Tuesday, March 08, 2022


1 Samuel chapter 4 verses 11 - 12 tells of a change in fortune against the armies of Israel as they fought the Philistines.

During a battle, the ark of God  fell into the hands of the Philistine army  and the two sons of Eli, the priest who was the leader of Israel, were killed. 

A messenger left the battlefield to bring the bad news to the people. The passage reads this way;

The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

 That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust on his head.

The torn clothes and dust-covered head of the messenger represented the terrible defeat and humiliation suffered by Israel's army.

The worst possible scenario had occurred; Israel had lost the ark which was the seat of the Lord's presence into the hands of their sworn enemy. 

Further to that, the two sons of Eli died and Eli himself died shortly after when he learned what happened. 

Eli's daughter-in-law, who was pregnant with his grandson, also died after going into labour  when she heard of her husband's death, the death of her father-in-law and the loss of the ark of God. 

As she died, she said these words found in 1 Samuel 4 verse 22 , “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.” 

Israel was now truly vulnerable and leaderless and faced a dark future.

At this bleak juncture, a change in the landscape brought a new factor into the story which we shall look at in tomorrow's study.


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