The first three chapters of 1 Samuel give us the backstory of Samuel and how he came to be chosen by God. 1 Samuel 4 is the first chapter to discuss Samuel as leader of the Israelites. The chapter begins with the Philistines defeating the Israelites in battle followed by the Israelites bringing the ark of God’s covenant to the battle scene.
“When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp, the Philistines were afraid. ‘A god has come into the camp,’ they said. ‘Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness.’” – 1 Samuel 4:6-8
Nothing like this has happened before? What the fuck Philistines? Have you paid no attention? If the Philistines had never heard of all of the killing the Israelites have done, one has to assume there was no killing because the stories in the Bible are just that. Stories with no factual foundation.
“So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.” – 1 Samuel 4:10-11
And where is God? An absent father because he’s all pissy Eli’s sons slept with other women even though God allows others to sleep with other women. See Abraham as one example of many.
“When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led Israel forty years.” – 1 Samuel 4:18
And that is the end of Eli. I enjoy how he died. Fell off a chair and broke his neck. God is playing below his standards right now. 🙂
“His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. 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 was overcome by her labor pains.” – 1 Samuel 4:19
Or she simply went into labor.
“She named the boy Ichabod, saying, ‘The Glory has departed from Israel’—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. She said, ‘The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.’” – 1 Samuel 4:21-22
That concludes the fourth chapter of 1 Samuel. God is pissy at the Israelites because two of Eli’s sons had sex with other women. As punishment God kills tens of thousands of Israelites, including Eli. That’s a justified punishment, right? Right?!?!
Coming Soon: 1 Samuel – Chapter 5: The Ark in Ashdod and Ekron