrotaram Israel, matando quatro milhares dos seus soldados. Depois do combate, o exército de Israel regressou ao acampamento e os seus líderes interrogavam-se por que razão o Senhor os tinha conduzido àquela derrota: “Vamos trazer para aqui a arca, desde Silo. Se a trouxermos connosco, o Senhor estará no nosso meio e nos salvará seguramente dos nossos inimigos.”

4/5 Então mandaram vir a arca da aliança do Senhor dos exércitos celestiais, que habita entronizado acima dos querubins. Hofni e Finéias, os filhos de Eli, vieram com ela até ao campo da batalha. Quando os israelitas viram chegar a arca, deram um brado de alegria tão forte que até a terra tremeu!

6/9 “O que é que se passa?”, perguntaram-se os filisteus. “Para que foi aquele grito no campo dos hebreus?” Quando souberam que era a arca do Senhor que tinha chegado ali, entraram em pânico. “Deus veio para o campo deles!”, gritavam. “Ai de nós, que nunca enfrentámos uma situação destas antes! Quem é que nos vai salvar destes poderosos deuses de Israel? É que são os mesmos que destruíram o Egipto com pragas, quando Israel lá morava. Então, lutem agora, ó filisteus, como nunca o fizeram antes, pois doutra forma tornar-se-ão seus escravos, tal como eles já foram nossos escravos.”

10 Dessa forma os filisteus lutaram desesperadamente, e Israel foi novamente derrotado. Trinta mil homens de Israel morreram nesse dia, e o restante fugiu para as tendas. 11 A arca de Deus foi capturada e Hofni mais Finéias foram mortos.

A morte de Eli

12/13 Um homem da tribo de Benjamim veio a correr da batalha e chegou no mesmo dia a Silo, com a roupa rasgada e a cabeça coberta de terra. Eli estava sentado à beira do caminho à espera de notícias da batalha, porque o seu coração tremia de cuidados pela segurança da arca de Deus. Quando o mensageiro chegou da frente de combate e relatou o que acontecera, levantou-se um grande clamor em toda a cidade. 14/15 “O que é este barulho todo?”, perguntou Eli.

O mensageiro apressou-se a vir ter com Eli, dando-lhe a conhecer o que sucedera. (Eli era um ancião já de noventa e oito anos, e perdera totalmente a vista.) 16/17 “Acabei agora de chegar da batalha; hoje ainda eu lá estava”, disse a Eli. “Israel foi derrotado e milhares dos das tropas israelitas morreram no campo de batalha. Hofni e Finéias também foram mortos, e a arca capturada.”

18 Quando o mensageiro mencionou o que acontecera à arca, Eli caiu para trás no seu assento ao lado do portão de entrada, partiu o pescoço e faleceu (porque era já muito velho e pesado). Eli julgou Israel durante quarenta anos.

19/22 Quando a nora de Eli, a mulher de Finéias, que estava grávida, ouviu dizer que a arca fora tomada, que o marido tinha sido morto e o sogro falecera, o processo de gravidez precipitou-se e começou a sentir as dores de parto, ao mesmo tempo que se lhe ia apagando a vida. Antes de morrer, as mulheres que a assistiam disseram-lhe que tudo estava a correr bem e que tinha tido um rapaz. Mas ela nada respondeu nem vibrou com a notícia. Apenas murmurou: “Chamem ao menino Icabode — porque foi-se a glória de Israel”. Ela deu esse nome ao bebé porque a arca de Deus tinha sido capturada e porque o marido e o sogro tinham morrido.