Chapter
Verse

1 Samuel 4:14

ESV When Eli heard the sound of the outcry, he said, “What is this uproar?” Then the man hurried and came and told Eli.
NIV Eli heard the outcry and asked, 'What is the meaning of this uproar?' The man hurried over to Eli,
NASB When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he said, 'What does the noise of this commotion mean?' Then the man came hurriedly and told Eli.
CSB Eli heard the outcry and asked, "Why this commotion? " The man quickly came and reported to Eli.
NLT What is all the noise about?' Eli asked. The messenger rushed over to Eli,
KJV And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What meaneth the noise of this tumult? And the man came in hastily, and told Eli.

What does 1 Samuel 4:14 mean?

Sitting by the roadside, waiting for news of the battle with the Philistines, Eli is deeply fearful about what might happen to the ark of the covenant (1 Samuel 4:1–4). He is afraid something will happen to it and God will be displeased with him and the people (1 Samuel 4:13).

The old priest hears the people crying out in mourning over the report from the runner who has brought news from the battlefield. As the citizens of Shiloh learn that tens of thousands are dead and the army is disbanded and the ark of God is captured, they get loud. As the next verse notes, Eli is very old and completely blind (1 Samuel 4:15). Eli demands to know what the noise is about, and the runner comes to tell him. The news will fulfill an earlier prophecy (1 Samuel 2:34) and prove too much for the elderly man to hear (1 Samuel 4:18).
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