The Philistines Capture the Ark
4 1 And what Samuel had said happened to all Israel. And Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and encamped beside Eben-ezer; and the Philistines encamped in Aphek. 2 And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel; and the battle spread, and Israel was routed before the Philistines; and they slew in battle array in the field about four thousand men. 3 And the people came into the camp; and the elders of Israel said, Why has Jehovah smitten us to-day before the Philistines? Let us fetch ourselves the ark of the covenant of Jehovah out of Shiloh, that it may come among us, and save us out of the hand of our enemies. 4 So the people sent to Shiloh, and they brought from thence the ark of the covenant of Jehovah of hosts, who sitteth between the cherubim; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there by the ark of the covenant of God. 5 And it came to pass when the ark of the covenant of Jehovah came into the camp, that all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth shook. 6 And the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, and said, What is the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of Jehovah had come into the camp. 7 And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there has not been such a thing heretofore. 8 Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? these are the gods that smote the Egyptians with every plague in the wilderness. 9 Shew yourselves valiant and be men, ye Philistines, that ye may not have to be servants to the Hebrews, as they have been servants to you: be men, and fight.
10 And the Philistines fought, and Israel was routed, and they fled every man to his tent; and there was a very great slaughter, and there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. 11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
12 And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the battle, and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes rent and with earth upon his head. 13 And when he came, behold, Eli was sitting upon the seat by the way-side watching; for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And the man came to tell it in the city, and all the city cried out. 14 And Eli heard the noise of the crying, and said, What is the noise of this tumult? And the man came hastily, and told Eli. 15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old; and his eyes were set, that he could not see. 16 And the man said to Eli, I am he that came out of the battle, and I have fled to-day out of the battle. And he said, What has taken place, my son? 17 And the messenger answered and said, Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. 18 And it came to pass, when he mentioned the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck broke, and he died; for the man was old, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.
19 And his daughter-in-law, Phinehas' wife, was with child, near to be delivered; and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her. 20 And as she was dying, the women that stood by her said, Fear not; for thou hast borne a son. But she did not answer, neither did she take it to heart. 21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel; because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 And she said, The glory is departed from Israel, for the ark of God is taken.
The Ark in the Land of the Philistines
5 1 And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Eben-ezer to Ashdod. 2 And the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. 3 And when they of Ashdod arose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Jehovah. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. 4 And when they arose early the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Jehovah; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the fish-stump was left to him. 5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor any that come into Dagon's house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.
6 And the hand of Jehovah was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he laid them waste, and smote them with hemorrhoids,—Ashdod and its borders. 7 And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us; for his hand is severe upon us, and upon Dagon our god. 8 And they sent and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they said, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about to Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about [thither]. 9 And it came to pass that, after they had carried it about, the hand of Jehovah was against the city with very great panic; and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and hemorrhoids broke out upon them. 10 And they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, when the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people. 11 And they sent and gathered all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to its own place, that it kill us not, and our people. For there was deadly alarm throughout the city: the hand of God was very heavy there; 12 and the men that died not were smitten with the hemorrhoids; and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
The Philistines Return the Ark
6 1 And the ark of Jehovah was in the country of the Philistines seven months. 2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do with the ark of Jehovah? tell us wherewith we shall send it to its place. 3 And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; ye must at any rate return him a trespass-offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you. 4 Then they said, What is the trespass-offering which we shall return to him? And they said, Five golden hemorrhoids, and five golden mice, the number of the lords of the Philistines; for one plague is upon them all, and upon your lords. 5 And ye shall make images of your hemorrhoids, and images of your mice that destroy the land, and give glory to the God of Israel: perhaps he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land. 6 And why will ye harden your heart, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their heart? When he had wrought mightily among them, did they not let them go, and they departed? 7 And now make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there has come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them; 8 and take the ark of Jehovah, and lay it upon the cart, and the golden jewels, which ye return him as a trespass-offering, put in the coffer by the side thereof; and send it away that it may go. 9 And see, if it go up by the way of its own border to Beth-shemesh, it is he who has done us this great evil; if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that touched us; it was a chance [that] happened to us.
10 And the men did so, and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. 11 And they laid the ark of Jehovah upon the cart, and the coffer with the golden mice and the images of their sores. 12 And the kine went straight forward on the way to Beth-shemesh; they went by the one high way, lowing as they went; and they turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh. 13 And [they of] Beth-shemesh were reaping the wheat-harvest in the valley; and they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it. 14 And the cart came into the field of Joshua the Beth-shemeshite, and stood there; and a great stone was there. And they clave the wood of the cart, and offered up the kine as a burnt-offering to Jehovah. 15 And the Levites took down the ark of Jehovah, and the coffer that was with it, in which were the golden jewels, and put them on the great stone; and the men of Beth-shemesh offered up burnt-offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day to Jehovah. 16 And the five lords of the Philistines saw [it], and returned to Ekron the same day. 17 And these are the golden sores which the Philistines returned as a trespass-offering to Jehovah: for Ashdod one, for Gazah one, for Ashkelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one; 18 and the golden mice, [according to] the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both fortified cities and villages of the peasantry; [and they brought them] as far as the great [stone of] Abel, whereon they set down the ark of Jehovah, [which] is to this day in the field of Joshua the Beth-shemeshite.
19 And he smote among the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah, and smote of the people seventy men; and the people lamented, because Jehovah had smitten the people with a great slaughter. 20 And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Jehovah, this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us? 21 And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath-jearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of Jehovah; come down, fetch it up to you.
7 1 And the men of Kirjath-jearim came, and fetched up the ark of Jehovah, and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and hallowed Eleazar his son to keep the ark of Jehovah. 2 And it came to pass, from the day that the ark abode in Kirjath-jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years. And all the house of Israel lamented after Jehovah.
Samuel Judges Israel
3 And Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, If ye return to Jehovah with all your heart, put away the strange gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and apply your hearts unto Jehovah, and serve him only; and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. 4 And the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths and served Jehovah only. 5 And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray Jehovah for you. 6 And they gathered together to Mizpah, and drew water, and poured it out before Jehovah, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against Jehovah. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpah.
7 And the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together at Mizpah; and the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel; and the children of Israel heard [it], and were afraid of the Philistines. 8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry to Jehovah our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. 9 And Samuel took a sucking-lamb, and offered it as a whole burnt-offering to Jehovah; and Samuel cried to Jehovah for Israel, and Jehovah answered him. 10 And as Samuel was offering up the burnt-offering, the Philistines advanced to battle against Israel. And Jehovah thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were routed before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, as far as below Beth-car. 12 And Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and called the name of it Eben-ezer, and said, Hitherto Jehovah has helped us.
13 And the Philistines were subdued, and came no more into the borders of Israel; and the hand of Jehovah was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 And the cities that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath; and their territory did Israel deliver out of the hand of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorite. 15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpah, and judged Israel in all those places. 17 And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house, and there he judged Israel; and there he built an altar to Jehovah.
Israel Asks for a King
8 1 And it came to pass when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. 2 And the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abijah; they judged in Beer-sheba. 3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted justice.
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel to Ramah, 5 and said to him, Behold, thou art become old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now appoint us a king to judge us, like all the nations. 6 And the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed to Jehovah. 7 And Jehovah said to Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the deeds that they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, in that they have forsaken me and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. 9 And now hearken unto their voice; only, testify solemnly unto them, and declare unto them the manner of the king that shall reign over them. 10 And Samuel spoke all the words of Jehovah to the people that asked of him a king. 11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: he will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, on his chariot and among his horsemen, and they shall run before his chariots; 12 and [he will take them] that he may appoint for himself captains over thousands, and captains over fifties, and that they may plough his ground, and reap his harvest, and make his instruments of war and instruments of his chariots. 13 And he will take your daughters for perfumers, and cooks, and bakers. 14 And your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, the best, will he take and give to his servants. 15 And he will take the tenth of your seed and of your vineyards, and give to his chamberlains and to his servants. 16 And he will take your bondmen, and your bondwomen, and your comeliest young men, and your asses, and use them for his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your sheep. And ye shall be his servants. 18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king whom ye have chosen; and Jehovah will not answer you in that day. 19 And the people refused to hearken to the voice of Samuel; and they said, No, but there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations; and our king shall judge us, and go out before us, and conduct our wars. 21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the ears of Jehovah. 22 And Jehovah said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said to the men of Israel, Go ye every man to his city.