What does 1 Samuel 4:2 mean?
ESV: The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and when the battle spread, Israel was defeated before the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the field of battle.
NIV: The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield.
NASB: Then the Philistines drew up in battle formation to meet Israel. When the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the battlefield.
CSB: The Philistines lined up in battle formation against Israel, and as the battle intensified, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who struck down about four thousand men on the battlefield.
NLT: The Philistines attacked and defeated the army of Israel, killing 4,000 men.
KJV: And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men.
The stage is set for battle. The Philistines seem intent on expand their control over northern territories. Their army is camped at Aphek. To oppose them and to keep the Philistines from moving farther into their own population in the hill country of Ephraim, the Israelite army has encamped about two miles away at a place called Ebenezer.
The Philistines draw up their battle lines, meaning that they spread out their army and take their positions along a pre-specified line before all attacking the Israelites together. The first battle does not end the conflict, but the Philistines dominate the Israelites, killing many men.
First Samuel 4:1–11 mentions Samuel's new role delivering God's Word to Israel. It then describes a battle between Israel and the Philistines. After losing an initial skirmish, the elders of Israel bring the ark of the covenant to the battlefield. This briefly terrifies the Philistines but doesn't stop them. The Israelites are defeated, losing many men. In a humiliating blow, the ark of the covenant is captured. Eli's sons are killed, and every survivor of the battle runs for home.
Israel amasses an to fight against the Philistines. After losing badly in the first battle, the elders send for the ark of God to be brought from Shiloh. They seem to assume the mere presence of the ark will act like a lucky charm or talisman. The Philistines are terrified at the idea of fighting Israel's deity, but they still defeat the Israelites, slaughtering many soldiers and capturing the ark. A runner delivers the news to Eli that his sons are dead and the ark is captured. He dies, and his daughter-in-law goes into premature labor. Before she dies, she names the baby Ichabod, saying that the glory has departed from Israel.
First Samuel 4 begins a new section of 1 Samuel. The young prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 1—3) disappears from the story for several chapters. Israel brings the ark of the covenant to a battle with the Philistines, but they are wiped out anyway. The Philistines rout the army and capture the ark. A runner delivers the news to Eli that his sons are dead and the ark is taken. Eli dies, as does his daughter-in-law after giving birth to a son she names Ichabod. She declares that the glory has departed from Israel because the ark has been captured. Despite this, the Philistines will soon learn the ark is not a mere trophy (1 Samuel 5).
First Samuel introduces the key figures who led Israel after the era of the judges. The books of 1 and 2 Samuel were originally part of a single text, split in certain translations shortly before the birth of Christ. Some of the Bible’s most famous characters are depicted in this book. These including the prophet Samuel, Israel’s first king, Saul, her greatest king, David, and other famous names such as Goliath and Jonathan. By the end of this book, Saul has fallen; the book of 2 Samuel begins with David’s ascension to the throne.
Accessed 11/30/2023 6:43:03 AM
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