1and Samuel's words were communicated to all the Israelites. The Israelites marched out to confront the Philistines in battle. They set up camp at Ebenezer, while the Philistines set up camp at Aphek.
2The Philistines attacked the Israelites in formation, and when the battle spread, the Philistines defeated the Israelites, killing 4,000 of them on the battlefield.
3When the Israelite army returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord defeat us before Philistines today? Let's go and get the Ark of the Lord's Agreement from Shiloh, so that he can accompany us and save us from our enemies.”
4So the army sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the Ark of the Lord Almighty's Agreement, he who sits on his throne between the cherubim. Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were there with the Ark of the God's Agreement.
5When the Ark of the Lord's Agreement arrived in the camp, all the Israelites gave such a loud shout it made the ground shake.
6When the Philistines heard all the shouting, they asked, “What's the meaning of this shouting in the Israelite camp?” When they found out that the Ark of the Lord had arrived in the camp,
7the Philistines were afraid. “A god has arrived in the camp,” they said. “We're in trouble, for nothing like this has happened before.
8This is disaster for us! Who will save us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who attacked the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness.
9Be brave, and fight like real men, Philistines! Otherwise you'll end up as slaves to the Israelites, just as they were your slaves. Now be real men and fight!”
10So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated—every man ran away home. The death toll was very large: thirty thousand of the Israelite infantry were killed.
11The Ark of God was captured, and Hophni and Phinehas, Eli's two sons, died.
12A man from the tribe of Benjamin ran from the battle that day all the way to Shiloh. His clothes were torn and he had dirt on his head.
13When he arrived, Eli was sitting there on his chair by the road, watching out for news because he was worried about the Ark of God. When the man came into town and gave his report, the whole town cried out loud.
14Eli heard the crying and asked, “What's all this noise?” The man rushed over to Eli and told him what had happened.
15Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were fixed because he couldn't see.
16“I've just come from the battle,” the man said. “I ran away from it today.” “What happened, my son?” Eli asked.
17“Israel ran away from the Philistines—we were badly defeated,” the messenger replied. “Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were killed, and the Ark of God has been captured.”
18As soon as the Ark of God was mentioned, Eli fell backward from his chair by the town gate. Since he was old and heavy, he broke his neck and died. Eli had been Israel's leader for forty years.
19His daughter-in-law, Phinehas' wife, was pregnant and about to give birth. When she heard the news that the Ark of God had been captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but her labor pains were too strong.
20Just before she died, the women caring for her said, “Don't give up—you have given birth to a son!” But she didn't answer or give any response.
21She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has left Israel,” because Ark of God had been captured, and her father-in-law and her husband had died.
22She said, “The glory has left Israel, for the Ark of God has been captured.”