1 Samuel 4:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Samuel 4:22, NIV: She said, 'The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.'

1 Samuel 4:22, ESV: And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”

1 Samuel 4:22, KJV: And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.

1 Samuel 4:22, NASB: So she said, 'The glory has departed from Israel, because the ark of God has been taken.'

1 Samuel 4:22, NLT: Then she said, 'The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God has been captured.'

1 Samuel 4:22, CSB: "The glory has departed from Israel," she said, "because the ark of God has been captured."

What does 1 Samuel 4:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The glory has departed—the Hebrew root can also mean "gone into exile"—from Israel. The ark of God has been captured (1 Samuel 4:10–11). These are the final recorded words of a grief-stricken woman in Shiloh. She has learned of Israel's defeat, the death of her husband, and the death of her father-in-law all moments before going into premature labor and bearing a son. Before she dies, from her own shock and trauma, she says aloud what many in Israel likely believed: Without the ark of God, Israel's glory was gone. At least, it was exiled away from God's people. They were on their own now.

And yet, this level of despair was based on a false conclusion. The Lord is the glory of His people Israel (Luke 2:32), but they had confused the Lord with the ark He commanded them to make as a holy place where He could meet with them on earth under strict conditions (Exodus 25:22). Likely under the influence of the idol-worshiping nations around them, the Israelites had come to see the ark as God Himself, in a way. The ark, though, was not the glory of Israel, and God could not be captured or taken into exile.

In truth, God was going to expand His glory beyond Israel by demonstrating His unstoppable power through the ark to the Philistines, who would learn to fear Him instead thinking they had beaten Him (1 Samuel 5).